Better track facilities than the old days

By Dick Trone March 03, 2014 06:22 pm

With the start of spring sports at Del Norte High School, I couldn’t help looking back at how they were when I was a
Warrior.

Now when I go to a Warrior track meet I see a large group of boys and girls running on a beautiful all-weather track or high jumping or pole vaulting with great foam- and air-filled pads to land on. This is a great change.

When I was a Warrior, only boys had the privilege of competing interscholastically. League athletic schedules were made in such a way that you were able to compete in both baseball and track and there were many that did both.

In those days all races were measured in yards instead of meters as they are now. It was the 100-yard dash or the mile run. We ran on a dirt track that was not always in good shape with our spring weather.

We would often try to find a pathway around the track that was not covered in water or very muddy. The jumping pits were filled with sawdust, which did not make for a very soft landing.

In my junior year, the track program was taken over by first-year head coach Chuck DeAutremont, who like most coaches had to coach everything. He was head coach for football, basketball, baseball and track. That was a pretty heavy schedule since he had to teach also.

Under his leadership and using some of the funds raised by the boxing smokers that he started, he took the track team to the University of Oregon in Eugene to compete in the Hayward Relays.

This was a big relay meet that featured the best high schools in Oregon. What a treat it was to go into a great stadium and run on a great cinder track. At the time cinder tracks were considered the top of the line.

Old Warriors that I talk to that had that experience are still thankful, I know I sure am, but I am more thankful to be able to see both boys and girls experiencing track competition on Del Norte High School’s great track facility.

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