When I first came back to Del Norte in 1980 the Warrior Bench, which was the Athletic Booster Club at the time, sponsored a program honoring players from 1950 to 1959.
It was a group selected by retired Warrior Coach Tex Gatlin that would have been his dream team if he could have had them all together on one team. Since Tex coached the Warriors during that 10-year period he had the privilege of coaching all those players. It was called the “Dream Team of the ’50s.”
I suspect most coaches like to look back at young men they have coached and wonder what it would be like to have those players that were gifted with special athletic talents on one team. I know I have. I look back with respect at every young man that I have had the privilege of coaching, but some by the very talents they possessed to play a certain position made them stand out.
Several of the young men I have written about would be on my 1980s “Dream Team.” As I look at the present young men coaching at Del Norte, many would be on that team. Blaine Lopez, Warriors head basketball coach; and Jeremy Lacy, Rod Shellabarger and Darren Lafazio, all coaches on the Warrior JV football staff, were all White Star performers at their Warrior football positions. All are quality young men and all would be on my “Dream Team. “
Greg Yeager, who has assisted in the basketball program, would be a defensive end on that mythical team. Troy Duncan, an excellent offensive tackle who for several years assisted Coach Louis Nova with the varsity program would also be on this team.
One young man whom I have the greatest respect for is right where he should be. That is Ray Rook head coach of the Warriors varsity football team. Coaches love to have players like Ray with outstanding character and a super work ethic. Ray has a strong desire to learn and teach those things that are important to our youth, both on and off the field. I really believe our football program is in good hands.
After 30 years coaching high school football and after many years being retired from coaching, it is still fun to look back and remember all the young men who have made my coaching life so enjoyable.
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 football head coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.