Girls hoops team began back in ‘74

By Dick Trone January 13, 2014 05:08 pm

It was a long time coming and long over due.

The league and the state finally recognized that girls deserved the same opportunity to display and receive recognition for their athletic talents as do the boys.

In 1974 Del Norte High School  put its first girls interscholastic basketball team on the floor. The team was organized and coached by Karen Hintz Baxter, who was a former Warrior that went to Linfield College in Oregon and had an outstanding college career. At Linfield she was a four-year starter in volleyball, basketball and softball.

She returned to Del Norte to teach after graduating from college and was the ideal person to get the girls basketball program off to a good start. The team played a 10-game schedule against league opponents and finished that first year with a 7-3 record.

There were 10 girls on that team. The leader of the team was Sherry Thompson, who is the daughter of Del Norte Hall of Fame Athlete Archie Thompson. Archie just recently passed away and the tribute this community paid this great Warrior was outstanding.

The other nine girls were Melanie Anderson, Lori Love, Kelly Parton, Lanelle Henden, Lori Wilson, Deanne Zimmer, Karla Worker, Debbie Sanderson and Charlene Blackburn. 

Charlene was a freshman and went on to become a member of the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame for her outstanding career in the basketball, volleyball and softball programs.

The 1974 team got things off to a great start and each year a more demanding schedule was played.

In 1976 the team was taken over by a new coach, Wanda Hansen, and by 1977 was playing a schedule closer to what it plays now.

I know with this season now under way, as an avid Warrior fan, I really look forward to watching the 2014 girls perform on the court. It will be an exciting season.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High sports.