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Rivalries Revisited As SoCal's SCIRF Starts Up

HS Boys

Rivalries Revisited As SoCal's SCIRF Starts Up

Patrik Lundqvist photo.

Southern California kicks off its high school season this weekend with some key early matchups, not least of which will be Torrey Pines hosting La Costa Canyon.

these two teams know each other very well and have formed an excellent rivalry, albeit one in which La Costa has had a slight upper hand in recent years.

“Playing our rivals in the first game is certainly not ideal,” said Torrey Pines head coach Matty Sandoval. “We are very young, but have some good athletes and barely enough time to teach them rugby, but we hope to bring our best.”

Torrey Pines features junior Oren Cargill at flyhalf, and transfer (from Cathedral) Toby Calhoun at scrumhalf. Flanker Eric Misak captains this year’s Falcons squad, after his standout performance at last year’s National Championship tournament.

La Costa Canyon features an experienced front row with props Quinton Tindal, and Thomas Psicogios, and hooker Nolan Opalski.

“Although young, most of our players have at least a couple years experience” said LCC head coach Mike Maister, “it’s going to be a great derby played between two old foes.”

Clearly, both schools would’ve preferred their match deeper in the season, but that's the point of the new independent SoCal boys HS league. All of the games will be tough. With LA-area teams St. John Bosco and Mira Costa coming in, and Fallbrook back as well, every week will be a challlenge.

For Mira Costa, the opening weekend sees the Mustangs take on San Clemente.

Mira Costa will, for the first time, have a starting No. 8 whose last name is not Tavai. Austin Tiradeau steps in to a position dominated by the talented Tavai brothers. Evan Anderson is back at flyhalf, while Reed Vabrey and Slade Gordon form an imposing midfield.

Luke Mohr will anchor the forwards with the support of Ben Wilberding, Tomy Underragga, and Jerum Cortez. Joining the coaching staff is former UC Davis standout Harruson Morrow. 

And finally Fallbrook, a program that was the toast of Southern California a few years ago before struggling with the school administration for recognition, takes on a very tough St. Augustine in the third league game in the new SCIRF.