Every Warrior football season I really get excited. Watching the present Warrior teams play always bring back long ago memories of my senior year as a Warrior football player.
There were three games that always bring back cherished thoughts. We opened our season at Cave Junction on a Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful warm sunny day and we won a hard-fought game against the Cougars.
After the game they invited us to meet them at a local residence for a watermelon feed, which was great. There was a whole pickup load of watermelons to eat.
During the feed I had the chance to meet and talk to the Cougars’ outstanding running back, a young man named Ron Mauer. After graduation Ron went on to Southern Oregon College and I went on to Humboldt so we met again in my first year as a Lumberjack.
After that we both ended up in the Army and while I was in basic training I found that Ron was playing football for Fort Ord and was backup running back behind the great Ollie Matson.
After getting out of the service and returning to Humboldt I was in my last season as a Lumberjack and we were playing Southern Oregon. It was the one game while I was there that I got to be captain. When we went to the center of the field for the coin toss, guess who was the Southern Oregon captain: Ron Mauer.
We had a real friendly exchange. The Lumberjacks won the game but there was no watermelons.
My second game memory we were playing Hoopa up there on a Saturday afternoon. In the north end zone of the field was a muddy wallow from the recent rains. Midway through the game a herd of wild pigs came out of the woods and settled in the wallow. The game had to be stopped while the very uncooperative pigs were chased back into the woods.
The third game was the final game of the season and my last as a Warrior. We were playing the Arcata Tigers here and were able to come from behind and beat Arcata for the first time in 20 years. It is interesting that night games back then were played with a white football. I have the game ball from that game and have fun with it in classes at the high school now when I substitute-teach.
I feel my life has been blessed to have had the chance to be a Warrior player, Warrior coach and a Warrior fan.
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.