Skaters in own league

OCSL semifinals and finals are Wednesday in Orange, capping a successful season for growing league.

June 27, 2011|By Matt Szabo,

Dominick Walker graduated from Costa Mesa High last week.

The diploma signifies the work Walker did in the classroom. Anyone who watches Walker on the skateboard doesn't need similar written documentation to be aware of his skills.

He is one of the top Newport-Mesa youth skateboarders gearing up for the OC Skateboarding League semifinals and finals, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Vans Skatepark at The Block shopping mall in Orange.


Walker is definitely one of the more experienced riders in the league. He has been skating for two-thirds of his life, since he was 6 years old. But the opportunity to skate for his school has only come up recently, as the OC Skateboarding League was founded in March, 2010.

"At first I was all about being an individual," Walker said. "I don't know, sometimes it's your peers that help out. It's cool to have it be incorporated with the school. A lot of kids want to get into skating, but school kind of gets in the way of that. The fact that they have [the OCSL] involved with the school, it's easier to double-task. You can make skating a career, and not just something you do on the side."

Walker is entered in both the street and bowl skate competitions on Wednesday night. He has been a key component of the Costa Mesa High team that leads the nine-team high school division through four rounds of competition headed into the finals.

Walker is first in both the individual street and bowl standings.

Team-wise, San Clemente is in second with Newport Harbor a close third. The Sailors feature top skaters like Jon Pena (fifth in the individual street standings) and Gage Boan (second in the bowl).

"It's really fun," Pena said of the league. "Two years ago I'd have to pay to get in contests, but now I can do it for free and I'm with all my friends, too."

Middle school riders will also be competing Wednesday. Ensign Intermediate and Costa Mesa Middle School have both been doing well in the league. Ensign, which has riders CJ Coglan, Sarah Thompson, Eddie Cernicky and Damien Gonzalez invited to finals, won the most recent competition at Volcom Skatepark in Costa Mesa.

One of Mesa Middle School's top riders is Sammy Swanson, the son of OC Skateboarding League founder and president Katrina Foley. Foley, a Newport Mesa Unified School District board member, has worked to see the league expand very quickly. It's reaching heights taller than even Walker can reach, jumping off the halfpipe in the backyard of Foley's Costa Mesa home.

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