It has been quite a year for Turlock athletics, and some of the its leaders are being recognized. Turlock High School’s Colin Wenstrand and Pitman High School’s Dave Walls were recognized at the California State Athletic Directors Conference. Wenstrand was recognized as the Norm MacKenIe “Rookie” Athletic Director and Walls was honored as the Sac Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year.
Walls, who has been athletic director since the school opened in 2002, was surprised when he heard the news.
“I’m very honored to be recognized … I was sure the committee made a mistake,” he said. “But in all seriousness, I'm just blessed that I’ve been able to find my purpose and I’ve made my purpose of working with student-athletes my passion. The other great thing about the honor was being able to share it with Colin Wenstrand and represent Turlock and TUSD. Very thankful to be able to serve the community and district.”
Wenstrand was equally as grateful and appreciative of the team he has around him.
“It was very touching to be recognized by my CIF Sac-Joaquin Section peers,” he said. “The support from the Turlock High coaching staff and administration, as well as my veteran colleagues in the Central California Athletic League – fellow athletic directors and CCAL Commissioner, Ed Felt – has been invaluable to my transition into this work.”
He is most appreciative for his fellow Turlock Unified School District athletic director for all the help his rookie season.
“I am particularly grateful for the guidance and mentorship provided to me by Pitman Athletic Director Dave Walls,” said Wenstrand. “Dave's 15-year body of work has set a very high standard of excellence and working so closely with him these last two years has been profoundly inspiring.”
Some accomplishments of Turlock High athletics this year were: League titles in boys basketball, girls golf and swimming. Pitman’s accomplishments include a league title in girls soccer, making it to the semifinals in the section tournament and having an athlete sign with a PAC 12 school. Both teams shared the CCAL championship in baseball.
This happens to be Walls final year as athletic director after a 20-year run at Pitman. He is retiring and current girls basketball coach Dustin Curtiss was named the new AD.
“I had never coached girls basketball, let alone run an entire basketball program,” said Curtiss about his start as a coach in a statement. “Since that time, we have started a holiday tournament, won two league titles, played some of the best programs in the state of California and built a team culture based on compassion and positive relationships… With that said, I am happy to announce I have accepted the athletic director position at Pitman High School. Thank you to all the amazing players and coaches for the memories.”