Stallman on a fast track to success

Scott Stallman dribbles the ball against a Tenino defender last month. Stallman and teammate Riley Newman have accounted for the lion’s share of  scoring for the South Whidbey basketball team this season. - David Welton / The Record
Scott Stallman dribbles the ball against a Tenino defender last month. Stallman and teammate Riley Newman have accounted for the lion’s share of scoring for the South Whidbey basketball team this season.
— image credit: David Welton / The Record

With 71 points to his credit so far this season, Scott Stallman is the fourth best shooter in the Cascade Conference.

But, as he emerges from the shadow of his brother Eric, who graduated last June, Stallman has also assumed a bigger leadership role as co-captain of the boys basketball team.

“Scott has been with me from day one and he is our team captain and a vocal leader for us,” said Falcon coach Scott Collins. “He has as much if not more than I do invested into our program and I really encourage him to give me input and advice on certain issues because I know he is going to give me a well thought out, intelligent answer.”

Stallman has been a member of the Falcon cross country, track and basketball teams for four years, contributing to the success of each.

This winter, the boys basketball team is 5-1 going into conference action.

“The coach told us we need to win all our home games and as many on the road as possible to make district playoffs,” Stallman said.

Bad weather in one form or another has forced a series of cancellations the last four weeks.

“All of us are really tired of practice every day and we are ready to go,” he said.

Stallman has been playing the game since he entered the public school system on Whidbey in the second grade.

“It’s fast-paced and offers no breaks so it keeps you stimulated right up to the final buzzer,” he noted.

He added that teammate Riley Newman’s prowess on the court — he’s the Falcon’s leading scorer though still a sophomore — doesn’t bother him in the least.

“Riley’s goal is the same as mine and everyone else,” he said. “None of us care who scores as long as the points go to South Whidbey.”

Collins noted that Stallman hasn’t missed a practice or game in the two years he’s coached the Falcons. His desire to win also impresses.

“Scott does not like to lose,” Collins said.

Stallman said the transition from basketball to track is easy compared to the one from cross country to basketball.

“They each require radically different skills,” he said. “I run cross country to stay in shape, but I admit I’m not a distance guy.”

His metier on the track is the 800-meter run. “That’s where I’ve found the most success over the years,” he said. “It’s a happy medium between extraordinary sprint speed, which I lack, and the longer distances that

I don’t like.”

Cross country and track coach Doug Fulton noted that Stallman was captain of the boys cross country team in the fall.

“He is a leader by example, whose work ethic motivates those around him. He’s a fierce competitor whether on the basketball court beating me in a friendly game of horse or on the home stretch on the track. He has the ability to push himself further than most are willing to,” Fulton said.

For Stallman, success comes in many guises. He has a cumulative 3.94 grade point average, and has been accepted to three colleges in Washington and one in California.

For his senior culminating project, Stallman has teamed with Maya Hough to develop a program called RSVP, which stands for Raising Students Voice and Participation.

“We want to find ways to get students who normally don’t join in to get them involved in issues that affect us all,” he explained.

His favorite courses involve math in some form; he’s taken every math class the school offers. He’s thinking about a career in civil engineering or business, or both.

Off the court, he likes to laugh when he goes to the movies with friends; “Tropic Thunder” tops his list for comedies. Acoustic rock is his choice for good sounds, preferably G. Love Special Sauce and Jack Johnson.

The usual knock on island life for teens doesn’t apply, because with a full load of classes and three sports, he’s a busy fellow. In the summer, Stallman is an assistant pharmacist at Linds in Freeland.

“The island is what you make of it,” he said.

He added that his relationships with family and friends are what gives him the most pleasure.

And sports.

“As a basketball player, Scott is our most gifted athlete and can do things that you can’t coach or teach in that regard,” Collins said. “He has very good body control, is long and lanky and has good jumping ability.

“Scott is so smart that at times he thinks too much on the basketball court instead of just attacking for 32 minutes a game. He’s playing with confidence and is taking shots that we want him to take. The more he attacks and stays aggressive the better team we will be.”

This week, the team is on the road, playing at King’s on Friday, Jan. 16. The next chance to see Stallman and company at home is Tuesday, Jan. 20.

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