Ernie Thormahlen was a three-sport star at Napa High from 1934 to 1937. His track exploits included participation in the 440-yard dash, 880-yard run and football throw. He was Captain of the 1936 track team. In three years of varsity competition on Napa High’s football team, Thormahlen played tackle and end. After a disappointing 1936 season and a final game loss to Vallejo, Thormahlen and several of his teammates fulfilled a promise and walked the entire fourteen mile distance from Vallejo to Napa after the game. In basketball, Thormahlen played guard as a sophomore and center in his junior and senior years. He was Captain of the 1935-36 team and was an outstanding ball handler and scorer. He was one of six players to graduate in January of 1937. The team tied Santa Rosa for the championship, but lost in a playoff after graduation. Thormahlen was President of his junior class and was awarded a sports blanket from Napa High, symbolic of his athletic and leadership qualities. His contemporaries have said that Thormahlen was the best all-around athlete of his era. He continued his athletic career at Sacramento State, where he played football, basketball, track and added boxing and crew to his list of achievements.