Terry Edwards: 'Warrior of the Century'
Mountain Tales: First-hand stories of life in Tehachapi
April 2, 2022
Terry Edwards was the definition of a superfan. He was the undisputed "Warrior of the Century." This devoted Tehachapi High School athletics fan attended 413 Warrior football games in a row – he didn't missed a single game in more than 30 years, ever since he went to a contest against the Bishop Broncos on Halloween, 1980. That included every single away game as well as home games.
On two separate occasions when he was visiting his daughter Rocki, in Seattle, he drove home to Tehachapi, watched a game against arch rival Garces, and then drove back up to Washington again. He also attended basketball games and was probably the only non-parent to regularly attend away baseball games. As a devoted (and boisterous!) fan, Terry was simply in a class by himself – no one even comes close to his perfect attendance streak.
Terry Edwards was born at home in Monolith in a converted box car on May 18, 1934, the youngest child of Lou and Esther Edwards, delivered by Drs. Harold and Madge Schlotthauer, who also delivered Terry's son Brian in 1965. The family moved into Tehachapi and Terry attended Wells Elementary School from K-8 (no junior high in those days) and graduated from THS in 1952, playing baseball and basketball.
He had the tremendous good fortune to marry another Tehachapi local, Terisa King in 1959, becoming Terry and Teri Edwards, and they had children Brian and Rocki and six grandchildren. Terry worked for the Monolith Portland Cement Company from 1952-69, then went to CCI as an electrician, eventually becoming chief engineer. Both Terry and Teri retired from CCI on December 30, 1992.
Terry Edwards enjoyed supporting THS athletics and cheering teams on in their battles for decades, but he found himself in his own battle for his very life in 2012, due to complications resulting from a rare form of Paget's disease. Terry spent 73 days in the hospital, fighting a fungal infection, blood clot, kidney failure and two bouts of pneumonia. "My wife Terisa is the reason I'm alive today," Terry said emphatically. "She's a cross between Florence Nightingale and Joe Arpaio: she gives me love when I need it, and kicks my butt when I need it too." With Terisa's help, Terry clawed his way back to life and reached the incredible milestone of attending 413 Warrior games in a row.
Terry first started going to Warrior games in the 1940s when they were held on Saturdays, because they were played on Imhoff Field and there were no lights. By the time Monolith donated land and cement to make Coy Burnett Stadium in the 1960s, Terry was an electrician and he helped Jerome Warner and others install the lights at the field. He had already been going to Warrior games for more than 30 years before he even started his unbroken streak in 1980.
Terry was a fixture at Warrior games, and you always knew he was there -- he didn't just sit there quietly, he shouted and cheered and hollered throughout the whole game. He and Terisa went to games together for decades, then in later years Terry went with his longtime friend Ed Grimes, the former Tehachapi mayor, the "Voice of the Warriors" who was the longtime THS announcer. When Terry's perfect attendance began, no one in the stands owned a cell phone, or had CD players in their cars, or had heard of a digital camera. The world changed much over the years, but there was one constant: every autumn Friday night, Terry Edwards was cheering on the Warriors.
Terry, we still love and remember you, we salute your enthusiasm and dedication, and we honor this amusing, inspiring and loveable hometown boy – Go Warriors!
Terry Edwards, 80, passed away in 2014. After his viewing streak reached 400 games, he had M & M Sports make him a Warrior jacket with the words "400 Club" on the back – an extremely exclusive club that is likely to remain a club of one.