Basketball season is winding down and baseball season is winding up.
With the start of Del Norte baseball it is fun to look back at what baseball was like when I was a Warrior.
It has really changed, and I really like the changes. During the four years that I played as a Warrior there were only six teams in the league: Del Norte, Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Ferndale and Hoopa. South Fork did not field a baseball team and there was no St. Bernard’s or McKinleyville.
All league games were played on a Saturday, and you only played each school once in league competition, which meant your league schedule consisted of five games.
In 1948, my freshman year, we did not win a game. In my sophomore year things really changed. A red-headed senior athlete by the name of Dick Turner moved to Del Norte from Drain, Ore.
He was pretty good, made first team all league in football and basketball, and took to the mound as a pitcher in baseball. His excellence continued and we won all five league games and claimed the league championship.
When 1950 rolled around we again had an outstanding pitcher in Don Morgan. With Don on the mound we again won our five league games and claimed our second league championship.
In 1951, my senior year, we again had an outstanding pitcher, but this time it was a big left-handed sophomore named Lee Templeton. Lee was about 6 feet four inches and 225 pounds and was very intimidating on the mound. We again won all five games and our third league championship. It just shows what one good pitcher could do in those old days.
Now with the expanded schedule where you play league opponents three times, a Saturday double-header and a mid-week single game, it takes more than one pitcher and a good all-around team to claim a championship.
The changes are great, and I look forward to this spring when I can watch both the boys on the baseball field and the girls on the softball field, giving Warrior fans a lot to cheer about.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High sports.