Warrior Memories: Yurok elder and Hall of Famer Archie Thompson

By Dick Trone March 25, 2011 04:56 pm

As a young boy still attending Crescent Elk, I used to look at the old red and white Del Norte High Warrior blanket that hung at the end of the old high school gym and dream about having my name there with the outstanding athletes from the past.

Some of the names I knew and some I only wished I knew. One person whose name is there, I finally had the privilege of meeting when he was inducted into the Del Norte High School Athletic Hall of Fame last football season. That person was 1939 graduate Archie Thompson. What a treat it was.

Archie’s name appears on the blanket for his outstanding play in basketball, but he was much more than a basketball player. He was a true multi-sport athlete, earning varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. His prowess as an excellent performer in all these sports resulted in his being honored as the outstanding senior male athlete at the end of his senior year.

Archie is a full-blooded Yurok and is very proud of his heritage. Through the years he has been very active in helping to keep the traditions of his Native American culture alive.

While Archie is in his 90s his mind is still sharp. For years you could see him at almost all home basketball games. He had his own favorite place to sit. I wish I had known who he was, as I missed out on getting to know a real Warrior legend.

He is a tribute to both the Warrior family and his Yurok heritage. With the great sense of humor he displayed at the Hall of Fame induction, he had to be a great teammate.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, 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.