Shook tabbed as state’s best
Westlake head track and field coach named best boys coach by USTFCCCA
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.”