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Belmont Shore (Wilson HS) won the SoCal High School final Sunday with a 31-26 defeat of Cathedral.

Shore went out to an early lead and just held on in dramatic fashion.

“I am over the moon,” said Belmont Shore coach Gavin Hickie. “I find it incredibly exciting that I have a team of mainly 15-,16-year old kids who have four or five years of rugby under their belts. That bodes very well for American rugby.”

With a young squad, Shore was always going to have a tough time facing a more experienced Cathedral side.

“The Cathedral boys were huge,” said Hickie. “There's a big difference between a 15-year-old kid and a 17-year-old, and that was telling. But I am delighted that my team are starting to show an understanding and appreciation for some of the game’s technical aspects, like timing of counter-rucking, angles in the scrum, and four-up defense. Slowly, but surely, this technical understanding is coming and that has played a big part in our season.”