Ashort time ago, I was substitute teaching in an English class at Del Norte High School. The lesson plan the teacher left for me called for the students to write an essay reflecting on the first half of their senior year. This sparked an interesting discussion where they got me to thinking about my senior year at Del Norte.
There were so many great memories, as I had such a wonderful time as a student. I remember three teachers who were not coaches and really impacted my life. Ruby Van Deventer, my civics and German teacher, probably had more influence on me than any teacher I ever had. The other two were Elgin Domm, my chemistry and physics teacher, and George Berry, my history teacher. They were great.
As one might expect, my fondest memories were in the athletic arena. During my senior year I had three great coaches, Chuck DeAutremont, Mike Whalen and Tex Gatlin. They planted the seed that I wanted to someday be a high school coach. It was a dream that would come true and what made it extra special is that a big part of my coaching got to be at the school I care so much about in Del Norte.
There were so many great memories that I can’t begin to name them all, but there are some that were special. We opened the football season in Cave Junction and won the game by a big margin, but the Cave Junction team insisted we join them for a watermelon feed. They had a whole truckload of melons and we ate until we couldn’t eat any more. They were great hosts. The last game of the season was also special as we beat the Arcata Tigers for the first time in 24 years.
Basketball season was fun as we contended for the league title but lost to Arcata. When baseball season rolled around we took to the diamond under first-year head coach Mike Whalen. He was a very special man to play for and under his leadership we won our third straight league championship and I was selected to play in the league All Star game.
Coach DeAutremont took the track team to Eugene, Ore., to a relay event at the University of Oregon. On that great track I ran my fastest mile ever.
I know that the seniors that were in that English class are someday going to look back and think how great it was to be a senior at Del Norte High School. I know I sure do. I still treasure the many great friends that I made while a Warrior.
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.