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Warrior Memories: DN Warrior basketball was started by the girls

One of the real joys that comes from writing these columns is the interesting and often humorous information I come across while researching something totally different.

That’s what happened for this story. I was looking for the words for the school song we used to sing, when this interesting bit of Warrior athletic history was found.

I had contacted a former classmate that I thought might have the words I was looking for. She gave me a publication done by a group of junior students in 1951. She thought maybe the words were in it. They weren’t, but this work, titled ‘Warrior Hoops,’ had the history of the start of basketball at Del Norte High School.

Little did I know that Warrior basketball started in about 1920, not by boys, but by girls.

The coach was an English teacher that had played basketball at UC Berkeley during her undergraduate years. There was no gymnasium then and the only walled area near the school was the yard of the old county jail.

Two hoops without nets were nailed to the opposite ends, and the games began. There was no interscholastic sports, so two or three intramural teams were formed. Each team had six players and rules were pretty loose. The floor was packed dust.

I found it interesting that the attire they had to wear were called costumes instead of uniforms. These costumes consisted of a white “nuddy” blouse, a black or red bow tie, long black ribbed cotton stockings, tennis shoes and huge bloomers. I bet those games were interesting to watch.

I also found that student staff that put this publication together to be an interesting group, Shirley Gherkins, Silvie Holloway, Donna Adair, Fayrene Laws, Janis Hamilton, Gail Barnum, John Evanow and Jim Fletcher. They are especially interesting because one of them is my wife. It is funny the things you can find when you are not looking for them.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors, 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.

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