Watching notable athletic performances these past months has been a sporting aficionado’s delight.
The World Cup Soccer Championships, Tour de France, USA Swimming Championships, US Open Golf and Tennis Championships, US Open Surfing Championships, X-Games, World Series and as always colorful football, were each an impact of excitement, with players’ faces portraying that tense desire to win.
With setbacks, many athletes earn public and faithful admirers. However, nothing can compare to those honors bestowed upon the victorious. Just note the facial and body language of the winners of the World Cup Soccer Championships. Also, note the emotional expressions of high school and college football players after their onslaught of highly successful team victories. It says it all...
Participation in sports allows one a taste of such feelings. Coaches know this, as do those San Clemente surfing locals who participated in the competitive US Open Surfing Championships. Certainly Mike Losness, three time NSSA national champion from San Clemente, had to share in those spirited moments. His was a stunning performance against some of the world’s best surfers in a contest of 288 entries, placing a highly impressive third in the intense contest. He earned over 1,800 new WQT points. Mike also added a first place victory in the daring aerial show, defeating Ventura’s ace Dane Reynolds and skilled D.Fletcher of San Clemente earning Losness additional laurels.
As the Press stated, “Quiet Mike Losness, the underdog with a big bite! “, knocking off 5 or 6 WCT stars with his soft classic style.
Janice Aragon, NSSA Director, said it best about Mike. “You know, it was San Clemente High school’s Mike Losness who opened the doors once again for its now outstanding surfing teams, along with the Long Brothers and Nate Yeomans. Losness finally tumbled to two-time winner and an equally classic style surfer Rob Machado of Carlsbad. The crowd was thrilled by the duel of these quiet gifted surfers who let their boards do the talking for this picturesque contest.”
Plaudits are in order as well to that band of surfers from San Clemente the Gudaukas brothers and Nate Yeomans who added quality of presence to this colorful open championship. Still, it was Michael Losness’ iron will and perfectionist attitude that led him to capture those ranking honors...
Having What it Takes
Sometimes just participating can almost equal a victory.(Like Leonidas and the Spartans at Thermopylae.) Participation challenges one to center attention on the heats, and keep positive even though confronted by setbacks. Eventual success is the thrust for motivation, and while competitive surfing is a fun, challenging sport, success comes only with thoughtful planning in practice and those important heats. It is certainly not by so called luck, as success is sometimes unjustly labeled. Sound planning and practices that carry an objective are what good surfers have learned will overcome inseparable negative odds.
It is this that makes viewers take time to honor them with public adulation paying them unsung honors as they watch them surf beach front arenas. Silent nods, a turning of heads convey complements. No medals, no trophies, no flowers here, only quiet gestures in recognition of their gifted talents...
San Clemente High News
These athletic actions are an integral part of San Clemente High school’s make-up. Coaches and supportive parents there work together to make it possible. “Good coaches make for good athletes, while good athletes in turn help make good coaches”, an old truth.
In the high school’s cross country league, Alex Dunne brings continued honors to the athletic program once again. Running so well, so fast, so spirited, you know she loves what she is doing, as so many Triton athletes do.
San Clemente also does well in boy’s wrestling and girl’s basketball — outstanding coaching here. And Tritons Mike Chamoures, Brady Mosk, and Sean Sabins, are ardent middle distance swimmers as is Brady’s sister Mallory Mosk and sophomore Dani Peeler. (I wonder if these students know some of the great pioneers of their sport that upset Japan, Australia, Hungary, Russia, the Netherlands and Germany over past Olympic years. Gertrude Ederle’s 75-year-old record was finally shattered this summer. The legendary Olympic swimmer and surfer Duke Kahanamoku of Hawaii taught the Australians to surf, in exchange the Aussies taught him their new speed stroke the ‘Australian Crawl.’) It might do well for today’s young athletes from our Triton water polo and swimming teams to take time to notice some of these other American athletes in swimming and water polo. For example, Wally Wolf of USC, the only American to make both the US Olympic swimming and water polo teams in the same Olympics. Presently Michael Phelps, Aaron Peisol, and Brendan Hansen are American swimming champions as well as world record holders! I’ve spoken with Australian swimmers and surfers who can rattle off their past and present stars in athletics, including Americans. This is interesting about a country with some 24 million plus people that honor their past sports heroes of swimming, surfing, track, tennis and golf.
Water-polo is in the fore again at San Clemente High led by team captains Scott Yielding, Aron Rivadeneyra and teammates. The team is working for honors in the South Coast League. Troy Mothershead and Trevor Saunders, too, lead surfers. Watch for these and many others to come forward this season, They seem to appear out of nowhere, helping to continue the winning traditions of San Clemente’s athletic programs. Successful coaching philosophies remind one of Fielding Yost of Michigan and his “Go, Go, Go” style. San Clemente’s football team demonstrates this even in their practices.
Some athletes carry assurance into all of their sporting actions. Call it extra energy, a spark, whatever. They seem to ignite themselves and their teammates with their feelings. Not overly displayed, yet, assiduous in their efforts, a part of their finely tuned athletic make-up. Surfers I’ve noted often demonstrate this in their pressured heats. Chris Ward, Nate Yeomans, Mike Losness, Dane Ward, Collin McPhillips, Jason Miller, the Gudaskas, Beshen and Long brothers all seem to live their surfing to the fullest, including those gifts of far flung travels. Watching them surf is like witnessing the passing shadows of their honors rise over and over again.
THOSE HOLIDAY SALUTES TO:
Trevor Saunders, Luke Davis, Riley Metcalf, and Kolohe Andino selected for 2007 USA Jr. National Surfing Team, well deserved... To Greg Long with his incredible ride of a massive 75 foot wave off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa - seventy five feet !!! To Dane Guduskas in turn, with his 76 inch frame standing tall as he rode all the way through that awesome curl of “Pipeline”... To efforts of this past season to the Triton surfing team winning League and an always tough NSSA National Championships... To Troy Mothershead and Christian Wach for torrid duels via their longboard contests. ditto Collin McPhillips, Josh Baxter & Dustin Franks. Surfing as skilled ancient Hawaiians... Patrick Gudauskas for his masterful shortboard victories in Spain of this past summer, he thrives on competition... To groms, Kolohe Andino, Luke Davis and Anneke Barrie busy building strong surfing foundations for themselves and San Clemente ... To Chris Ward for his power surfing style via the WCT at Lower Trestles overcoming surfing injuries to regain his strong colorful surfing moves and qualify for its tough quarterfinals... To that “free as a bird” aerial show contest between Mike Losness, Dean Reynolds and D.Fletcher. Powerful crowd-pleasers at the US Open... To ocean distance swimmers Ernie Polte (Famous Fullerton Water Polo Coach) and Tim Springer (San Clemente High top sprinter in the ‘70s) for joining 2,700 swimmers in La Jolla’s 28th annual rough water swim. Interesting to note the 2008 Olympics in China will have open water races of 5,000 and 10,000 meters added to the official program... b