Malibu Sharkies Football Still Learning

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Coach Michael Bonewitz talks with Sharkies player Roenster Santizo.

The Malibu Sharkies football team has already equaled their win total from last year. The team, composed of 10- to 12-year-old boys, has one victory. In its inaugural year, the team posted a single victory. 

Sharkies coach and program director Michael Bonewitz said the Sharkies have improved in their second season. 

“One year of experience is a major factor of improvement,” he said. “On top of that, the boys are really learning the importance of each and every job on the team and how it all works together to create an outcome.”

The Sharkies have two more weekends to increase their win total on the gridiron before the Gold Coast League playoffs start at the end of the month. 

The Sharkies also have four losses. 

Michael said success for the Sharkies program is not defined just by wins and losses.

“[We’re] successful not because of our record, but because the kids are having fun and getting better,” he said. 

During a 39-14 loss to Santa Barbara on Oct. 3, Malibu had some good plays on offense. There were the runs by True Bonewitz, Michael’s son, and a long catch made by Stazi Farrahi before halftime. 

The elder Bonewitz continuously encouraged the Sharkies throughout the contest, and parents and fans cheered on every good play. 

The Gold Coast League playoffs, which begin Oct. 24, will feature teams from Camarillo, Crown Valley, Carpinteria, Fillmore, Los Angeles, Moorpark, Oxnard, Santa Clarita, Santa Paula, Saugus, Simi Valley, the San Fernando Valley, Ventura and Westlake.

The Sharkies program also features a squad of nine 12- to 14-year-old boys who don’t play games, but are continuously practicing. 

Michael said the youth football program is still growing. 

“The program is still growing and developing these young football players, and another season under the belt is another season of learning and experience,” he said. “The boys are having a lot of fun, win or lose, and I think the parents are really enjoying the experience the boys are gaining in the areas of teamwork, respect, camaraderie and sportsmanship.”