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Warriors stopped in rugby championship match

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School’s boys rugby team played in the Southern California Interscholastic Rugby Federation’s championship match, but Cathedral Catholic won the championship with a 45-0 victory Feb. 24 at Cathedral.

“We did lose in the championship game, but taking that second place, being in the championship game, was a good experience for us,” said Fallbrook coach Sierra Arteaga.

Arteaga was a Fallbrook High School senior and a player for the Warriors’ rugby team in 2015 when Fallbrook last played in a championship match. “This was a huge year for us to even reach the finals, a really, really successful season,” Arteaga said. “Overall, it was a great year for the rugby program.”

The score of the final was 45-0. “It was a rough one, but Cathedral was really strong,” Arteaga said.

Cathedral entered the final with an 8-0 record. Fallbrook was 7-1 prior to the championship game with the loss being against Cathedral on Jan. 21 at Cathedral. The Dons won that game by a 41-17 margin.

In the Feb. 24 final, the Dons held a 26-0 halftime lead. “They didn’t put in subs until the last 15 minutes. We definitely played competitively,” Arteaga said. “We made small errors.”

Cathedral has an east-west field. Significant wind was blowing from south to north during the game. “We were trying to kick to the sideline,” Arteaga said.

Arteaga acknowledges that Cathedral was the better team Feb. 24. “Definitely not disappointed,” he said. “Definitely very proud of the program to do this in my second year as head coach.”

Mike Majewski was Fallbrook’s head coach in 2015 and retired after that season. Liam Harnett coached the Warriors for the following three years. Steve Hernandez was Fallbrook’s coach in 2019 and 2020 and also coached the Warriors during the shortened 2021 season. Arteaga made his coaching debut as an assistant coach in 2021. His head coaching debut in 2022 concluded with the Warriors having a 5-3 record.

“We’re definitely looking forward to the next season,” Arteaga said.


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