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Cathedral High School of San Diego is set to face View Park Prep in the Southern California Boys Varsity Red final this weekend.
A victory would be a nice conclusion to a season that has seen Cathedral win all their league games so far. They have but the one blemish on their record, a 10-10 preseason tie to La Costa Canyon, one of the top Varsity White teams in Southern California.
Cathedral is a young team, with freshmen and sophomores sprinkled through Coach Glenn Irvine's lineup. but Irvine says youth isn't necessarily a worrying thing.
"Two years in a row now we have almost all of our players have rugby experience before they come here," said Irvine. "It's great because we have players who understand the basics of the game."
Cathedral is led by No. 8 and co-captain Aaron Mitchell, but has enjoyed a solid performance from their front row (all underclassmen) and some talented athletes in the backs, some of whom are already committing to top college rugby programs.
They will also be hosting this weekend's events, for both Varsity White and Varsity Red, as the Cathedral administration gets more and more behind rugby.
Even if they weren't the home team, Cathedral would be favored. On January 11 they faced View Park, and defeated then 35-15 in what Irvine said was one of their most competitive games. A week later Cathedral beat Fallbrook 43-5, a team View Park beat twice, by two and three points, respectively. View Park's only other loss of the season was to St. Augustine 43-33. Cathedral beat st. Augustine twice in successive weeks - 36-19 on Feb 1 in the final game of the regular season, and 43-26 last weekend in the semis.
All of the numbers then point to a Cathedral victory.
But, said Irvine, "we had a very, very competitive game against View Park, and they are really strong."