Shook tabbed as state’s best

West­lake head track and field coach named best boys coach by USTFCCCA

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Last week when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Coun­try Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced the re­spec­tive se­lec­tions for state coaches of the year for boys and girls track and field, West­lake High School head coach Beth Shook ad­mit­ted that she was on va­ca­tion.

Fri­day af­ter­noon, Shook got the news sec­ond hand that she had been se­lected by the USTFCCCA as the Mary­land boys track and field coach of the year and ad­mit­ted that she was pleased to garner the honor, although she viewed the award as one that her ath­letes earned as much, if not more, than she did. West­lake won the Class 2A state cham­pi­onships team ti­tle last spring at Mor­gan State Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more.

“I’m hon­ored that I got se­lected, but I think it’s some­thing that the boys earned,” Shook said upon re­turn­ing from va­ca­tion. “They put in all the hard work at prac­tice and they com­pete in the events. I just try to point them in the right di­rec­tion. But it’s more im­por­tant for the school and the county and helps shed some light on the qual­ity ath­letes that we have.”

The state girls award went to Henry Brady of C.H. Flow­ers High School in Prince Ge­orge’s County.

West­lake ath­letic di­rec­tor Do­minic Zac­carelli was also pleased that Shook was rec­og­nized with the na­tional award from USTAFCCCA. Zac­carelli noted that in ad­di­tion to coach­ing and teach­ing spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion at the school, Shook is also a fre­quent spec­ta­tor at the school’s other ath­letic events and she’s al­ways been very sup­port­ive of the var­i­ous pro­grams.

“It’s quite an honor and it’s def­i­nitely some­thing that she de­served,” Zac­carelli said. “She’s an ex­cep­tional track coach and she’s also the re­gion rep­re­sen­ta­tive. She’s a great teacher and you can al­most al­ways find her at our other ath­letic events sup­port­ing the kids on other teams.”

Shook has gained a rep­u­ta­tion among her con­tem­po­raries through­out Charles County as one of the most knowl­edge­able and ami­able track coaches in the area. So even though her peers would en­joy noth­ing more than to per­haps de­throne the reign­ing cham­pi­ons next spring, they have im­mense re­spect for her.

“She’s def­i­nitely de­serv­ing of any award that she gets,” said Lackey head track and field coach Ji­mari Jones, whose girls squad won the 2A state ti­tle in May at Mor­gan State. “Any­time you go into a track meet with West­lake, they’re the main topic of con­ver­sa­tion. You know they’re go­ing to be tough to beat. She’s a great coach and she’s very knowl­edge­able and help­ful when it comes to all the rules.”

North Point head track and field coach De­bra Hall agreed with Jones.

“She’s an ex­cel­lent coach and she de­serves to get the award,” Hall said. “She’s got a lot of re­ally good ath­letes over there. Will Moten [a ris­ing se­nior at West­lake] was a fresh­man at North Point un­til they re-did the bound­aries. She knows all the rules and she’s a great as­set for any coach in our county.”

Shook, who has taught in the county for 25 years and at West­lake for the past three school years, has been as­so­ci­ated with the Wolver­ines track and field pro­gram since 2001. Af­ter guid­ing the Wolver­ines to the boys 2A state ti­tle, she is al­ready ea­ger to see what the squad can ac­com­plish in the spring of 2017.

“We have most of our guys back, in­clud­ing Will Moten and Thomas Al­corn,” Shook said. “We grad­u­ated Jalen Elliott and that’s go­ing to be a big loss for us, but we should be very strong again next year. Like I said any award that I get is more about the kids and the school. They de­serve it for all the work they do.”

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