The graduating class of 1951 may seem like a long time ago to present Warriors, but to this Warrior it doesn’t seem that far back.
Leon Morgan was a three sport standout as a member of that class. He was one of those athletes whose favorite sport was the one in season. Football was his favorite in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring.
Leon was very good at all of them. He started his football career as a center, but was moved to an end position during his senior season where he became a dominant defensive player. In basketball, he played forward and was voted the outstanding Warrior during his senior year.
For three years he held down the left field position on three straight Warrior championship baseball teams. We knew if the ball was hit into his area it was going to be caught. He also swung a big bat as one of our top hitters.
After graduation Leon played baseball for the Crescent City Merchants. Many of us still remember watching as he raced back after a well hit fly ball. The left field fence was only four feet high and there was no such thing as a warning track as you approached the fence. The next thing we saw were two legs sticking above the fence. Nobody can remember if he caught the ball or not.
Leon went to work for Nichols Pontiac, where he was employed until he was drafted in March 1953. Leon spent nine months in Korea and when he was discharged in 1955 he married Colleen Hughes, the love of his life. They are still happily married.
They have three boys, Stacy, Rowdy, and Woody. Stacy and Rowdy are Warrior grads that excelled in the Blue and Gold of the Warriors.
In 1957, Leon and Colleen moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., where Leon attended Oregon Technical Institute. After leaving Klamath Falls they moved to Port Orchard in Washington, where they went into the cleaning business with his brother Don.
At age 39, while coaching a youth baseball team, Leon suffered his first of eight heart attacks. In the mid-seventies Leon and his family moved back to Crescent City, where they owned and operated the Satellite Burger Shack and the Crescent Curl Beauty Salon.
After Stacy and Rowdy graduated they moved to Rogue River, Ore., where Leon worked for the school district. Leon and Colleen now live in Grants Pass, Ore., where he is now retired.
His wife says she is still working and telling Leon what to do. They are a great couple and those of us that had the privilege of being teammates have so many fond memories of first wearing the Red and White and then the Blue and Gold of the Warriors of that era.
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.