As I look back at the Warrior athletic career of 1947 Del Norte graduate Paul McNiel, I am reminded of why I always think of my time at Del Norte as very special.
The way athletic schedules were made you could participate in four varsity sports if you wanted to. Paul McNiel was one who did.
During his time as a Warrior he earned letters in football, basketball, tennis and track.
In his sophomore, junior and senior years he played in the Warrior football program as a lineman. Paul was not what you would expect as a lineman as he was still small enough as a senior to play lightweight basketball.
He was tough, athletic and smart. He was part of the Warrior football program when 11-man football was brought back to high school after WWII.
During his senior year he played on the lightweight basketball team coached by my dad, Shirley Trone. The team did not have great success but I can remember my dad saying he wished he had more Paul McNiels and things would go much better as he was an athlete capable of success and also an inspirational leader.
Paul was also very involved in other student body activities. He held positions in student government, worked on the student newspaper the Crestonian and with all the other things he did he was also an excellent student achieving membership in the California Scholarship Federation.
Four-sport letterman, student leader and honor student: This former Warrior was someone I was lucky to know and will always have great respect for.
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.