My fondest memories from my Warrior days are about teammates that I played with, and friendships that were made that have lasted a lifetime.
Not every person that turns out for a sport is blessed with the natural talent that can make them outstanding.
Some turn out for a sport with the idea that they are going to make the best of the talents they have and do everything they can to help the team.
Joe Matoche was one of these. During my junior and senior years playing football for Del Norte, Joe was a backup at quarterback and a 1952 Warrior graduate. We all knew that everyday, Joe was going to be there pushing everyone to be the best they could be.
He became affectionately known by all his teammates as “Twee”.
You can ask almost any Warrior graduate from the 50’s whether athlete or not, what former Del Norte football player had the nickname “Twee” and they would immediately tell you that’s Joe Matoche.
Back during the 1949-50 football seasons the snap count for snapping the football at the line of scrimmage was a number. One-two-three etc.
The quarterback when he placed his hands under the center would say "Set one-two-three" and the center would snap the ball on whatever number was decided in the huddle.
When Joe would call signals three would always sound like twee, thus the nickname. Joe to this day is still referred to by his ex teammates by that name, and I can assure you it is out of respect and affection. Joe was involved in activities other then football, serving his sophomore year as class vice president. He also played baseball for the Warriors.
After graduation from high school, Joe got drafted into the Army and spent nine months in Korea. After returning home from his service duty he first went to work in a mill then to work as an apprentice electrician for Bob Ames.
He married his wonderful wife Gwen and when their first child was on the way, he enrolled at Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls Oregon.
After that he went to work for Sears in their service department, where he worked until retirement. He now lives in Medford with wife Gwen and just enjoys life.
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.