Coronado Middle School has a variety of sports to choose from, offering kids of all abilities the chance to compete in something they have a passion for. It is no surprise that many of these Southern California kids choose to surf, allowing them to connect with nature, stay fit while paddling and compete against surfers from across the county. Two 8th graders, Rylie Brenden and Shane Gillard competed in all five surfing competitions during the season for San Diego Division II and they were finalists in all of them, resulting in them being ranked second overall in Longboard.
“I was super excited with my results for this surf season after working really hard over the course of this year trying to improve,” said Rylie Brenden. “Coach Mike helped me a lot this year.”
CMS has 18 students competing with the Surf Team, which practices on Wednesdays and Sundays and participates in competitions from Oceanside Harbor to Ocean Beach. There are five schools that make up Division II: La Jolla, San Dieguito, Carlsbad, Torrey Pines, La Costa Canyon and Coronado. “We have had a very challenging season with all the weather and the rain,” said Mike Gillard, CMS Surf Team Coach. “I’m very proud of our team, with their resilience and determination to adapt to the continually changing conditions.”
Gillard stepped up and took over coaching the CMS Surf team last year after Stan Searfus passed away in January, devastating so many in the Coronado community. Gillard, a surfing legend and good friend and surfing buddy with Stan, assisted Stan with coaching mainly through demonstrating the proper technique. In an earlier interview with the Coronado Times, Mike shared, “I got to spend so much of my life being selfish. Traveling all over the world, doing what I loved and getting paid for it. Now I have a chance to give something back and carry out Stan’s legacy. There has been so much positive feedback and support from the community that it’s made me realize ‘wow’ this really does mean a lot to these kids and parents.”
Many of the students on the CMS Surf team are heading off to high school to which Gillard commented, “It will be a rebuilding year.” He encourages interested kids to join them on the beach Saturday and Sunday mornings and Wednesdays after school during the school year.