Congratulations to the U/16 Coastal Dragons rugby team, who won the Boys Southern California Youth Rugby Championship, 21-20, with an exciting win over San Monica at Cal State Long Beach.
The Coastal Dragons went ahead early, but the lead changed several times. A late penalty in regulation by the Dragons forced the game into overtime. Grabbing the lead early in the second overtime period, the Dragons then had a setback with three minutes to go when San Monica scored a converted try to take the lead by 4 points. Desperate under pressure, the Dragons scored a thrilling try in the dying seconds of this overtime and secured the championship by 1 point.
It is the first time in the club’s seven-year history that any team has made it to a final, and then sweetened it by coming home with its first trophy. A number of the boys have since been honored by being selected in the Regional All Star San Diego Representative side.
Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the US and is attracting a growing following with its inclusion in the 2016 Olympics. The Coastal Dragons, based out of Encinitas, is a local youth rugby program from U8 to U18, which competes in the traditional 15s and now Summer 7 programs.
The club brings together boys from a wide range of nearby schools, including some where rugby is not offered as a sport. Interestingly, footballers are seeing rugby as a fun offseason sport where they can keep in shape and get their hands on the ball.
For information on the Coastal Dragons, visit http://coastaldragonsrugby.com.