When I entered Del Norte High School in the fall of 1947, the Warriors still wore read and white and were starting their third straight season with a new head football coach.
Talmud Kramer was in his first and only year at the Warrior helm. I was too young to play football since I was only fourteen and C.I.F. rules required you to be 15 before you could play varsity football. I would go out almost every day to watch the team practice. It was fun to get to know the upperclassmen that made up the team.
One member that impressed me was a senior named Allen Slater. Allen was a well-built, talented athlete who played end. He was one of the best players on the team and since my goal was to become an end, he became kind of an idol. He was a multi-talented athlete who excelled both on the football field and the basketball court.
When Allen entered high school in the fall of 1944, Del Norte did not have a varsity football team, and he was too big for lightweight basketball so he really couldn’t start his Warrior career until his sophomore year. In the fall of 1945 the Warriors fielded their first 11-man football team in seven years. Allen immediately became an important contributor as an end on the team, which was led by another one-year coach, Clarence Kruger. When football season ended Allen started his basketball career as a member of the Warrior varsity team.
In his junior year he again nailed down a starting position on the Warrior football team coached by yet another first-year coach, Phil Crawford. Allen again went from the gridiron to the basketball courts. As a senior in fall 1947 he again took to the football field under his third new head coach in as many seasons.
During Allen’s senior year he suffered an injury that kept him on crutches and in a cast for a good part of the year, so he was not able to have the senior basketball season that Warriors fans were looking forward to.
Allen also found time to be involved in other school activities and served as sergeant at arms for his class and also as president of the lettermen’s club. I found he had one talent I didn’t care for: he could really wield a paddle. Those “D” members from my generation will know what I am talking about.
After graduation, Allen went into the dry cleaning business. He is now retired and lives in the Grants Pass area. He was a fun Warrior to know, and one I really looked up to when I was a freshman.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.