OCHS surf team to compete in national competition in California

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Members of the Ocean City High School surf team, pictured with Coach Mark Miedema, center, will travel to Dana Point, Calif. in June for a national surfing championship. The team is raising money to make the trip possible and is hosting a clothing drive this weekend. Members of the Ocean City High School surf team, pictured with Coach Mark Miedema, center, will travel to Dana Point, Calif. in June for a national surfing championship. The team is raising money to make the trip possible and is hosting a clothing drive this weekend.  OCEAN CITY — Nine members of the Ocean City High School surf team will be heading to California in June, and they need your help to get there.

The team qualified to go to the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s National Interscholastic Championship in Dana Point, Calif. June 14 – 16.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the kids,” said Jennifer Bowman, a parent of one of the surfing athletes who is leading the fundraising effort. “We have to raise $10,000 for the kids to get there.”

Bowman said the team and their supporters are hitting the ground running.

On Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 the surf team will be collecting old clothes and other household goods at the Sixth Street Firehouse in Ocean City. 

“Just load up all of your old unwanted clothes and drop them off at the firehouse,” said Bowman, adding that clothing could be placed in trash bags. 

Clean out your closet and your house, she advised, because they will accept handbags, shoes, belts, linens, tablecloths, hard toys and stuffed animals.

“We can’t take books, CDs, or VCR tapes,” Bowman advised. “We get $1 per pound for the clothing and the other stuff.”

The clothing drive serves two purposes, she said.

“Spring cleaning, it gets you to clean out those jam-packed closets and it will help send the OC Surf Team to California,” she said.

On May 10, the team will host a Wing Night at DiOrio’s Café in Somers Point. On May 30, team members will host a car wash. The event will also feature a surf apparel sale.

“There is plenty of opportunity to help out the team,” said Bowman.

Team members participating in the National Championship include Abby Lyons, Peter Anderson, Frank Brady, Townie Godfrey, Pat McCarron, Matt Aramando, Luke Kelly, Caroline Bowman and Sean Bowman.

The team traveled to the event for the first time last year. It is an opportunity of a lifetime, said Jennifer Bowman.

“It’s a really cool trip,” said Bowman. “It’s phenomenal for them to be there. I really feel that it is an experience that we should give the kids every year. Some may not have the opportunity to go to California if we don’t help them raise the money.

“As a Choice School, we should be doing this,” she said. “It’s an awesome opportunity, traveling across the country, a trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives.” 

Caroline Bowman, an Ocean City High School senior headed for Stockton College in the fall, said she went last year and had a blast.

“All we did was eat, sleep and surf,” she said. The competition, she said, was fun, but intense and demanding. Athletes had to be well-rested and well-fed.  “It’s strictly a surfing trip. You’re there to surf and experience a whole different environment. It was really fun to be there with high school kids from all over the country.”

Surfing the Pacific waves, she said, was awesome. Very different, she said, from what they experience at home on the Atlantic Ocean.

“To be there, with the surf team and our coach, to share the experience, is something I will never forget,” she said. “We competed in an entirely different environment against kids from New York, Hawaii and California, all over the country, it was really cool.”

“They had the college championships a few days later and we got to watch some of the college teams surf too,” she said. The team, she said, had an opportunity to enjoy the waves and immerse themselves in the local surfing scene, soaking up the local culture.

It is an excellent way to end her OCHS career, she said.

“We’re really excited,” she said.  

The surfing team has won the NSSA Northeast Conference High School Championships for 23 of the past 25 years. They finished in third place in the fall, which qualified them for nationals.

The team is also accepting cash donations. Those willing to donate may make checks out to the Ocean City Surf Team and send them to Tom Aramondo at 824 Seacliff Road in Ocean City.


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