It was 99 years ago that Del Norte High School won its first athletic championship, which was earned in the sport of baseball.
Back then there were no interscholastic sports as we now know them. There were no high schools close enough for Del Norte to compete against. School busing for sports travel was a thing of the future.
In the spring of 1913 the Cal-Ore league was formed. It had four teams and Del Norte High School was the only school team. The other three teams were the Crescent City Crescents, the Smith River team and a team from Harbor, Ore.
The three non-high school teams were composed of community members who just wanted to play baseball. Baseball was the only sport where the school played teams outside the school. All other competition was between the classes. This first league provided a lot of excitement in Crescent City.
At the end of the regular season Del Norte High School and the Crescent City Crescents were tied for first place. The Harbor, Ore., team had not won a game and the Smith River team had only beat Harbor. A three-game playoff was scheduled to select a champion and it took all three games to determine a winner.
In game one the score was tied 6-6 going into the ninth inning. Del Norte scored two runs in the ninth to take an 8-6 victory. Game two was a real thriller as the score was 0-0 at the end of the ninth. In the bottom of the 10th the Crescents scored to take the one-run victory. It came down to game three to decide who the league champion would be. In game three Del Norte jumped out to an early lead and won the league title 8-6. It is claimed that Del Norte pitcher Clyde Stowers was the big difference maker.
It is obvious that I was not around to witness this competition, but one of the really fun things that I enjoy is reflecting on Warrior athletic history. This tale came from information in a 1915 Del Norte High School yearbook. The plaque presented to the winner became the first championship trophy to be displayed in the high school assembly room.
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.