Jay Paris: North County shines with sports

Jay Paris: North County shines with sports
The fierce warriors battle fiercely in the fierce sea during the surf joust competition. Photo by Tony Cagala

It’s an embarrassment of riches.

How else to describe this weekend in North County?

Looking for something to do that involves sports? You’ve in the right place.

From Little League All-Star games to surfing events to a triathlon to pro tennis, North County is jumping.

For the kids in cleats, it’s a critical time as district tournaments wind down, with the winners advancing. It will be hard for any squad to match Encinitas Little League’s run from last year, when it reached the West Regional semifinals, only to lose to eventually U.S. champion, Nevada.

While the youngsters fill the diamonds, many will go shoulder-to-shoulder at Encinitas’ Moonlight Beach.

It’s amazing that the Switchfoot Bro-Am and Rob Machado Bro Junior extravaganza is celebrating its 11th year. This combination of tubes and tunes is always a big hit, but not just for those competing.

With Switchfoot, whose members hail from North County working the stage, and Machado a Cardiff resident, working the waves, Saturday should be special.

Sure winners will be crowned but really, these competitions are about delivering a feel-good vibe instead of filling a mantle with trophies. With a private fund-raising dinner leading up to Saturday’s all-day bash, the biggest benefactors are North County charities.

It’s an endeavor that has donated more than $1.1 million to area organizations and it seems to reaching for another level.

For the first time the surfing and Switchfoot concert will be streamed lived by ViaSat, a Carlsbad wireless and technology company. And it will be done so with Carlsbad High broadcasting students leading a hand.

Just like there will be countless volunteers helping at the 34th Carlsbad Triathlon, one of the oldest triathlons in America.

Thousands will converge on Tamarack Surf Beach on Sunday, but not to bury their toes in the sand. Instead it’s a 1K swim, 25K bike ride and a 5K run that awaits them alongside a course, which is forgiving and gorgeous.

Over at Carlsbad’s Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, the San Diego Aviators are cleared for takeoff on Sunday.

The World Team Tennis squad, which hung its shingle at the Valley View Casino Center last season, has landed just off El Camino Real.

The Aviators, coached by former pro John Lloyd, features Madison Keys and Taylor Fritz.

Keys, an Australian Open semifinalist, lost to Agnieska Radwanska in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Keys, 20, is projected as the future face of American women’s tennis.

And Fritz, 17, aims for his second consecutive juniors major finals after showing so well at the French Open.

Wimbledon isn’t all strawberries and cream, as North County is well represented.

The iconic Rod Laver of Carlsbad is in the Royal Box for the weekend matches.

Rancho Santa Fe’s CoCo Vandeweghe thrilled crowds before bowing out in three grueling sets to Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals.

Give no quarter this weekend if trying to make all these local events.

Comic-Con is in San Diego this week but for athletics, North County is super, man.

Contact Jay Paris at jparis8@aol.com, Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.


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