Iwas about to write about 1966 Warrior graduate Ed Eagles, but the name Eagles brought back some real memories.
It took me back to my first-ever teaching job. I had graduated from Humboldt State in 1958 and was working during the summer for Nichols Pontiac. I had every intention of returning to Humboldt to get my master’s degree and secondary teaching credential.
It was about two weeks before I was set to return to school when Harland McDonald, who was the county superintendent of schools, came into the agency looking for me. He said to me, “Dick, school is about to start next week and Smith River Elementary school doesn’t have a sixth grade teacher. You’re going to be it.”‘
I had known Mr. McDonald since my time as a student at Crescent Elk when he was principal. My comment was I don’t have a credential. He said to me, “I will get you an emergency credential. You need to take a year off from school and see how you like teaching.”
So for the 1958-59 school year I became the sixth grade teacher at Smith River. This is where the name Ed Eagles came in. Ed Eagles Sr. was the eighth grade teacher at Smith River and he really took me under his wing and helped me get started as a teacher. I had a lot to learn. Since my goal was to become a coach, I involved my class in as many athletic activities as I could.
Through the years I often wondered what happened to the best athlete in the class. It was not a boy but a girl, Susan Jeppsen. She was a pretty blond who excelled on all the boys’ teams. Unlike today, girls sports at the high school level had not been recognized by the state.
If it had I think Susan would have excelled. I found out that she became an excellent tennis player and was voted the most outstanding female athlete her senior year of high school. I don’t know what other sports she played, but I am sure whatever they were she was good at them.
I still plan to do an article on Ed Eagles, the 1966 Warrior. I just got sidetracked for a week. My year at Smith River carries a lot of really fond memories.
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