In it to Win it: SCHS Takes State Title
March 17, 2009



Despite meager conditions, San Clemente High School captured two state titles March 6- 8 at San Onofre’s Church Beach. The Tritons outpointed Huntington Beach High and 10 other schools to win the varsity state title, in addition to outpointing Newport Harbor High and four other teams to take the junior varsity title.

 The High School comp opened up on Saturday in 1-3 foot surf conditions with stacked heats and challenging matchups as teams competed in earnest for State glory.

After struggling with consistency the past couple years, the San Clemente varsity squad came together as a team and emerged victorious in front of a hometown crowd with a 122-103 rout over Huntington Beach. The Tritons, who were spanked by HB at last year’s State titles showed up at Church, clearly a more confident and motivated team. “We are so stoked to be back on top right now,” San Clemente coach John Dowell said. “One of our goals this year was to come back to Church and be successful. We didn’t do well last year so we wanted to make sure we got back. It’s no fun to lose.”

There were many factors involved in the Triton’s resurrection as the number one team in the state including the impressive performance displayed by High School Men’s winner Shaw Kobayashi. The San Clemente High School junior undoubtedly has Church wave conditions down to a science. Just last December, he took control at the Church Explorer with a double victory in the Men’s and Juniors divisions. “It’s Trestles magic,” a beaming Kobayashi said after his victory. “I was down here at Church almost every day for the past couple weeks. I was tempted all week to surf Lowers because it looked so good there, but my dad told me to only surf Church and that’s what I did. I just have this place wired, probably because I’ve been surfing at all the Trestles waves including Church since I was 10-years-old.” Along with claiming his first major NSSA championship title, Kobayashi also lit up the scoreboard in his quarterfinal heat posting both the highest wave total (8.67) and the highest combined score (15.17) of the High School Varsity Championships. “I’m really psyched about the win because it’s my first title,” Kobayashi said. “Now, I want to go big at Salt Creek. I think our team can win the Nationals and after winning States, it will give us a lot of confidence.”

The Tritons success was also facilitated by their strength of their special teams including finals appearances by both Women’s team members Marissa Shaw and Emmy Merrill and their Longboarder Scott Brandenburg. Said Dowell: “Our special teams really stepped it up and put us over the top. Marissa and Emmy’s performance in the Women’s and Scott’s talent in the Longboard all solidified our victory here.”

After being stunned at last year’s Nationals with a sixth place finish and having gone title-less since 2006, the Tritons have clearly established themselves as a solid contender to bring the National Championship back to San Clemente in 2009. “We definitely regained our competitive spirit this year,” Dowell said. “It has a lot to do with the leadership on the team this year. Shaw, Doug (Van Mierlo), Riley (Metcalf) and the addition of freshman Ian Crane has all had a positive impact. I brought in some alumni to our team dinner because we are aiming to get back to the days of old. There is a winning tradition in San Clemente and the team kind of lost that in the past year or two. In preparation for the Nationals, we will be getting them down to Salt Creek to really push and motivate them. We are all really looking forward to it.”

Along with the Varsity victory, San Clemente’s Junior Varsity team claimed their first ever State Championship title for the newly established division in NSSA team surfing competition. San Clemente edged out a strong Newport Harbor Junior Varsity squad by a score of 81-79. It was back and forth between the two teams until San Clemente pulled away in the finals. The Triton’s victory was powered by the one-two punch of Jeremy Carter and Sam Branker who finished first and second in the JV Men’s final respectively. Another excellent special teams performance by San Clemente surfers Melina Smith, Chelsea Byland and Eli Gillis also made a major impact. San Clemente’s JV victory signals a promising future and possible if not probable return to prominence. “It’s fun to win the first division of the Junior Varsity,” Dowell said. “It’s a great format for the kids and we really wanted to put a lot of effort into the JV as well as the Varsity and it definitely showed.”

The NSSA Interscholastic State Championships is the first of seven events in the 2009 NSSA Championship Series presented by No Fear. The 2009 Championship Series events include the Interscholastic State Championships at Church, the Hawaii Championships at Kewalo Basin, HI March 21-26; the East Coast Championships at Sebastian Inlet, FL April 16-19; the NSSA Jr. Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, CA April 1; the West Coast Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, CA May 13-17; the NSSA National Championships at Salt Creek and Lower Trestles, CA June 17-27; the Northeast High School Championships at Ocean City, NJ October 19.

