Edwards makes waves at UCSD
By Etienne Emanuel
Following the waves has been
good to Clint Edwards. A 1999 graduate of Villanova, Edwards
is in his final semester in school at the University of California
at San Diego. He is currently captain of the national champion
surf team after spending a year as co-captain. Learning to surf
at the tender age of 13, he and his buddies from Ojai spent summers
all over the coast of Ventura County.
"I would say it has paid off," joked Clint. "We
spent a lot of time driving and just following the waves."
UCSD showed a vast improvement from a year ago, where they placed
ninth in nationals, compared to this year, when they placed first
in the National Scholastic Surf Association Championships. The
team traveled the California coast competing in San Diego, Huntington
Beach, as well as the ever-popular C Street in Ventura, the spot
where Edwards learned to surf .
"I really know the breaks well close to home. It's a nice
home court advantage, you could say."
The win this year left Edwards ecstatic. "We had a thrilling
season. It didn't really hit me that we were national champs
until the awards banquet," Edwards enthused. "I feel
really fortunate to be part of it. It was a lot of hard work.
Our program got essentially no funding from the school, which
is disappointing hopefully we can change that."
As captain, he struggled to run a structured program, organizing
all the workouts. "But it would be nice to get some funding
to help," Clint said. "It just goes to show hard work
Edwards not only spends time
at the beach but pushes himself in the classroom as well. He
majors in biology and currently has a 3.6 GPA in his major courses
and a 3.0 overall. Good marks are nothing new to him though;
Edwards graduated from Villanova with a 3.83 overall GPA. "I
am looking at U.C. Davis and Scripps College for grad school.
I need to finish up my credits here first. I still have some
classes left to take."
He's also into keeping the beaches he grew up on clean for generations
to come. "I'm taking organic chemistry this summer, and
studying ecology, which really ties into surfing as far as working
on solutions to clean up our beaches and water. We really need
to stop wasting so much, it's hurting the planet," said
He laughs at some of the stereotypes that go along with surfing:
"You have shows on MTV called Surf Girls and thousands of
people watch it and formulate opinions. It is really just like
any other culture - you develop a language with slang and all.
I would say dude is probably the most popular word, and there
are plenty more," he said. "It's silly to judge anything
but yourself and especially other people's intelligence based
on the fact that they surf. At the same time stereotypes don't
come out of thin air, I know guys that are still bus boys and
are 35 and say dude, bro, and brah."
But it's not all fun and games. Edwards said he's heard stories
of "guys getting beat up by locals who are so territorial.
I respect the order of the line up but to go to the point of
punching someone over it, which is just ridiculous."
To sum it all up, he noted, "People just tend to grab onto
whatever is available and stereotypes can be easy for some people
to latch onto."
The Ojai Valley News
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