Like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, "there's no place like home." And for the Warriors, playing on the mountain has proved to be anything but the Land of Oz.
In 1958, the Warriors made the short move east from Imhof Field to the new Coy Burnett Field. Mr. Coy Burnett was the President of the Monolith Cement Company in Tehachapi (now known as Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.) and played a critical role in the development of the new athletic field.
The first game at Coy Burnett Field was on Saturday afternoon, October 4, 1958. Fullback Jerry Rymel scored the first touchdown for the Warriors in a 39-0 blanking of Strathmore. The field was "officially" dedicated the following week on Saturday, October 11, in a homecoming game against Trona. In a game against the eventual league champions, Trona and Tehachapi played to a 19-19 tie.
From 1958 through the 2009 season, the Warriors have a record of 228-60-6 at Coy Burnett. Not too shabby tinman!
There have been many reasons cited why the Warriors are so successful at home. Some claim its the mountain ... playing at a 4,000 foot elevation can make for thinner air, and many opponents find themselves gasping for air and suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome by the fourth quarter of play.
Some say its the long bus ride most teams have to make to get to Tehachapi to play the Warriors.
Others claim that games played deep into the season, say November or December, give the Warriors a distinct advantage because the local boys are used to the bone chilling mountain air, an occasional wind swept game (complete with rain and/or sleet), or a little mountain football in the snow.
And yet some visitors become downright comical claiming the passing choo choo trains, with their loud engines, and musical horns disrupt the field of play. The locals don't even notice (or hear) the passing Santa Fe's.
Whatever the reason, the Warriors are tough to beat on the mountain. Let the scarecrow try to explain why? Consider some of these facts at Coy Burnett ...
Since 1958, the Warriors have won over 80% of their home games.
Since 1958, the Warriors have only had ONE losing season (1995) at home!
Between 1993 and 2000, the Warriors won 37 of 41 home games!
The Warriors once won 21 straight home games at Coy Burnett during the 1988, 1989, and 1990 seasons!
Another time, the Warriors won 15 straight home games between the 1971 and 1973 seasons!
Between 1962 and 1969, the Warriors had a streak where they only lost four times in 29 home games.
In CIF post-season playoff games, usually held in late November - early December, the Warriors have won 37 of 45 games.
In Tehachapi, the Warriors always play with the heart of a lion. Yes Dorothy, there's no place like home. And for the Warrior faithful, Coy Burnett is starting to look a lot like Kansas.
|1950's||5||4||1||Coy Burnett Field dedicated in 1958.|
Vintage picture during the construction phase of Coy Burnett Field in 1957. The field was done in time for the 1958 season.