San Clemente Tritons Take The NSL High School Cup over Carlsbad Lancers

Well it's official. The San Clemente Tritons are the best surf team in southern California. After taking out the Newport Harbor Sailors, the Huntington Beach Oilers and the Carlsbad Lancers, Coach John Dowell, team Captain Tanner Gudauskas and eleven other ripping young teammates got to drink from the coveted Cup Saturday in Huntington Beach.

Saturday morning was greeted with overcast skies and peaky 3-4 foot Huntington Beach. As the teams began to make their way to the dugouts shortly after dawn, you could feel the air grow thick with anticipation, nerves and excitement. Both of these teams had beaten some incredible opponents to finally get to the Championship Game. They each wanted nothing more than to say they took the first ever High School Cup. Carlsbad Coach Dave Barr took hid number 2 seeded team past a number 1 seeded San Dieguito Academy, and then into the final Game where they would meet arguably the best team in the country. And Coach John Dowell of San Clemente showed the community why they are considered the best team in the country by taking out Newport an dHuntington High Schools in one weekend.. The two teams had watched each other surf and studied each others playbooks, but now they would face off in what would go down one of as the most exciting Games in NSL history.

A coin was tossed to decide who had the right to choose surfing first or second. Carlsbad winning, chose to surf second in hopes of having every last chance to win the Game. As San Clemente surfed the top of the first quarter, it looked as though nerves plagued a historically poised team. With low scores coming in from some of the Tritons and a total first quarter score of 15.5, they left themselves vulnerable right out of the gates. Carlsbad took advantage of the low opening score and poured on the points with big scores from Gabe Garcia and Brent Reilly. At the end of the first, Carlsbad had a respectable lead of 3 points, but the tables would soon turn.

A fired up Tanner Gudauskas and teammates came out hot in the 2nd quarter. Tanner posted a 6 and solid scored were dropped by Jake Dowell and Chase Brady. The San Clemente anchor squad put themselves back in the running by adding 18 points to the board. San Clemente now hoped that Carlsbad would have a low scoring quarter. And that they did. Surprisingly, the anchors for Carlsbad couldn't quite deliver. Duran Barr came to the beach with a 4.5 which ended up being the highest score they could drum up. In the end, they came in with a mere 14 points giving their opponents a 1 point lead going into half time.

The top of the 3rd was a repeat of the first. With low scores being dropped by San Clemente, the tables reversed giving Carlsbad an opportunity to strike back. Again it was Gabe Garcia and Brent Reilly showing up to the plate. Gabe drops a 5.5 on a solid wave and Brent comes up with a 7 and the highest scoring ride of the day so far. The Carlsbad team goes nuts on the bench as they once again take the lead.

The San Clemente Tritons had one last shot in the top of the 4th to win the Game. Coach Dowell kept his strongest weapons in the bottom of the line up for this reason. With a dropping tide and the wind coming up, the waves were getting tricky. However, Kevin Hair and Chase Brady set the pace by posting two solid scores off the bat. With the foundation set, Tanner absolutely exploded on a left that left the crowd on their feet. Going incredibly fast down the line on one of the better waves of the day, Tanner squared off on the lip, blowing tail on every turn through the outside. Tanner weaved 50 yards through the infamous Huntington mid section, where he did multiple foam bounces and finally made it to the inside. Once in the shorebreak, he tirelessly put up another two turns for an 8 point ride that would be the highest wave of the day. Tanner's wave brought the Tritons to a 20.5 quarter and again they took the lead.

Carlsbad had the last stab at the Game. Situations like these are exactly why Coach Dave Barr chose to surf second. The Lancers needed 18.5 points to tie. They had scored 18.5 points exactly in 2 of the 3 quarters prior and just needed to reach deep and do it one more time. Some low scores were put on the board coming out of the Gates. Carlsbad was under pressure to perform but couldn't get into rhythm. 2's and 3's seemed to be all they could find in the mixed up beach break, but then Eric Geislehart and sub Chris Belk began to put some points up. With that momentum Charlie Stevens delivered a big score coming in with a 6. It was Duran Barr's wave that could have put the Lancers over the top to win it. Duran, surfing brilliantly throughout the season put up some beautiful turns on a wave for what the Carlsbad team thought would be scored as a 6. The Lancers were ecstatic, jumping and hooting as they awaited the score. A 6 would win the Game and a 5.5 would tie! Duran was given a 5!

The San Clemente Tritons went on to claim the inaugural NSL High School Cup and further status as the best team in the country. However, a fiery Carlsbad squad made them earn every ounce of their victory. This Game would end up the highest scoring Game of the season and the closest. The final couldn't have been scripted any better.

Red Bull and the NSL would like to thank all of the participants for the incredible passion and commitment they gave to the season, and to the coaches for all of their hard work. A huge thanks goes to each of the communities that supported their high school athletes. Those communities will be responsible for furthering the surfers' futures as amateur and professional athletes.

The 2006 NSL High School Cup was the first step in bringing an entirely view to the sport of surfing through community and a structure people are used to. Look for more High School surfing from the National Surf League in the Near future.

The National Surf League is a revolutionary professional surfing league dedicated to the pursuit of surfing excellence, generating consumer awareness for the sport of surfing while creating a unique format for all types of competitive surfers.

The NSL would like to thank Red Bull, Hurley, Reef, Electric and Carve Board for their ongoing support.

For more information go to or contact: Jeff Cutler / 310 {{{940}}} 5923.

Schools (as seeded for the event):


1. San Clemente High School

2. Huntington Beach High School

3. Edison High School

4. Newport harbor High School


1. San Dieguito Academy

2. Carlsbad High School

3. Torrey Pines High School

4. Point Loma High School

NSL's High School Cup Dates:

Week 1) Huntington High vs. Edison (Huntington W - Edison L)

Friday 4/21 at HB Pier

Week 2) Carlsbad vs. Torrey Pines (Carlsbad W - Torrey Pines L)

∗ Friday 5/5 at Ponto

Week 3) San Dieguito vs. Point Loma

∗ Friday 5/12 at Seaside Reef (San Dieguito W - Point Loma L)

Week 4) San Clemente vs. Newport Harbor (San Clemente W - Newport L)

Friday 6/2 at San Clemente Pier

Week 4)

Saturday and Sunday June 3 and 4 at North side San Clemente Pier

∗ San Diego Semi Finals 1 Sat June 3, 9am (Carlsbad W - San Dieguito L)

∗ Orange County Semi Finals 2 Sunday June 4, 9am (San Clemente W - Huntington Beach High L)

Week 5) Championships Huntington Beach Pier June 10th

Saturday 8am Saturday June 10 - before {{{Celebrity}}} Surf Jam (San Clemente W - Carlsbad L)