As the Warrior athletic director I always looked forward to basketball season. We got to move inside Thunen Gym and watch a lot of exciting games.
The 1984-85 season was exceptionally fun as both boys and girls teams had exciting winning seasons.
The varsity girls under coach Marty Suva and led by players Gina Zattola, Pam McCovey, Stacie Hartwick and Sandy Wetzel posted a 15-win, 9-loss record.
On the boys side all three teams freshmen, junior varsity and varsity had impressive winning records.
The varsity under Hall of Fame coach Dale Thomas went 17 wins 6 losses for the total season and 10-2 during league to finish in second place. The freshmen led by coach Don Olson who is now our superintendent, posted at 14-3 record.
The group I remember best from that season was our junior varsity team, as they had an 18-3 overall record and an 11-1 league mark to claim the league championship. The team, coached by Steve Shellebarger, who I coach with in football, had as one of its team leaders a sophomore named Blaine Lopez.
Blaine had taken over the starting varsity quarterback position as a sophomore, and as a Warrior coach I was excited about his future. We got to watch him for two more seasons in football, basketball and baseball, and now we get to watch him as our head varsity basketball coach and as an assistant in the varsity football program.
Blaine also did a tour as the head varsity baseball coach.
When Blaine graduated from Del Norte he first went to College of the Redwoods, where he took over the starting quarterback position and led CR to two league championships. From CR he then went to Saint Mary’s of the Plains in Kansas, where he again took over as quarterback and led the Cavaliers to two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics playoff berths.
He was fun to watch back then and fun to watch now. He is a classy young man, teacher and coach who really cares about the youth of Del Norte.