I first had the pleasure of meeting Audrey Wigley during his junior year at Del Norte. I did not know his name was Audrey because everyone called him Sam, so he will be forever Sam to me.
I had just been discharged from the Army on Dec. 24, 1954, so I became a Del Norte basketball fan for the 1954–55 Warriors.
It was interesting to watch the basketball team as it was playing its home games in the main building of the fairgrounds. A temporary plywood floor had been put down and the way a ball bounced on that floor made dribbling the ball an interesting experience, as there were many dead spots on the playing surface.
Sam was a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball and baseball, but it was on the football field and basketball court that he really left his mark.
Sam was an excellent pass-receiving end. During his junior year he played on a Warrior team that went 4-4 and beat a good Arcata team 13-12. Sam was one of senior quarterback Tony Roeder’s favorite receivers.
During his senior year Ston Yackamouih took over the QB duties and relied on Sam to catch his passes.
Sam made the varsity basketball team as a sophomore and with his size and athletic ability was a solid rebounder and scorer. During his senior year the Warriors finished in a second place tie with Arcata.
Sam was voted by his classmates as the Most Outstanding Senior Athlete.
He was involved in other student activities. He served as vice-president of the junior class and was always active in the “D” Club.
I got to know Sam outside of school and really enjoyed his warm, fun-loving, respectful attitude that made him a joy to be around.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High sports. He played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, later serving as the school’s football coach for a number of years.