THE LAKERS ARE INSPIRED

The Lakers have won two back-to-back NCWWA titles and are ready to challenge for a third.

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[pullquoteright] “THIS ACTIVIST LOVES OREGON MORE THAN HE LOVES LIFE.”
Tom McCall[/pullquoteright]

You’ve never truly had a coastal experience until you have rested in lodging with a balcony just above the quiet, majestic waves of the Oregon Coast.

This writer did, a week at a time. Twice. There is something truly different from the sensational sights, sounds and smells of this spiritual body of water and as opposed to the ocean that caresses the San Francisco beach. The way the moon softly danced off the Oregon coast waves on clear nights is something to be relived over and over.

It’s a writer’s creative paradise, an escape into a scenic think tank in terms of inspiration. Maybe it’s the tasty salmon, steelhead or savory bass. It could be the robust mountains covered with a thick carpet of soft green trees. Perhaps it’s the unspoiled beaches described above. Whatever it is, it’s effective.

Something has inspired the women’s wrestling team at Southwest Oregon Community College.

On April 1, 2013 it was reported by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association – Women’s Wrestling Division, Southwestern Oregon Community College wrestlers earned three national titles and had six other All-Americans to run away with the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Association championship. The Lakers won their second of back-to-back NCWWA titles with 100 points, almost double that of runner-up Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.).

You could see a strong foundation was being laid.

Previously to the finish of the 2012-2013 campaign, here is what was written by Theworld.com on December 14, 2012. “Last winter, Southwestern Oregon Community College’s fledgling women’s wrestling team won the collegiate national title. Now the Lakers are gearing up for what they hope will be a second title run.” The words of their coach at the time, Bo Icalia, were revealing. “We have 14 wrestlers this year,” he said. “Last year, we had 10 and two years ago we were just a club program. Each year, we are growing, which is really good.”

Mr. Josh White has been hired to Coach the Lakers for the 2013-2014 season.

Pacific and SWOCC are the only two colleges in Oregon that offer a woman’s wrestling programs, and there are few on the West Coast. That makes SWOCC an attractive option for women who want to wrestle. There are two sanctioning organizations for women’s college wrestling. In addition to the collegiate championships, there also is a freestyle national championship.

A strong source of inspiration emanates from the college itself.

Here is a message from the president, Dr. Patty M. Scott. “I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Southwestern community. Since joining the campus in 1993, I have had the chance to watch the college grow while personally growing within. My passion is for student success and my vision is to encourage results. Our staff and faculty are positioned to make a difference in the lives of our students and fellow members of the community. They work hard to stretch our resources to give our students the best opportunity to succeed in their education. Our College Mission celebrates five decades of College History serving the citizens of the Oregon South Coast.”

The website CampusExplorer.com adds this, “With a scenic campus along the Oregon coastline, Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) offers a particularly pleasant environment. In part due to its beautiful location, college life at Southwestern Oregon Community College is especially vibrant. Students can participate in clubs, organizations and a number of intercollegiate athletic teams. Southwestern Oregon Community College is exceptional in its rejection of out-of-state tuition. Whether you live in Oregon or elsewhere, tuition at Southwestern Oregon Community College will remain the same. Financial aid is also available, both through the institution and through federal and state sources.”

It’s good to see the point of view from the minds of others even if they don’t agree with yours. An excellent source for student reviews is Cappex.com. Here are the reviews from a few of the enrolled students. A female student from Brookings, Oregon stated, “This is a great community college. They care about their students because they just built a new facility in Brookings, OR. It has state of the art equipment…” Two different female students from Coos Bay, Oregon expressed, “I love Southwestern, and it is very beautiful. The teachers in my culinary program are very nice, and help you any time you need it. It also isn’t very expensive…” and finally, “It is a great place to start. The student life is fun and exciting, and the food is excellent! I’m super happy that i saved money and am still attending…”

Coos Bay, the home of SWOCC, is historically known as Marshfield. Coos Bay proudly stands today as the largest city on the Oregon Coast with Portland State University having certified the 2012 Population Estimate at 16,060; Coos Bay is a great place to live, work and play. Surrounded by a beautiful bay, lush emerald forests and the mighty Pacific Ocean, Coos Bay continues to celebrate its history in shipbuilding, lumber products and tradition as the regional hub for Oregon’s south coast. Coos Bay is a proud community with a rich heritage and “can-do” attitude.

The site visittheoregoncoast.com has this inspirational message. “The Coos Bay area offers a wide range of shopping, entertainment and dining facilities such as Pony Village Shopping Mall, renovated downtown Coos Bay, antique, myrtle wood and gift shops, theatres, and an art museum and gallery. Coos Bay is the commercial center of Oregon’s southern coast since its earliest days. This fine weather that Oregon has been experiencing just invites visitors to the coast! Oregon (one of two states – the other being Hawaii), are the only two places in the United States with full public beach access. 363 miles of access!”

What should help motivate the 2013-2104 Lakers is a core of returning teammates, most with championship experience. They should prove to be a team with wave swelling momentum.

The famous writer Jack London once stated, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Mr. London was a great American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of The Call of the Wild and White Fang both set in the Klondike Gold Rush. The quote makes one wonder if Mr. London ever spent a night on the Oregon Coast?

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In terms of inspiration, many in Oregon know that while it’s admirable to pursue it, there really is no need to always go after it. You are surrounded by it. The pristine unspoiled ocean, the friendly coastal towns, great bountiful fishing, trees and mountains in unison and the fresh air you wish you could capture in a bottle and return home with to breathe in again and again. At the Oregon Coast, inspiration is not just in the air, it’s everywhere.

Ask the women’s wrestling team at SWOCC. They would know.

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Sources: Campusexplorer.com, Cappex.com, The world.com, Southwestern Oregon Community College website, The California Wrestler, National Collegiate Wrestling Association – Women’s Wrestling Division, Wikipedia, Coosbay.org, Oregonsbayarea.org, Visittheorgeoncoast.com, Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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