Personal Histories

Bob Wills History

Fortuna High School Basketball

The Fortuna High School has long been recognized for its basketball teams and players. The contribution to the elite of the undefeated 1945 lightweight team accredited them even more. Unfortunately, due to the war in progress and the lack of travel funds, it could not be tested to its full potential.

1945 FUHS basketball team, click to enlarge.

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Shown in the above photo are basketeers who went through the 1945 Humboldt County C.I.F. lightweight basketball campaign without suffering a defeat. The quintet, Coach Bob Damon's Fortuna high school limiteds, tallied 314 points to their opponents 192 during the league season.
Pictured above, front row, left to right--Le Roy Glass, Bob Wills, Jerry Comfort, Kenneth Dunaway and John Gianotti.
Back row, left to right, Coach Bob Damon, Dick Damon, Dick Walker, Harold Neville, Dale Skiffington, Bill Forrest and Conrad Neville.

There wasn't any uncertainty that in any day of the week we could beat any of the five man teams in the Humboldt locale. The only gigantic test was against the Del Norte team in Crescent City. Bear in mind that we were not amateurs. We were, and we probably showed it in our impudence, as good as it gets in high school. We were experienced players and rarely sent any opponents to the foul line. However, in a not so hospitable gesture, Crescent City started its seven-man team. And still being unkind, they were left in for most of the game. I mentioned, "for most of the game?" The game was the only one that the Fortuna team did not complete that year. I'm certain that two of their players were much too old for the CIF. Had it been in the modern age, they would have had to wear black and white shirts. Fortuna had the monopoly on the fouls committed that night. We couldn't do anything right. Even I, who never had any animosity against anyone, was within one of getting the boot. The game ended when Coach Bob Damon, a congenial man who I don't think knew the meaning of anger, said, "enough is plenty." I don't really recall his exact words. I added the, "enough is plenty."


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