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Sea Kings' surf team's back

Pawell helps with return of Corona del Mar's surf team after 15 years without such a squad.

October 28, 2010|By Steve Virgen,
(Courtesy of Kim…)

All Mikey Pawell wanted to do was to be a part of a surf team at his high school. Who knew he had to lead a boy scout troop to make it happen.

For the past 15 years Corona del Mar High has been without a surf team. Pawell, a senior, wanted the drought to end. There's no way a school so close to the beach should be without a team of kids who love to surf, he thought.

Venturing a boy scout troop, attaining sponsors, recruiting surfers and coaches were some of the efforts he would need to take on to recreate a Sea Kings' surf team. Most high school surf teams venture a boy scout troop to acquire insurance for their squad.

On Wednesday, Pawell finally saw the payment of his hard work. Surfers tend to admire the beauty of waves. Pawell said he was stoked to see CdM finally compete.


"It's like I lost my voice today," Pawell said in a raspy tone over the phone. "I was yelling a lot today. I was pretty excited. It was fun."

CdM's renewed surf team beat Mater Dei in its debut Wednesday at Brookhurst in Huntington Beach.

Three years ago, Pawell never thought a surf team at CdM could happen. As a sophomore he found out he could compete at Estancia High instead, and so off he went to surf with the Eagles. But when he was a junior, surfers from CdM started to outnumber the Estancia kids on the team, Pawell said. He realized surfing at Estancia would not happen in his senior year, so he knew he had to start a team at CdM.

With his friend Peter Anastos, he went to work. They went to the CdM administration with a plan. Pawell didn't want to see that plan die. More than six years ago, his older brother, Ryan, hit dead ends with his friends when they tried to bring a surf team back to CdM.

Mikey Pawell remained determined. When he saw his friend's dad while surfing at Blackies, he told him of his idea. Jake Hoose, whose daughter, Bobbi, is now on the team, wanted to help Pawell. Hoose, who graduated from CdM in 1986, was on the surf team while in high school. He wanted to help bring the team back.

Hoose, who works for Volcom, is immersed in the surf industry and helped the Sea Kings land Cordell Miller as the head coach. Hoose works as the assistant coach. Miller, a former pro surfer, is a local shaper who helped give the CdM surf team instant credibility. The Sea Kings don't seem ready to compete on the level as powerhouse Newport Harbor, but they believe they one day soon will.

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