Coastal Voices: Coach thanks community

By Ray Rook May 20, 2011 08:04 pm

As the head football coach at Del Norte High School, I’m very excited about the opportunity to be associated with our community, its coaches and staff as well as our fine student athletes.

The Del Norte football program has established a strong winning tradition over the years. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our teams and athletes and look forward to the opportunity to continue to build and grow on its foundation that has been set by many that have come before us.  The entire staff takes great pride in its role as part of the educational process provided by the Del Norte Unified School District.

As we continue the pride and tradition, we strive for our football program to be respected as one of the best in the state. Athletics has a tremendous opportunity to affect the lives of our students in a positive manner. It is our obligation to provide our student athletes with a program that leads to success in the future. The time and commitment it takes to grow this program is a true tribute to the athletes, coaches, teachers, families and businesses that make up our great community.

During this last year, our athletes were able to become involved in our community. Our goal was to be visible inside community-oriented programs to help and share, with events such as the Orick Rodeo, setting up for Relay for Life, and setting up and taking down the Lighthouse Quilt Show.

We had a group of players help at the Fire Awareness field trip for elementary students; we had a group go to the Smith River Community Center to serve the elders lunch. We sent some players and coaches to help at Del Norte Youth Football practice. We also, along with other athletic programs here at the high school, are taking part in the Fight Meth campaign by wearing T-shirts stating “Fight Meth” together.

Obviously these great things that these young men accomplish, and life lessons they gain, don’t happen without funding. In 2010 we were able to establish a football booster club. The club is made up of parents and folks from around the community. Together they were able to come up with new and innovative ideas to earn funding for this program.

Along with the boosters we have had several donors from outside the program. Some of the most significant items that the donated funds allowed us to purchase were the new uniforms, upgraded headsets and other gear. We were also able to improve our blocking sleds, and offset travel costs.

Another huge item of donation was the food. A lot of food. Not only do the parents volunteer time and money each Thursday evening for a pre-game dinner, every Friday we have deli sandwiches, Gatorade, and fruit at halftime. Last year to cap off the food donations were two wonderful dinners prepared for the program. One being prior to the Hall Of Fame game, sponsored by Elk Valley Rancheria, the other dinner was prior to senior night prepared by the Luis family.

The following is a list of all of the fine people and business that either donated money or time to the Warrior football program:

The Del Norte Football Booster Club and its board, Phil Jamison, John and Donna Pritchett, Ron and Karen Plechety, Clarke Ducart, Felicia Roberts, Sandy Cardoza, and all the members, volunteers that helped with booster activities.

Del Norte Youth Football, Alyssa’s Coffee, Northwood’s Restaurant, Mor Jon INC, Cal-Ore Life Flight, Nick Perez, Angie Galindo, Gabe Lopez, Don and Debbie Brooks, Sean and Tami McClafflin, CCPOA, Elk Valley Rancheria, Crescent Fire Protection District, Crescent Ace Hardware, Snoozie Shavings, Wal-mart, Safeway, Ray’s, Pizza Hut, Tony Luis Sr, Floyd Classen.

Sutter Coast Hospital, Champion Awards & Engraving, The Mail Room, Hemmingson Construction, Sport & Cycle, Cal Auto Image, Home Depot, Carlene Lacy and Red Chair Photography, Mike Coopman Guide Service and the people who donated under the Warrior Challenge fundraiser.

Perhaps the biggest thank-you is to the families and spouses of our coaching staff; our staff puts in countless hours during the season and off-season. Without the support of their spouses and families this great season we had does not happen.

First of all I want to thank my wife Trisha, and my family, Nat Parrott, Marc Slayton, Fritz Baldwin, Bob Hoymen, Joe Baugh, Mike Coopman, Gene Mitchell, Rod Shellabarger, Nick White, Chris White, Jeremy Lacy, Darren Lafazio, Dan Adams, Rick Kelly, Brad Kime, and most of all Wendy Terry, Cori Allen, Jessica Turner, and Coreen Coopman.

As I close, it is almost impossible to thank everyone who donated time or money to this program. I believe the most important people to thank are those of you who attend not only football games, but also all of the athletic events at the high school.

It is very exciting and an honor to be part of a Friday night at Mike Whalen Field for us. We hope to continue to produce a team under the Warrior pride and tradition that is such a great part of our community.

Ray Rook is head football coach at Del Norte High School.