The 1950 football season saw me don the pads as a Del Norte Warrior for the final time.
I still remember well putting on the new blue and gold uniforms for the first time. This was the year the Warriors changed from red and white to the present blue and gold. It was also great because for the first time since I started high school we had the same head coach for a second season.
Chuck DeAutremont was back for year two and he was joined by two new assistants, Tex Gatlin and Mike Whalen. Tex had been a teammate of Chuck’s at Southern Oregon and Mike had been a standout at Humboldt State.
This was a group that had our total respect. Wins on the playing field were something that were hard to come by during my first two football seasons. Final scores were not always as close as we would like. While we did not produce a lot of victories score-wise, we played everybody close.
We went over to Cave Junction to meet their squad in what was a very interesting experience. They had a new field that instead of grass was covered in saw dust. It was a hot day and it was amazing how uncomfortable sawdust can be under your pads. We came away with the biggest win of my high school career. We won 40-0.
After the game they treated us to a watermelon feed — all we could eat. After the Cave Junction win we went winless in league play going into our final game of the season at home against the Arcata Tigers. Back in those days the league was always dominated by Eureka and Arcata as they were the two largest schools in the league.
We came out determined to end our season on a positive note. We had worked hard, believed in our coaches and just knew we could pull off the upset.
It had been about 20 years since the Warriors beat the Tigers. The score at halftime was 13-12 in favor of Arcata.
During halftime we decided if we could score just one more touchdown and hold Arcata scoreless, victory could be ours. The Warriors did just that. We scored once, made the point after and held them scoreless, final score 19-13 Del Norte.
I still remember how good it felt. When I talk to other seniors on that team they still remember the feeling.
Al Young, Harry Baker, Bob Templeton, Larry Holcomb, Arnie Lopez, Dick March, Bob James, Walt McCovey, Leon Morgan and Jordan Kekry will always be a special group of teammates.
A fond Warrior memory.
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.