It is always fun for me to look back at the 1982 Warrior football team.
This was the team that won the Humboldt-Del Norte League title and became the first Warrior team to represent the Del Norte in the Northcoast Section football playoffs.
It was a team that entered the last game of the regular season needing a victory over Arcata to win the league. A win by Arcata would put them in the playoffs. The Warriors overcame a seven-point Arcata lead late in the game and won 8-7 on a successful two-point conversion.
The team featured several outstanding skill players, like quarterback Reece Stacy, running back Jason Seybold and wide receiver Terry Vance, but one young man that really helped the Warriors was lineman Mike Crager.
All too often lineman don't get the credit they deserve. Mike's outstanding play during the whole season won him first team all-league honors. Mike started his Warrior football career as a freshman playing on the junior varsity team. As a sophomore he moved to the varsity, where he became a three-year letterman.
When football seasons ended, Mike took his talents to the basketball court. As a freshman on the JV basketball team, coached by Steve Shellabarger, Mike was named Most Outstanding JV. This was a mark of the effort you could always expect from this young man. As a sophomore, he moved to the varsity, and by the time he was a senior he was part of a Warrior team that had a 20-win, five-loss record under coach Dale Thomas.
Right after graduation Mike entered the Air Force, where he served 21 years. During his Air Force career he served in Operation Desert Storm. Mike is retired from the Air Force and now lives in San Antonio, Texas. He is married to wife Chris and they have 2 children and one grandchild. Mike now works for the federal government in a high-security job. This is one more tribute to the great character of this former Warrior.
It was a real treat to have been one of Mike's coaches; he is one that all of Del Norte can remember with pride.