By Andrea Swayne
Grom of the Week: Sean Dougherty
Sean Dougherty, 13, of Laguna Niguel has been surfing since the age of 7 and intends to continue to make the sport he loves a permanent part of his life.
Sean got his start under the tutelage of his dad, along with a summer session at Cola’s Surf Camp in San Clemente. In the past year he has been coached by Dana Point surfer Lucas Taub and has begun climbing the ranks in Western Surfing Association and Scholastic Surf Series events.
In SSS Orange County Middle School Boys Shortboard Division 1, Sean is the No. 7 ranked surfer in a field of 74. In WSA Boys U14 Shortboard, he is ranked No. 11 in a field of 80.
With dreams of becoming a professional surfer, Sean practices nearly every day, making a point to surf even when conditions are not the best, and will soon be starting fitness training at Dean Sports Consulting (DSC).
Sean’s goals include finishing this season in the Top 10 in both WSA and SSS, qualifying for the Surfing America Prime Series, earning a spot on the USA Surf Team and then moving on to World Surf League Junior Prime events, Qualifying Series events and then the World Tour.
As a member of the Niguel Hills Middle School surf team, his goals also include working hard for the remainder of the year in preparation for trying out for the Dana Hills High School team next year.
“I want to be able to land every turn I do and be more consistent in finishing my maneuvers,” Sean said.
Surfing is not the only focus for this determined eighth-grader. Sean is also a bright student with a 3.90 GPA and the desire and dedication to work toward straight-A report cards.
“I work hard in school because I want to go to college, probably in Santa Barbara or San Diego, and compete on an NSSA college team,” Sean said. “I also want to be an architect after my surfing career.”
Sean developed an interest in building and architecture as a small child and a “Lego maniac.”
“My mom works at LEGOLAND, so I have enjoyed building stuff with Legos since I was a little kid,” he said. “Basically I love building stuff, finding my own way to put stuff together. I built by own surf rack and skate rack. I really like that kind of stuff.”
Sean is grateful for his family, sponsors and coach for helping him chase his dreams.
“I want to thank my sponsors, WAXTRAX and Rumaner Surfboards,” Sean said. “I also want to thank Lucas for being a great coach and getting me ready for contests, and my parents for being really supportive.”