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By Jake Howard

In sports, there’s nothing better than going out on top. Riding off into the sunset with trophy in hand, it’s how every athlete dreams of concluding their career. Whether it’s baseball, basketball or surfing, ending on a high note is the epitome of a fruitful run. Last week at the Scholastic Surf Series (SSS) High School Championships, the senior boys from San Clemente High School’s surf team experienced just that.

Held in Oceanside in playful and very contestable conditions, the Tritons’ graduating class showed up in force. Dominating the men’s shortboard division, the talented pack of seniors, including Elijah Fox, David Economos, Noah Hohenester, Noah Atwood, Curran Dand, Davi Toledo, Jaric Fink, Michael Tilly and Bryce Crane, rallied to win the men’s shortboard division.

“It’s a big class and a very talented class. A lot of them will be going on to some of the top schools in the country and it’s really exciting to be able to send them off this way,” coach John Dowell told the San Clemente Times.

From as far north as Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay all the way to San Diego, over 40 high schools from the state took place in the contest, making the Tritons’ accomplishments all the sweeter.

The following weekend, with an equally fun south swell in the water, the SSS Middle School Championships hit the beach in Oceanside. Not to be outdone by their high school peers, the powerhouse that is the Shorecliffs Middle School surf team went to work. Taking the overall team win, the squad was buoyed by the performances of Aidan Sautner, Sawyer Lindblad and Carolyn Sachse—who also came away with the Sportswomen of the Year award for her impassioned team spirit.

Year in and year out, San Clemente High and Shorecliffs Middle Schools produce some of California’s and the United States’ most talented scholar-surfers. A huge reason for this is the principled dedication and leadership of coach Dowell and coach Dave Hennings at Shorecliffs. To build programs that consistently deliver amazing results is deserving of some serious applause. Of course, the programs couldn’t be what they are without all of the parents, supporters and sponsors that make things happen on the daily as well.

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