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Coach Morse continues to impact Olympian's life

George Morse gave Oak Harbor Olympian Marti Malloy the gift of judo more than 20 years ago. Another gift in his name will be awarded to Malloy at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the NAS Whidbey Island gymnasium.

Malloy and three other dedicated Northwest student athletes will receive scholarships Saturday to help defray college costs.

The money for the scholarships came from memorial donations upon Morse’s death in October, according to Amoy Morse, George’s wife.

Malloy, who has an advertising/marketing degree from San Jose State University, is pursuing a masters and will receive $500.

Patrick Mendiola of Steilacoom, Thomas Oreta-Sedlacek of Pierce College and Kiaya Van Scoyoc of Lakes High School will receive $1,000 each.

“People were very generous in their giving,” Amoy Morse said.

The scholarship winners are all “excellent students” as well as standouts in judo, Amoy Morse said.

She received help in selecting the recipients from Jason Harai, a judo colleague of George Morse and coach at the Ippon Dojo in Lakewood.

Once Harai settled on the winners, he cleared his choices with the Yudanshakai, which provide leadership for judo organizations in the region, Amoy Morse said.

George Morse coached judo for 25 years, including at NAS Whidbey Island where Malloy began the sport 21 years ago at age 6.

Malloy, who won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and placed second at the world championships in 2013, will make a quick stop in Oak Harbor to receive her scholarship and to honor George Morse. She arrives Saturday morning and will leave Sunday morning.

“It’s a true testament to the character of Sensei George that his family would support up-and-coming judo athletes through a judo scholarship,” Malloy said. “I personally have known George my whole life and know that I wouldn’t have become the person and judo player I am without his positive influence and motivation.”

“He was a great man and I know he would be proud to see the love for him transferred on to future judoka through a judo scholarship,” Malloy added.

Amoy Morse hopes the scholarships will help promote and bring attention to the NAS Whidbey Island judo club.

 

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