A Former Warrior player, and longtime Warrior Booster, Tehachapi Mayor Al Damian was asked to select his
All-Time Warrior Football Team (1940-1990) by the Tehachapi News Sports Staff ...
By Mike Duffy, Tehachapi News Sports Editor
(Originally Published by the Tehachapi News on September 7th, 1992)
When asked by the Tehachapi News sports staff to name an all-time Tehachapi High football team, longtime Warrior booster Al Damian (THS Class of 1946) readily accepted the challenge.
Days later and probably sleepless nights later he came up with “his” team members.
Since growing up in Tehachapi, Damian has seen a lot of good players come and go and just trying to pick one team was just “too hard”.
Al came up with a group of players who caught his eye over the years, but not necessarily by position.
He noted that the in the early days Tehachapi fielded teams with sometimes just 11 players, so naturally, everyone had to play both offense and defense.
After presenting his written list to the Tehachapi News, Damian had this footnote to his selections: “Apologies to many, many more Warriors who are too numerous to mention”.
The ones he did mention go back to the early 1940’s when Darrell Stevens, Wilbur Griffin, and J.R. Warner were standouts on grossly undermanned Warrior football teams.
In the later 40’s, John Barrera was his pick as a top Warrior performer. Also in that era was Frank Hainline and James Anthony.
Damian believes that Tony Elizondo was the top quarterback in Warrior history. “Nobody could run the quarterback reverse like Tony,” Damain explained.
In the 50’s, Dick Fritz popped into mind as a tough rugged lineman. Also in the era he selects Larry Wiggins, Tim Sanders, Jerome Nathan, Pete Galan Sr., and Don Mitchell.
In the time span since, he picks the names of Don Ward, John Valenzuela, Joe Quiroga, and Rudy Muro as well as his late brother, Rudy Damian, who was probably the best punt return man in a Tehachapi uniform.
Some of the most recent backs and lineman that has caught Damian’s eye include Eric Young, Lavail Johnson, Larry Wiggins, Mark Ricker, and Wesley Dearmore.
For a kicker, his nod went to Scott Dye.
Damian concluded by saying that I know that I’ll get in some arguments over this, but this should be for the fun of it.”
The Al Damian All-Time Team:
Pete Galan Sr.