Truckee football | 1968 Wolverines snapped four-year winless streak
Special to the Sun
Truckee has received a great deal of well-deserved recognition this year for its remarkable back-to-back undefeated seasons and repeat state championships. The last two years have been the best in the history of Truckee football.
Truckee also had an exceptional run in the mid 1960s, though it was in the wrong direction. Under head coach John Preeda, Truckee had a four-year winless streak and#8212; four long seasons without a single victory.
In 1968 Dale Landon took over the head coaching job. Dale, also known as Dixie, had been a standout linebacker at the University of Nevada and had worked for one year after graduation as an assistant coach on the Nevada football staff.
Dale says that the head coaching job at Truckee was his first and#8220;real job,and#8221; and he sure had a challenge ahead of him turning around the Truckee program. Truckee was in the Pioneer League of the California Interscholastic Federation in those days and faced tough teams from Colusa, Colfax and Wheatland. Dale managed to put together a winning season and Truckee became co-league champs with Colfax.
Dale says that he was very hard on the Truckee players and pushed them to their absolute limit, and that they responded well by earning a share of the league title. Some of the exceptional players that he remembers were Butch Sheehan (Patty Sheehan’s brother), Mike Keechler and Curt Wirst, who he referred to as a and#8220;cowboy.and#8221;
Unfortunately for Truckee, the following year Dale was offered a job coaching the offensive line at UNLV and he left to coach at the college level and never coached high school football again. That 1968 season was important for Truckee because it snapped that four-year winless streak and led to a shared league title.
Besides being a great linebacker, Dale was the intercollegiate heavyweight boxing champion while at UNR. He fought briefly at the professional level. Later in life he became the Nevada State Archery Champion and was a fast-pitch softball pitcher and the best handball player in the state of Nevada. Dale came from Getchell Mine, Nev., and graduated from Winnemucca High School.
Today Dale lives in Reno and is currently on a waiting list for a heart transplant.
and#8212; This article was e-mailed to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at email@example.com.
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