Al Davis may have preached a "Commitment to Excellence" with the Oakland Raiders, but the Squalicum wrestling team is taking it a step further and asking for a "Culture of Excellence."
"This is something that our team is quite proud of," Storm coach Russell Robinson wrote in an email. "Each young man is holding themselves to a higher standard at school, at home, in the community and on the mat. It is an incredible thing to watch, as a coach, and I am quite proud of each young man in my program."
Robinson said it is a philosophy that each sports program at Squalicum plans to implement next year, making the student athletes more responsible for their respective programs.
It's obviously working well for senior wrestler Aaron Saunders, who has gotten off to a 10-1 start this season and finished second at 190 pounds at the Battle at the Border on Dec. 8 at Blaine. Saunders returned to the Storm program after spending last year in Othello.
"Aaron is a determined wrestler," Robinson wrote. "He feels like he needs to make up for lost time, and he is doing it in a strong fashion. Aaron has set his goals high and is working harder than anyone else to attain them."
LC TO HOST LYNDEN CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
Lynden Christian once again will treat county basketball fans to two days of holiday basketball during the Cloud 9 Sports Lynden Christmas Classic Dec. 27-28.
Six local teams, including the Lynden Christian boys' and girls' teams, Sehome boys' and girls' teams and the Blaine and Mount Baker girls' teams, will each play a pair of games at Lynden Christian over the two-day event.
Joining the LC and Sehome boys will be Sultan, which qualified for the 2A Northwest District last spring, and Cashmere, which advanced to the 1A state semifinals last spring before losing to Zillah - the team the Lyncs beat one day later to claim the 1A state title.
The four Whatcom County girls' teams will be joined by Bellevue Christian, which has made it to at least the regional round of the 1A State Tournament the past eight years, Cascade Christian, which has advanced to the 1A State Tournament the past two years, White River, which placed third at the 2A State Tournament last year and has qualified for state the past four years, and Cashmere.
Action begins at noon on Dec. 27 with the Mount Baker girls facing Bellevue Christian. That game will be followed by Blaine vs. Cascade Christian girls (1:30 p.m.), Sehome vs. Sultan boys (3:30 p.m.), Lynden Christian vs. Cashmere girls (5 p.m.), Lynden Christian vs. Cashmere boys (7 p.m.) and Sehome vs. White River girls (8:30 p.m.).
On Dec. 28, the Cascade Christian and Mount Baker girls will tip things off at noon, followed by Cashmere vs. Sehome boys (1:30 p.m.), Cashmere vs. Sehome girls (3:30 p.m.), Bellevue Christian vs. Lynden Christian girls (5 p.m.), Sultan vs. Lynden Christian boys (7 p.m.) and White River vs. Blaine girls (8:30 p.m.).
OTHER AREA HOLIDAY EVENTS
Lynden Christian won't have a monopoly on holiday basketball, though, as Bellingham and Blaine both will hold events.
Bellingham will host the ProStock Winter Classic on Dec. 27-28.
The Red Raiders boys' team will be joined by Mount Vernon, Pitt Meadows (B.C.) and Everett Cascade.
The Bellingham girls will be joined by teams from Cedarcrest, Tahoma and Oak Harbor.
Action begins Dec. 27 with Cedarcrest vs. Tahoma girls at 2 p.m. That game will be followed by Mount Vernon vs. Pitt Meadows boys (3:45 p.m.), Oak Harbor vs. Bellingham girls (5:30 p.m.) and Cascade vs. Bellingham boys (7:15 p.m.).
The Tahoma and Oak Harbor girls will start things off at 2 p.m. on Dec. 28 and be followed by Pitt Meadows vs. Cascade boys (3:45 p.m.), Cedarcrest vs. Bellingham girls (5:30 p.m.) and Mount Vernon vs. Bellingham boys (7:15 p.m.).
Tickets cost $5 per day.
The Borderites will host the Blaine Holiday Classic on Dec. 28-29.
The Blaine boys will be joined by teams Granite Falls, British Columbia Christian Academy and Earl Marriott.
Granite Falls and B.C. Christian Academy get things started at 5 p.m. on Dec. 28, while Blaine and Earl Marriott will follow at 7 p.m. On Dec. 28, Earl Marriott will play Granite Falls at 4 p.m., and B.C. Christian Academy will face Blaine at 6 p.m.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.