Warrior Memories: Big man, big heart, big game

Written by Dick Trone November 19, 2012 05:31 pm

In the fall of 1947, as I entered Del Norte High School, I remember being nervous, like many new Warrior boys. 

At that time it was before the laws regarding hazing or at least before there was a real effort to eliminate it. The upperclassmen had the reputation for making life a little miserable for incoming freshman boys. 

I found that this was more than a rumor, but I remember one senior boy, who I will always remember with the utmost respect, and he is Wayne Miller. Wayne was a multi-talented athlete and was also a respected student leader. He treated everyone with respect including freshmen. When Wayne was a freshman he was elected a class officer by his classmates, and the respect his classmates had for him carried on for his entire school career as he was regularly selected to serve his class.

Wayne was a big, strong young man that excelled in the athletic arenas. During his time as a Warrior he won varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. He started his Warrior athletic career as a sophomore making the varsity basketball and track team. 

As a junior he became the starting center on the varsity football team. This was only the second 11-man football team to be fielded by Del Norte in several years. The team was coached by Phil Crawford, who was only here for one year. 

Wayne also played varsity basketball and baseball as a junior. As a basketball player, he played for my dad, Shirley Trone, who coached the team that year, and I know the respect my dad had for Wayne.

As a senior, Wayne started the year as a starting running back for the varsity football team. His switch from starting center in his junior year to fullback as a senior is a tribute to Wayne’s athletic ability. He also continued his basketball and baseball career as a senior.

After Wayne graduated, he joined the Air Force, where he served for 10 years. He served all over the country then ended up in Klamath. After leaving the service, Wayne went into the milk delivery business here in Crescent City. Wayne married Del Norte graduate Arlene Shalmadine and they have five children: Marvin, Pam, Dana, Patrick and Leslie. 

I will always be grateful for the help this former Warrior gave me as I started my Warrior career. He really pointed me in the right direction.