Shorecrest hosted 2A Region 3 wrestling championship tournament

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Shorecrest wrestlers competing in the 2A Regional Tournament. From left - Jack Barrie, Connor Block, Chandler Keopanya, Owen Donnelly (160lb Champion), Kelvin Schmidt. Spencer Kennedy competed, but was not in the photo. Photo by Sean Rhodes

Shorecrest High School hosted the 2A Region 3 Wrestling Championship Tournament last Saturday, February 13. Hosting the tournament was a great opportunity to support the local wrestling community and to show the region the pride Shorecrest has in its recently constructed athletic facility.
The wrestlers who qualified at this tournament will go on to compete at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 20 in the Washington State High School Championship Tournament.

Assistant Coach Bryan Officer, Owen Donnelly 160lb Champion, and Coach Brent Busby 
Photo by Sean Rhodes

Owen Donnelly, a Shorecrest High School Senior, was the champion in the 160lb bracket and will be the sole representative for the Scots in Tacoma next weekend. Other Shorecrest wrestlers who competed in the regional tournament included Jack Barrie, Connor Block, Chandler Keopanya, Kelvin Schmidt, and Spencer Kennedy. 

Coach Brent Busby stated that his team has worked very hard all year (even over Christmas break) and showed great improvement over the course of the season. Each consecutive dual tournament resulted in more points scored than in the prior tournament. In comparison to last year, there were also more individual wins. Coach Busby was also very grateful for the parent support in getting wrestlers to where they needed to be and also in helping to organize tournaments.

Both Assistant Coach Officer and Assistant Coach Moraguez competed as wrestlers for Shorecrest HS in previous years. They both wrestled in the 2A Regional tournament, but did not qualify for the state tournament in Tacoma. Both are committed to helping other Shorecrest wrestlers achieve that goal.

Athletic staff and volunteers
Photo by Sean Rhodes
The Shorecrest team is a young squad, with only three returning seniors. One of the Seniors, Luke Lotawa, suffered a severe injury with only three weeks remaining in the post season. Lotawa was one of the wrestling team’s leaders this year and helped to train the younger athletes. Lotawa invested a lot of effort since middle school attempting to become a state placer. Unfortunately, his hopes did not materialize after he tore his ACL.

Busby stepped into the coaching position at Shorecrest this year at a low point in the school’s wrestling program. The Scots' wrestling team has seen three coaches come and go over the last six years and, understandably, has not seen a lot of success due to inconsistent leadership.

Busby feels that with improvements he has already seen this year, hard work from his assistant coaches (Bryan Officer and Ricky Moraguez), as well as solid prospects moving up from Kellogg Junior High School, there is increasing optimism for the Shorecrest wrestling program.

Growing community support and involvement for the sport of wrestling in the Shoreline area will also be critical for the future success of Shorecrest wrestling. To quote Justin Bieber, “All grass starts out brown. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it”.

--Sean Rhodes


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