By Coach Benner Cummings
As we move on towards spring, it is interesting to note the excellent showing of Water Polo in late 2007. As indicated earlier, Dana Hills High School won the South Coast league title, with the San Clemente Tritons showing a strong third place. However, Tucker Arth and the Rivendeneyre brothers return for 2008. (Tucker’s father, Greg Arth, earned NCAA All-American honors while playing Water Polo for UCLA.)
Meantime, the Triton girls’ water polo team has proven a continuous winner through strong coaching and competitive attitudes.
And speaking of honors, it was interesting to look through old Triton swimming records and find names posted that have survived the tests of time. Past notables like Duncan and Malcome Wilson, Tim Springer, Sean O-Gorman, Steve Cade, Mitch Kahn, Mike Kalsched, Dan Yeilding, and gifted Robert Wood are listed amongst San Clemente High’s all-time swimmers. Gifted hard working swimmers that were to follow were Greg Farrier, Andy Skora, Robert Rojas, Steve Johnson, Kenny Yamamoto, Thorsten Hoiland, Kris Moore, Scott Spansail, and possibly swimmer Michael Chamoures and Brady Mosk this coming spring.
It’s likened to finding the names of colorful older San Clemente surfers buried away among fading newspaper clippings, life having moved them on to new challenges, leaving behind the splendor of their surfing days. Comradeships and colorful surfing experiences were never seemingly old to them, nor to those who witnessed them so long ago.
Yet for any athlete of the sea there is that danger of lingering within whimsical circles too long, trying to taste the lotus blossoms forever. It is those greater waves of life that seem to come crashing down upon a carefree world. Exalting travels, challenges of competition, notable adventures; a world that all too suddenly appears to wash away a youthful innocence. So much so, that many never ever return to those lost wave breaks of their past—quiet places of hidden joy where their youth allowed them to feel and express themselves in their own colorful surfing styles. Yes, lucky indeed is that surfer, or for that matter any great sea athlete, who can touch or even taste upon those passing skills, those wild breaks of their youth. Arthur Schopenhauer, noted German philosopher said it best, but in a less utopian manner. “The world in which a man lives shapes itself chiefly by the way in which he looks at it…”
The passing weeks find the Triton surfing team doing equally well, and that appears to be what counts most for winning power skill sports. Attitude and conditioning have a lot to do with it.
Younger surfers Chase Brady, Kolohe Andino, Ian Crane, Riley Metcalf, and Luke Davis have been selected as possible candidates on the 2008 USA National Junior Surfing Team, as have the Gudaukas, brothers and Michael Losness in earlier years. To be on a winning nation’s national team, spells a lifetime of memories and even further recognition for these rising young gremmies from San Clemente. To even have been selected for the American Junior National Team has to stand as an exalted honor itself.
Big wave rider Greg Long has been busy as well, challenging those whopping, waves off upper Half Moon Bay. Fewer than 45 feet will count towards top stomping prize money. His ski-jet wave ride into a 65-footer off South Africa represents a mixture of finely practiced skills, and just plain guts!
Passing a word of thanks to Mr. Bruce Hopping a member and trustee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame who organized the payment and presentation for a meaningful trophy to be awarded each year to the outstanding boy and girl, in the sport of Swimming, Surfing, Diving and Water Polo at San Clemente High School. Mr. Hopping has some 50 odd years’ experience in funding and making these awards throughout the aquatic world.
Now San Clemente High, like the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), National Collegiate and National Interscholastic Athletic Associations, has received these credible distinctive aquatic awards. As have the Japanese, Swedish, Australian, German, English, Latin American Swimming Confederation, as well as the International Surfing Assoc.
The San Clemente High School award was designed by senior Storm Dye with the support of the School Board President, District Superintendent, Principal, Athletic Director, Swimming Coach, Surfing Coach, and Water Polo Coach at San Clemente High. Last year’s 2007 awards went to Scott Yeilding and Courtney McCammon. All honor to their names for being chosen as the first to grace this awards trophy.
The Olympic Games come to China August 8th, in Bejing, then close on August 31st.
Will China with 1 billion 300 million people win the most medals? In the last Olympics, the USA took first place among nations for medal honors, Russia second, with China placing third for its first time ever. Who knows what hidden athletes they will surprise and spring upon the world’s best this coming summer. It could be a very colorful Olympics to say the least, with over 3,000 splendid athletes present. World records as well as Olympic records are bound to fall!
Finally, congratulations to Patrick Gaudakas and Mike Losness for winning 1st and 2nd place respectively out of 192 entrants in the W5 Sebastians-Inlet Tournament in Florida. b