Ernie Sander was a three-sport athlete at Napa High School for four years, excelling in football, basketball and track. He was also president of the Student Body. A two-time All-North Bay League fullback in football, Sander was also a high jumper, broad jumper and discus thrower on the track team, in addition to being a starter on the basketball team. Sander was the outstanding player for the Napa football team when they lost to Vallejo in 1936. Several of the players on that team vowed to walk home from Vallejo if they lost – and true to their word – Sander and several others walked all the way to Napa after the game. Sander was a varsity basketball player for four years. The 1936-37 team tied for the league championship, but six members of the team, including Sander, graduated in February and their replacements lost the playoff game against Santa Rosa. The 1935 and 1936 football teams at Napa High had Ernie Sander at fullback, Emil Sander at guard, and Ed Sander at end and it is believed to have been the first time three brothers started for a Napa High team. Sander went on to play football at Sacramento Junior College for two years, and rowed with the varsity crew. Military service ended his athletic career. Sander was been a successful and highly respected businessman in Napa for many years.