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Warrior Memories: The late Bob James: A dear friend, a great athlete

Something I always enjoy is reflecting on friends and teammates that I had all the way through high school. 

One whose memories I will always cherish is 1951 graduate Bob James. Bob and I played varsity football together for three years and varsity baseball for four years. 

Bob had to wait until his sophomore year to play football because as a freshman he was only 14 years old and state rules say you must be 15 to play varsity football. Del Norte did not have a JV team back then, but as soon as Bob hit the field he became a starter on defense, a position he filled for three years. 

Bob made the varsity baseball team as their starting center fielder as a freshman and held that position for 4 years. 

In his sophomore, junior, and senior years he was part of the Warrior team that won three straight Humboldt-Del Norte league championships. 

One of the really fun things that Bob and I enjoyed was playing summer baseball for the Crescent City Blues, which was a team made up of high school players and was sponsored by Vaughn Pyke, who was a great supporter of Warrior athletics. The recreation baseball fields on the old high school campus are named Pykes Field in his honor.

Bob had the respect of all his classmates, as is demonstrated by the fact that he was elected into class offices all four years. He was also active in the “D” Club, the lettermen’s group that did much to raise funds for Warrior athletics.

Bob is long gone now, but will always be remembered by his teammates for the big hits he made on the football field and for the great running catches he made in center field for the baseball team. He was a true Warrior and a good friend.

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 football head coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.

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