Bill Choy, The Triplicate

Season begins on March 17 for DN

When the Del Norte High track and field squad begins competing in March, it will be a new start in more ways than one.

Longtime assistant coach Samuel Escobar will take over head coaching duties from previous coach Robyn Parker.

And for the first time in several years, the team will have new uniforms better designed for the rainy condition on the North Coast. The team is also continuing to raise funds for workout uniforms.

The previous uniforms were "old and well worn," Escobar said, and it

was time for a change. The new gear should arrive in March before the

start of the season.

To raise the funds for the approximately 45 new uniforms, Escobar

went to friends, family members of kids on the team and local sponsors

to help raise the money. Sponsors included the Smith River Rancheria,

Alexandre Eco-Dairy, David Cink and Larry Eninger of Pacific Vision

Medical Center and Bill Cochran.

Escobar said the new uniforms are a significant upgrade and look

great. They give team members a nice confidence boost by "looking good

out there." It's important for the track program to have uniforms "that

will last" and can be used for many years to come, he said.

The new tops are "compressed tops" which "keep the body warm and keep the muscles warm," Escobar said.

In the past, with the rainy weather in the area, team members have

gotten cold during meets. The new uniforms will help keep them toasty,

which will hopefully help them with their performance on the track,

Escobar said.

Del Norte opens the season March 17 at a meet in Brookings and will have its home opener March 29.

Escobar will be assisted this year by George Hartman, Doug Wakefield and Fred Victor.

Del Norte had a successful season in 2011. The girls team took first

overall at the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference Championships. Morgan

Laney, who will be a senior this year, earned a berth in state in the

shot put. A total of eight Warriors earned berths to the Northcoast

Section Meet of Champions, which is one step away from state.

Escobar is currently trying to raise more funds for new warm-up gear

that will be water-proof. The new workout gear will let the team

practice during colder and wetter conditions, he said.

People interested in donating for the warm-ups can call Escobar

weekdays at his office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 464-0750. He can also be

reached at home at 465-6945.

Reach Bill Choy at