NSSA State Championship Preview

THE 2001 NSSA INTERSCHOLASTIC STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS CHURCH BEACH MARCH 24-25.COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS SATURDAY, MARCH 24.HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS SUNDAY, MARCH 25.

THE NSSA INTERSCHOLASTIC STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND ALL OF THE 2001 NSSA CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE PROUDLY SPONSORED BY RUSTY, BODY GLOVE, SURFING/SURFING GIRL/BODYBOARDING MAGAZINES, HUNTINGTON SURF AND SPORT, REEF, SWELL.COM, KGRIP SKATE.

There’s been a lot of talk since that warm day in June last year, when San Clemente High School successfully defended their 1999 National title by defeating the heavily favored Carlsbad team by one, yes one point. And there’s been a lot of chatter between the proud, perennial National Champions UC Santa Barbara and the talent loaded Long Beach State team as to who’s the best. And when Shorecliffs Middle School scorched the competition at last year’s State and National Championships, a couple of new Middle Schools have entered into the picture to have a shot at them. There’s no question that the 2001 NSSA College, High School and Middle School State Championships will live up to the hype and deliver some of the most thrilling team match ups and incredible surfing performances. Many of the teams are jam-packed with past and present NSSA champions and current high ranking Open and Explorer Season surfers. Here is a preview of some of the top seeded teams that will be competing.

HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS#1 SEED – SAN CLEMENTE TRITONS (1999,2000 NSSA National Champions)Coach: Bill HartmanThe two time defending National Champions are led by the powerful and super stylish Greg Long, 2000 National Open Juniors Champion Travis Mellem, 2000 National Middle School Champion Patrick Gudauskas, top 5 Open Juniors competitor Dane Gudauskas, Matt Gahan and #4 ranked Open Mens competitor Andrew Gahan who just scored an impressive win at the Salt Creek Open. They also have ranking NSSA surfers Tanya Booth in the Womens and Dustin Franks in the Longboard. Their team spirit is strong and riding on the high of two straight National titles. That’s why the Tritons are the team to beat.

#2 SEED – CARLSBAD LANCERS (2000 NSSA State Champions)Coach: Denny CooperAfter suffering the heart breaking one point loss to San Clemente at the Nationals last year, Carlsbad will be more pumped then ever to claim a victory. Losing will not be an option for this team. The Lancers are stocked full of high ranking NSSA surfers. #1 ranked Open Mens and Explorer Junior Dane Johnson will lead a power packed line up including #2 ranked Open Mens Mike Klein, #9 ranked Open Mens Justin Wiegand, #12 ranked Open Mens Josh Montgomery, #14 ranked Open Mens Sean Taylor and multi NSSA champion Che Stang. In addition the team includes 2000 National Open Bodyboard Champion Rusty Friesen. With this mega deep team roster, the odds for success is a no brainer.

#3 SEED – SAN DIEGUITO MUSTANGS (1992 NSSA National Champions)Coach: Bob TeisherDarrell Goodrum #2 ranked in Explorer Juniors, will lead off for San Dieguito as they try and do battle with the heavy hitting San Clemente and Carlsbad squads. #19 Open Mens Adam Instone and #20 ranked Explorer Junior Ryan Judson will add some competitive experience but the Mustangs don’t match up when it comes to the depth of the top two teams. They should get considerable help from Natalee Trefren #3 ranked in the Open , who has a strong shot at taking the State title in the Womens division.

#4 SEED – HUNTINGTON BEACH OILERS (17 time NSSA National Champions)Coach: Andy VerdoneThe seventeen time National Champions are still struggling to find their way out of the cold spell that has plagued them for the past couple years. Shaun Ward #10 ranked Open Mens and Brandon Guilmette #11 ranked Open Mens are their strongest competitors. Willie Safreed #24 ranked Open Mens just came off a noteworthy semi final placing at the Salt Creek Open. However it appears that the San Clemente and Carlsbad teams he too much depth for the Oilers to bear.

Other High Schools competing include Edison, Marina, Dana Hills, Vista, Torrey Pines, Point Loma, Carpenteria, Half Moon Bay. In addition, San Clemente, Carlsbad, San Dieguito, Huntington, Edison and Marina will also have “B” teams participating.

