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New Plaque at Lassen High Athletic Field Honors Namesake Med R. Arnold

Descendants of Med Arnold gather around the new plaque at a dedication ceremony held March 24th.

Arnold Field at Lassen High School was rededicated last Saturday, honoring a man who not only coached two decades of outstanding athletes but who played at Lassen High himself in the early days of the school. Medford R. ‘Med’ Arnold, who was originally honored by the dedication of the new field in April of 1939, directed all sports at the school for more than 20 years, retiring from coaching in 1944 to become Lassen’s Vice Principal.

Among the standouts coached by Arnold were All-American tackle Jack Ellena, Chicago Cubs player Frank Ernaga, and University of California basketball star Ken Doyle – all of whom were protégés of Arnold. All told more than 300 players competed for Arnold during his tenure at Lassen.

From the May 3rd, 1939 edition of the Reno Gazette Journal

Arnold was the grandson of Susanville’s town founder Isaac Roop and the town was named after his mother, Susan Roop Arnold.

Born January 25th, 1885 in the old Arnold home, on a ranch that covered much of modern day Susanville, Arnold graduated from Lassen High in the class of 1907, the first class to complete all four years at the school.

During his time at Lassen Arnold was Student Body President, class poet, athletic manager and a three-sport athlete.

Arnold went to USC on an athletic scholarship and upon returning to Susanville took over the family ranch, was elected Justice of the Peace and later a City Judge.

In his spare time Arnold also managed the town’s baseball team which featured future major-leaguer Finn Barry.

During the 1930’s Arnold conducted City Court early in the morning, taught school during the day and coached sports in the afternoon.

For twenty years Arnold coached with no assistants – football, baseball, track, basketball, boxing, wrestling and tumbling.

Later when Lassen Junior College formed he coached the JC hoop team.

Even after retiring from full-time coaching in 1944 Arnold continued to be influential in local athletics. He coached 6-man football for the college and helped establish Little League baseball in Susanville, serving as the commissioner of the league for many years.

Med Arnold in a photo taken for the 1940 Rays From the Purple Lassen High Yearbook
A track meet is underway in this aerial photo of the newly constructed Arnold Field at Lassen High in 1940.
Arnold Field and the grandstands in the mid 1940’s
Lassen High’s Varsity football team on Arnold Field in 1953
KSUE radio broadcasts a varsity football game from Arnold Field in 1953
Arnold Field from a Lassen High 1964 annual
Susan Arterburn from Chilcoot Monuments installs the plaque at the field in preparation for the rededication



Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor


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