There is no competition on the field, but two local sports teams scored big academic wins last week, with the release of the Oregon School Activities Association’s spring sports academic awards.
Seaside boys golf and Warrenton baseball — two teams which would have contended for state championships on the course and the diamond in the coming weeks — finished with the No. 1-ranked grade point averages for class 4A boys golf and 3A baseball in the OnPoint Community Credit Union academic all-state results.
Seaside boys golf had a cumulative 3.87 grade point average, while Warrenton baseball had a 3.78 GPA to lead 3A baseball.
“We have two goals every year, and as far as preparing for life, this is the more important of the two,” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch. “We would have loved to have had a chance at winning a title on the course next week, but it is great to have them awarded for the work they do in the classroom.”
The Cowapa League is home to some of the smartest 4A boys golfers in the state, as Tillamook was second (3.73), and Valley Catholic third (3.70).
In addition to having the No. 1-ranked academic 3A baseball team, Warrenton was also second in the state in softball (3.66) and girls golf (3.94).
“We have a good group of kids in the building who are highly motivated students in athletics, socially and academically,” said Warrenton baseball coach Lennie Wolfe. “The school and the students have made tremendous improvements in the last year, and it’s all due to a great faculty and education assistants.”
Two of whom, Wolfe said, are Craig Horton and Kate Gruetter, who help keep tabs on students and their academic progress.
The Seaside boys golf team — state champions in 2014 and 2015 — was expected to be one of the favorites in 2020, right behind defending state champion Marist.
Still, every single golfer on the Gulls’ 2020 roster will return in 2021.
Before the current season was canceled, Poetsch said, “Curtis Kunde (Jr.), Carson Kawasoe (So.) and Chris Bodner (Jr.) have all put in a ton of work to get ready for the season.
“Curtis and Carson are two of the best players in the state, and Chris should have a solid season if we get a chance to play. After that, Kaleb Bartel (So.), Ever Sibony (So.), Owen Higdon, Leif DeWinter (Jr.), Connor Langmo (So.) and Riley Wunderlich (Fr.) will battle for the other two varsity spots.”
For now, Seaside boys golf is No. 1 in this spring’s virtual classroom.
“It is important to these kids to excel in the classroom despite the time required on the golf course to be successful there as well,” Poetsch said. “They are great role models for younger athletes. With this term being disrupted by the coronavirus, I am especially grateful to have kids that are willing to continue to work hard to achieve their academic goals.”
Other local teams ranked in the top 10 academically: Seaside girls golf (third, 3.88); Seaside softball (sixth, 3.54) and Astoria girls track (10th, 3.51).