The 1954 football season saw the start of something new. Under the guidance of long-time Del Norte High School educator Irene Knudsen, our first homecoming ceremony was organized the week of Nov. 8, 1954 through Nov. 12.
It saw the student body selecting the first homecoming queen and her court. That year, each class chose their princess, with the senior princess being crowned queen at the football game played Friday night at Pykes Field. The freshman class chose Patty Span as the first freshman princess.
The sophomore princess was Joanne Moore. The juniors selected Jeanne Lewis and the girl who made Del Norte history as their first Homecoming Queen was Evelyn Horn.
When the queen is crowned tonight, she will be the 54th in Del Norte's long line of royalty.
Through the years, homecoming week has featured many different activities, some of which were parades, dances, bonfire rallies, and pep assemblies of various types.
It has always been a fun and exciting time for everyone. Game night was looked forward to for both the game and the halftime ceremony when the queen is crowned.
The team under the direction of Coach Tex Getlin took the field against Arcata. This was early in the long and successful career of Tex.
Only one of the assistant coaches from that game is still with us. Wally Macial, long time Warrior coach with a million fond stories to tell, told me about that night one humorous thing he remembers was when halftime came.
"Tex said, "you take the team to the locker room. I want to go crown the queen," Macial recalled.
I know as a former Warrior player and coach, Wally and Tex will always occupy a very warm place in my heart. I don't personally have any memories of the game since I was vacationing in Korea at the time.
I was able to talk to one of the players in the game, Ston Yackamouih. Ston, who is a partner in the Medicine Shoppe, was a starting defensive back on the 1954 team, but doesn't remember much about the game.
Jokingly, I feel cheated, because I remember talking to Tex about former players and he told me Ston was one of the smartest football players he ever coached. Therefore, it follows he should remember everything about the game 54 years later.
As a coach, I always had mixed feelings about homecoming games. It was always great to see the whole student body rallying around Friday night's activities, but it was often hard to keep the team members focused on the game.
Playing other teams homecoming was always fun, because I expected their coaches probably had the same problems I did. I don't worry anymore and look forward to tonight.
I will get to see the 54th queen crowned and Warrior varsity football head coach Lewis Nova does the best job of keeping players focused of any coach I have ever been associated with. The Warriors are lucky to have him. So tonight is going to be a great evening.
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. Currently, he is head coach of the South Coast Storm semi-pro football team, formerly called the Siskiyou Savages.