COLLEGE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS#1 SEED UC SANTA BARBARA VICTOR(A TEAM) ( 2001 Southwest Conference College Champions; 8 time National Champions)Captains: Sean Walker, Sean O’Toole Fueled by a heavy rivalry with Long Beach, the UCSB team came out of hibernation this season, winning two events and claiming the conference title – their first NSSA title since winning the State title two years ago. 2000 Western Explorer Mens Champion Sean Walker will lead his team which features college event #2 winner Pat Drummy and event #4 winner Mike Bilgren. UCSB team members have claimed the last two College State Mens crowns – defending 2000 champion Bart Templeman and 1999 champ Sean Walker. They also benefit from an incredible longboard squad including conference champion Tanner Beckett and two time National Champion Dylan Mignogna. Additionally the UCSB squad is so deep that their Vector team (‘B’ team) is the #4 seed at the championships.

#2 SEED CSU LONG BEACH Captains: Ben Will, Jon MoyerWith NSSA Western champion Ben Will, 3 time National Champion Mikey Reilly and WQS womens competitor Jodie Downs, the revamped Long Beach team looked like the team to beat until the pride filled UCSB squad came alive. Along with Ben who won the conference Collegiate Mens title, Long Beach has three other members, Joey Montes, Justin Harcharic and Mike Reilly in the top 10. Aaron Garrett #2 College Longboard, should also give them a boost. Many of Long Beach’s team members know how to win championships, so they should be a good bet to score the State title. And after losing the conference race, they will be hungrier than ever.

#3 SEED MIRA COSTA (2000 Conference, State and National Champions)Coach: Rich LangenCoach Rich Langen has built up a strong team program at Mira Costa. In their first year competing in 2000, they swept every NSSA collegiate title. This season, they were slightly handicapped with the departure of National Collegiate Champion Austin Ware and Nick Kovack. Dave Baughman #2 ranked College Mens and Sam Baugh #2 ranked Explorer Mens have played a big role this season and were instrumental in Mira Costa’s one victory at College event #3. They will also have major help from National Collegiate Champion Kyla Langen and #2 ranked bodyboarder Matt Downey. The defending champions seemed to have gained momentum down the stretch so look for them to give UCSB and Long Beach a run for the money.

#5 SEED UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO Captain: AJ Moyer Captain AJ Moyer has played a key role in turning the USD surf team into title contenders. NSSA champion Dylan Slater joined the team this season and will give them valuable championship experience. Clay Gallagher #10 ranked College Mens and Dru Melidossin #3 ranked College Bodyboard have produced solid results. The USD team may not have the depth of the top three but you have to give them merit as the most improved team of the year.

MIDDLE SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS#1 SEED SHORECLIFFS MIDDLE SCHOOL (2000 NSSA National and State Champions)Shorecliffs dominated the Middle School division last year taking both the State and National titles. 7th grader Tanner Gudauskas who scored a remarkable victory at the State Championships last year will be joined by Max McIlwee #3 ranked Explorer Boys and Dane Ward #11 ranked Explorer Boys. The defending champions could get a serious challenge from Bernice Ayer Middle School who have several ranked NSSA competitors in their line up. Other Middle Schools competing are three time National Champion Dwyer, two time National Champion Sowers and Carpenteria Middle School. In addition Shorecliffs and Bernice Ayer will have ‘B’ teams competing.

The NSSA Interscholastic State Championships will begin at 6:30 am. The awards ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the Collegiate Championships on March 24 and the High School and Middle School Championships on March 25. The top 12 colleges, top 10 high schools and top 4 middle schools will be invited to the 2001 NSSA National Championships June 23-24 at Salt Creek.

For more information regarding the NSSA Interscholastic State Championships please contact Janice Aragon at the NSSA National Office (714) 536-0445 or email jaragon@nssa.org.

The NSSA Interscholastic State Championships will begin at 6:30 am. The awards ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the Collegiate Championships on March 24 and the High School and Middle School Championships on March 25. The top 12 colleges, top 10 high schools and top 4 middle schools will be invited to the 2001 NSSA National Championships June 23-24 at Salt Creek.

For more information regarding the NSSA Interscholastic State Championships please contact Janice Aragon at the NSSA National Office (714) 536-0445 or email jaragon@nssa.org.