It was a disappointing ending for the Del Norte Warriors, but they still had plenty to celebrate on Saturday night.
As head coach Nick White said afterwards, “our season was awesome.”
It was indeed a football season for the ages for the school, as the Warriors reached a first-ever state championship game, which they got to host, just weeks after winning a first-ever North Coast Section championship.
On Saturday, they fell 32-7 to El Monte in the state 5-AA championship game in front of a huge crowd at Mike Whalen Field in Crescent City, with turnovers costly going up against a team White described as the best Del Norte has faced all year.
“It came down to we lost the turnover battle, which was huge going into a game like this,” the head coach said. “And we didn’t make the best of the opportunities that came our way.”
The visitors led 18-0 at halftime and 26-0 early in the fourth.
Levi Cox Cooley scored the Warriors’ only TD on a late run.
The Warriors close out their most successful season ever with a record of 13-2.
“The kids played as hard as they could, I’m so proud of them,” White said. “It was a great season. We celebrated after the game. Our season was awesome.”
The community appeared to enjoy the season too, with a huge crowd showing up for the historic first-ever state bowl game in the county.
“The whole community showed support,” said White, who estimated there were 5,000 people at the game.