Gene Tonascia was a three-sport star at Napa High School. As a freshman, he played C basketball; as a sophomore, B basketball and B football, and as a junior and senior he played varsity basketball and football. In addition, he was a four-year starter on Napa High varsity baseball teams. He was Captain of the 1943 baseball team. Tonascia was named outstanding back on the 1942 North Bay League co-championship football team. He was an excellent runner and a strong defensive player. He capped off an outstanding football career by intercepting a pass deep in Napa territory after Jim Dykes’ field goal had given Napa a 3-0 lead in the 1942 Big Game against Vallejo. Tonascia’s interception preserved the victory for Napa. Tonascia was 1942-43 Athlete of the Year, recipient of the Blue Blanket Award for his fourth athletic letter, and Student Body President. After graduation, Tonascia went into the Service and became a naval aviator and was an officer on the aircraft carrier U.S. Princeton.