In the days of leather helmets

By Dick Trone August 19, 2013 03:04 pm

With another Warrior football season about to stand, it is fun to look back at the difference this year’s players will face as they don their gear in the locker room, as compared to what we did when I put on a football uniform 65 years ago. 

Our pants were khaki-colored, and we wore these same pants for practice and games, even though our colors were red and white then. These bulky pants had all of your lower body pads built in. Thigh and knee pads went on at the same time you pulled your pants up. 

The shoulder pads were made of leather and were about twice as heavy as today’s pads, while not providing nearly the protection that the modern ones do. 

The helmets were also made of leather and were painted white. They did not have face masks; broken noses and lost teeth were common. 

Our game jerseys were red with white trim and were made of wool. We wore these game jerseys both home and away. What made these even more uncomfortable  than just being wool was that they had a long tail that went between your legs and buttoned in the front so you could never get your shirttail pulled out. 

It was not until the 1949 season that we got more modern pants and jerseys. The pants were white and the shirts were red. Pads had to be inserted into the pants, just like now.

When we hit the field, it was also much different than now. We played the old T formation that was just becoming popular. Center, two guards, two tackles and two ends lined up side-by-side — no wide receivers like we see now. The QB was under center with the fullback behind him and the halfback on each side of the fullback. Everybody we played lined up in the same way. 

It was different, but we had fun. I have to admit I like modern offenses much better. 

During my 36 years of coaching it was exciting to experience all the changes. I like all Warrior fans look forward to seeing this year’s Warrior team take the field on Sept. 6 against McKinleyville as we enjoy another exciting year of Warrior football.

We also get to welcome the 2013 Hall of Fame Class into the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime of that game.