By Dick Trone
One of the most fun things for me about writing these articles is looking back at some of my own experiences as a Warrior.
One event that has always been a part of my memory occured during my sophomore year. This was my first time putting on a football uniform. This was 1948, the last year that they had high school vs alumni scrimmages. I still remember putting on the red and white jersey and the uncomfortable tan pants and trotting out on the field on Saturday afternoon to face legends from the past.
I had always pictured myself as an end, but coach Brick Bralich could see we had two ends better than me, Don Morgan and Henry Smith. He decided to make me a tackle. I was a skinny kid of 150 pounds with no football experience.
I will always remember lining up across from Toby Mello, a player from the past with a great football reputation. When I looked across the line at him he looked big enough to eat hay. He didn't have to eat hay that day as he had me for lunch. I got to know Toby later and found out what a fun guy he really was.
I don't remember all the players on the alumni, but I will never forget a running back they had by the name of Byron Wilson.
Byron transferred to Weed High School in his senior year so he could play football since Del Norte did not have a regular team because of the war, so by the time I moved to Crescent City he had finished his high school career.
I heard over and over what a great athlete he was in both football and basketball during the Ed Fraser coaching era. The performance he put on running the football that day convinced me it was true. No score was kept but the alumni dominated. It was easy to see how he came by his high school nickname of
In a football uniform on the football field he could really boogie. Byron blames John Fraser for the Boogie tag.
After graduation he went on to college and became a pharmacist. Byron returned to Crescent City and opened Pacific Drug which he owned and operated until his retirement.
For me to be able to look back and say I did get to see him run the football was special. I can see why fans from my generation look back and say Byron 'Boogie' Wilson was special.
Alumni contests in basketball and baseball went on for many more years. Being part of that final chapter in Warrior football history is a treasured memory. Del Norte first started a freshman football program he and Darwin were the coaches. In this program Darwin was the head and Ron the assistant.
I had the privilege of working with Ron for several years at the high school. He is a person that was born to be a teacher and a coach. His real concern for young people was such that anyone that had him for a teacher was not going to forget him.
His sense of humor and mischievous nature could keep the teacher faculty room from becoming to serious. He is a true professional in every respect.
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 Wild Rivers Storm semi-pro football team.