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Warrior Memories: Warrior Morgan played them all

When you look at the old red and white Warrior blanket that used to be on display in the Del Norte High School gym, the name Morgan appears two years in a row under basketball. Don Morgan in 1950 and Leon Morgan in 1951. 

The Morgan brothers were both excellent basketball players.  A few weeks ago I wrote about Leon. This week I get to write about Don.  While Don’s name appears on the blanket for basketball, it could in all honesty appear under football, baseball and track as well.  Don was a real multi-talented athlete. 

He started for the Warrior football team in his sophomore, junior and senior years, playing both offense and defense. I still remember one day in practice where his wonderful smile suffered a critical blow. Two front teeth got knocked out. This was tragic as he was famous for his laugh and smile. Phony teeth replaced the originals so his fame could continue.

Don was a starter on the varsity basketball team for three years and was all-league and the team’s top scorer during his junior and senior years.  I used to shoot Don for Fudge Sickles before practice and am still in debt for about 50. I pay my debt by buying Fudge Sickles in his name and eating them myself.

During baseball season Don played for the varsity for four years. He was an excellent outfielder during his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He took to the mound as a senior and pitched the Warriors to an undefeated league championship.  I was his catcher and he threw the ball so hard I always used a thick sponge in my mitt and still had a swollen hand. He had real potential. 

In track he ran the mile.  This was not his favorite sport, but he still always placed high in the league.

After graduation Don went to Southern Oregon College in  Ashland, where he planned to continue his athletic career.  During his first season in college he suffered a serious knee injury that ended what was probably a good chance at making it in pro baseball.

Don dropped out of college, returned to Crescent City and married his high school sweetheart. They had three kids, Mike, Shannon and Clay. 

He was working on the mill pond for McNamara and Peepe but got tired of falling into the water and decided that was not what he wanted to do the rest of his life. So he moved to Klamath Falls and enrolled at Oregon Technical Institute.  His training there launched him into a successful lifelong career in the laundry and dry cleaning business. 

He also spent a lot of time as a volunteer coach in youth programs in Port Orchard, Washington.

 Don is now retired, lives in Washington and enjoys his kids, grandkids and watching sports. He has always been a very special friend and teammate and a great ex-Warrior.

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.

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