Remembrance ofa very special fan

September 21, 2007 12:00 am

Dick Trone

Over 60 years, and contests that numbered into the thousands is how I remember a very special person that was so much a part of the Warrior scene.

Ray Mattz, a 1938 graduate of Del Norte High School was never very far from the school he loved.

During his high school career Ray played football, basketball and baseball for the Warriors under the watchful eye of legendary Warrior coach Ed Fraser.

When his playing days were over, Ray became very involved in officiating sporting events, especially baseball.

For years, he umpired baseball games for the high school and for the old Crescent City Merchants team. He was so well known for his umpiring that a letter arrived at the Crescent City Post Office addressed only to the umpire. It went without question right into the Ray Mattz mail box.

As a player, coach and fan of the Warriors for more than 50 years, the thing I remember most was no matter how good we were record wise or where we were playing, Ray would be there.

We did not have to see him because we could always hear him. He kept both the officials and the coaches on their toes.

No matter how much he yelled during a contest, as soon as the game was over, no matter what the outcome, he was there with a pat on the back and positive comments to both officials and coaches.

Ray did have certain referres that he liked to ride a little more than others. One that I will only refer to as Bob was at the top of his list. I still remember a humorous incident that occured a couple of years after I retired from coaching at the high school.

It was halftime of a football game and as I was walking toward the snack bar Ray came up to me and his first comment was "Bob is killing us." I said "Ray, Bob is not working the game here tonight." He said "that's OK, I know he is working somewhere."

Later, when I relayed this message to Bob, he laughed and told me how much respect he had for Ray as they had known each other for years.

In 1997 a great athlete, official, fan, father, logger and friend passed away. I especially and Warrior fans in general will always miss him.

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 Siskyiou Savages semi-pro football team.