It was all San Dieguito, every wave. Golden carbonated liquid rained down to cover the national champions; Red Bull straight up for the high school athletes.
The second annual Red Bull High School National Cup Championship hosted the nation's top teams, but there was one obvious standout. San Dieguito Academy – from North County, San Diego – earned boasting rights for a full year.
The Competition used the National Surf League "Game" format pioneered by Brad Gerlach. The game has quarters, coaches, timeouts and borrows from some of the traditional ball sports. The result is a refreshing, team-first type of competition that keeps every player's head in the "Game." "The game will improve your surfing, bottom line," said professional surfer and Ventura High coach Sean Hayes.
The event went down yesterday at San Onofre State Beach's Trail 6. Conditions were contestable: chest to head high, and mostly lefts. There were some long lulls between sets, though, which created problems for Ventura High School in the semifinals, and Huntington Beach High School in the finals. "We just didn't get the waves we needed," said Dustin Willman of Ventura High School.
San Dieguito Academy had no problem getting the waves they needed. "It was almost like it was their home break," said Coach Verdone of the Huntington Beach Oilers. SDA standout Eric Snortum was "really happy" with his, and his team's performance. In the final round, MVP Nick Suhadolnik was subbed in at a crucial moment, and came up with an 8.0 to give SDA a huge momentum boost.
The Huntington Beach Oilers had the help of two former world champs Sunny Garcia and Peter "PT" Townend, but still took second place. Ventura High School took equal third place and did it with the swagger and confidence synonymous with Ventura surfers.
But no amount of swagger will override the fact that San Dieguito reigns. Prepare for the Cardiff homecoming parade.