- By Patty Hutchens.
Athletes of the Month: Seth Wahto & Chad Stevens
Seth Wahto: Peninsula High School
There is no doubt Peninsula High School senior, Seth Wahto, has what it takes to succeed in wrestling. He has been on the varsity wrestling team for four years and serves as the team captain. He has placed first at district, second at regionals and third at state.
But the 17-year-old shares that the journey has not always been easy. “My biggest challenge I faced throughout my high-school career came my junior year,” said Seth, who was ranked eighth in the state at the time. “Approaching the road to the state tournament, I tore my right shoulder.”
He attempted to keep wrestling and tried to finish off the season. Unfortunately, he fell short of his goal of competing at the state tournament.
“This came as a crushing blow,” said Seth. “After a couple months of physical therapy, my shoulder was vastly improved. I used this setback as my motivation for the senior year to push myself harder than I ever had during high school.”
Seth’s future plans include attending community college. He is unsure of a career but expresses interest in a variety of professions, including being a firefighter and EMT or possibly pursuing a skill-based trade such as carpentry.
“My main goal with my future career is to be able to help people out. From saving lives as a firefighter to building homes in Third World countries, I want to be able to change people’s lives for the better,” he said.
Seth is grateful to his coaches who have taught him how to go through life with confidence. The discipline that wrestling requires makes him feel that he can do anything he sets his mind to.
Chad Stevens: Gig Harbor High School
Balancing athletics, academics and a social life is never easy. But Chad Stevens of Gig Harbor High School has managed to do it well, and it has paid off.
The 18-year-old senior has been on the varsity baseball team for the past three years and maintains a 3.9 GPA, which includes three honors and AP classes.
Chad plays the position of middle field and was second team all league his junior year.
“I played on the Mariner Scout baseball team this fall and have played for Narrows Baseball for the last six years,” shared Chad, who was also honorable-mention West Coast for Perfect Game baseball. “I have also played two years on the high school varsity basketball team where I earned honorable mention all league as a senior.”
His talent and dedication has earned him a full athletic scholarship to the University of Portland where he will play baseball. Chad said he is interested in pursuing a career in business and finance and would like to work in a sports-related field if possible.
He said one of the biggest challenges in sports has been the fact he often played up, so he was not as strong and mature as his older teammates. “This taught me to persevere and learn through challenges,” said Chad.
He has enjoyed the opportunity to play sports on both his high school and tournament teams with those he considers to be his best friends.
Chad has learned much more than just how to play baseball; it has taught him a life lesson he will carry with him to college and beyond: “The one lesson I have learned from sports is that hard work pays off, and nothing can replace it.”