Skateboarding league opens with bang

COSTA MESA — Students from 10 different Orange County and San Diego teams kicked off the National Scholastic Skateboarding League's season at Volcom's outdoor skatepark in Costa Mesa on Jan. 27.

The first of two rounds saw teams from Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Harbor, Northwood, East Lake and El Toro high schools compete in street course and bowl categories. In the middle school bracket, competitors from Dwyer, St. Edward's, Ensign and Costa Mesa rounded out the evening.

A night of strong tournament style skating quickly set the bar for the rest of the school year with individuals gaining significant point leads straight out the gate. While only half of the NSSL's teams competed, early individual standouts were clear as the unseasonable warm night progressed.

High school newcomers Brandon Burleigh and Tyler Hollenbeck from El Toro dominated their respective bowl heats, earning themselves first- and second-place overall and their team a staggering four-point lead over last season's favorites, Newport Harbor and Northwood.

Costa Mesa alumna Sarah Thompson overcame her ankle injury with a strong showing in the bowl for her first contest of the season. Other top-scoring bowl mentions go to Dwyer's Gavin Alsop and Kouhei Kito, whose crowd-pleasing styles had fans roaring.

On the street course, the kids from Costa Mesa picked up where they left off last season, making a strong showing overall in the home skatepark. Not to be outdone, Riley Greer and Anthony Hughes from Dana Point nudged out several crowd favorites, securing third place overall for the St. Edwards team.

With round two of NSSL's season opener on Friday at Volcom's outdoor skatepark in Costa Mesa, teams from San Clemente, Estancia, Fountain Valley, Corona del Mar, Canyon Crest, Edison, Bernice Ayer, Shorecliffs, Masuda, Earl Warren and Sowers will begin to accumulate points and improve their teams overall ranking.

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