1. SDSU-A 119
2. Mira Costa-Red 118
3. CSUSM-A 109
4. UCSB-A 97
5. Saddleback 89
6. UCSD-A 79
7. UCSC 61
8. Point Loma 59
9. CSULB-A 54
10. UCSB-B 52
11. Mira Costa-White 40
12. CSUSM-B 33
13. SDSU-B 27
14. UCLA 25
=15. CSULB-B 23
Pepperdine 23
17. Golden West 18
18. UCSD-B 17
19. UCSB-C 15

1. Daniel Shea-UCSC 8.34
2. Drew Irons-SDSU 7.00
3. Keetin Devine-Mira Costa 6.84
4. Nick Olsen-Mira Costa 4.50
5. Scott Cole-SDSU 3.84
6. Marty Weinstein-UCSD 0.00

1. Erika Cook-Saddleback 6.50
2. Allie Brown-SDSU 5.34
3. Lipoa Kahaleuahi-UCSB 5.34
4. Sunshine Makarow-CSUSM 4.50
5. Darlene Connolly-Mira Costa 3.83
6. Chloe Buckley-Mira Costa 3.67

1. Billy Harris-Mira Costa 13.83
2. Paul Steinberg-UCSB 12.50
3. Chris Smith-CSUSM 8.50
4. Kevin Osborne-Saddleback 7.17
5. Mick Rodgers-CSUSM 6.67
6. Chris Cravey-UCSC 5.16

1. San Clemente 122
2. Huntington Beach 103
3. Newport Harbor 90
4. San Dieguito 73
5. Edison 71
6. Carlsbad 60
7. Laguna Beach 36
=8. Carpenteria 26
Mira Costa 26
10. Los Alamitos 21
11. Crossroads 18
12. Marina 16

1. Shaw Kobayashi-San Clemente 11.00
2. Evan Kane-Huntington Beach 9.00
3. Chase Wilson-Newport Harbor 7.33
4. Shayne Nelson-Huntington Beach 6.66
5. JD Lewis-San Dieguito 5.51
6. Kyle McGeary-Huntington Beach 1.67

1. Kaleigh Gilchrist-Newport Harbor 13.00
2. Taylor Pitz-Laguna Beach 11.34
3. Marissa Shaw-San Clemente 7.00
4. Emmy Merrill-San Clemente 6.67
5. Anise Guzman-Edison 6.00
6. Shelby Detmers-Newport Harbor 5.00

1. David Arganda-Carlsbad 13.00
2. Josh Gandulla-San Dieguito 10.17
3. Mike Maddox-Newport Harbor 9.83
4. Jeff Newell-Edison 9.33
5. Scott Brandenburg-San Clemente 8.83
6. Travis Sampson-Laguna Beach 6.67

1. San Clemente 81
2. Newport Harbor 79
3. Edison 49
4. Huntington Beach 45
5. Marina 17
6. Fusion Academy 16

1. Jeremy Carter-San Clemente 12.17
2. Sam Branker-San Clemente 11.00
3. Britt Galland-Fusion Academy 7.17
4. Mark Contreras-Newport Harbor 7.16
5. Randy Gilkerson-San Clemente 5.33
6. Fritz Howser-Newport Harbor 4.09

1. Elizabeth Eddy-Newport Harbor 6.50
2. Melina Smith-San Clemente 5.84
3. Chelsea Byland-San Clemente 4.00
4. Cambria Brandenburger-Newport Harbor 4.00
5. Jenee Paglia-Edison 2.84
6. Charlene Beck-Edison 2.67
6. Rachel Harris-Carpenteria 6.00

1. Shaun Thompson-Edison 17.50
2. Aaron Cervantes-Newport Harbor 9.67 tiebreak
3. Eli Gillis-San Clemente 9.67 tiebreak
4. Tony Bartovich-Huntington Beach 6.33
5. Britt Galland-Fusion Academy 5.83
6. Tyler Jackson-Marina 4.00

1. Shorecliffs-A 133
2. Marco Forster 84
3. Sowers-A 73
4. Dwyer 66
5. Shorecliffs-B 57
6. Bernice Ayer 42
7. Vista Del Mar 40
8. Sowers-B 36
9. Carpenteria 33
10. Muirlands 21

1. Kanoa Igarashi-Dwyer 11.84
2. Breyden Taylor-Shorecliffs 7.67
3. Scott Weinhardt-Marco Forster 7.50
4. Trevor Thornton-Shorecliffs 7.00
5. Jonah Carter-Shorecliffs 6.00
6. John Elles-Sowers 4.83

1. Lulu Erkeneff-Marco Forster 10.33
2. Nicole Hines-Marco Forster 6.17
3. Karina Rozunko-Shorecliffs 5.17
4. Emmy Lombard-Shorecliffs 4.67
5. Torrey Miethke-Sowers 3.67
6. Laine Ortiz-Dwyer 2.67

1. Andy Nieblas-Shorecliffs 12.16
2. Scott Weinhardt-Marco Forster 9.33
3. Mason Klink-Shorecliffs 8.00
4. Christian Stutzman-Vista Del Mar 5.83
5. Nathan Thompson-Sowers 4.83
6. Jordan Robinson-Sowers 4.66