Dick Johnson was recognized before the recent Shafter-Tehachapi game by the Tehachapi Unified School District and the Warrior Booster Club. Now and forever, Coy Burnett Field will be home to the new R.M “Dick” Johnson Press Box. Photo by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

Dick Johnson Recognized By
TUSD and the Warrior Booster Club

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News on October 20, 2008

To the causal observer, local icon R.M. “Dick” Johnson is a quiet, humble man that has attended countless local athletic events over a 60-year time frame.

He does not embrace the spotlight. In fact, if he had it his way he would rather celebrate the accomplishment of others.

However, after many years of dedication, Mr. Johnson can no longer hide. His vital role in local sports interest, and his heart for local youth, can no longer be ignored.

Before the homecoming game against Shafter, the Tehachapi Unified School District, Board of Trustees and Warrior Booster Club honored Dick Johnson with a press box sign and a certificate of appreciation for many years of dedicated service.

Now and forever, Coy Burnett Field will be home to the R.M “Dick” Johnson Press Box.

“It was a joy for our family to be able to see this all happen,” said daughter-and-law Pam Johnson. “Everyone could see how supportive Dick has been over the years. He was moved. You could see that it was a great honor for him.”

Dick Johnson’s father, Walter, bought the Tehachapi News in 1943, starting a rich tradition of local coverage for the majority of the 20th century. Dick Johnson served as the Warrior quarterback his senior year of high school in 1945, and soon after graduating became a fixture of sports coverage for both Bakersfield and Tehachapi.

“Probably my greatest sports memory early on was watching Bakersfield College beat Dixie-Utah 91-0,” recalled Dick Johnson. “I remember Frank Gifford running wild in that game. He was something.”

Johnson still goes to as many games as possible to this day in football, baseball, softball and basketball.

“He’s an icon in our town,” said Tehachapi councilmen Ed Grimes. “He really deserves this recognition and it really was an honor to be apart of it at the game.”

Overall, there is no doubt that Dick Johnson cares for all Tehachapi kids, as our written history proves.

“He really follows our youth, he gets to know them,” added Pam Johnson. “He really wants them to do well and he follows their accomplishments in high school and beyond. He's a humble man that loves Tehachapi. He loves the kids.”

Dick Johnson #7 (second from right) was a senior on the 1945-46 Warrior basketball team that won the school's first league championship in the old South Sierra League. Tehachapi lost to Dos Palos in the San Joaquin Valley finals, 32-31, their only loss of the 1945-46 season.

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