LAHAINA - The regular season is over, and it is playoff time once again for the Lahainaluna High School football team.
The Lunas finished the Maui Interscholastic League season last week at 7-1 in the MIL and 8-1 overall, winning their seventh consecutive Division II championship while securing a tie with Baldwin for the overall title.
Lahainaluna will now set its sights on the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Playoffs that will begin on the weekend of Nov. 9-10.
The seniors have had a major impact on the Lahainaluna High School football team. PHOTO BY ART FILLAZAR.
The current D-II seedings rank the Lunas in the third slot behind defending champion Iolani at number one and Konawaena at number two.
The tentative schedule gives Iolani and Konawaena first round byes, and sets Lahainaluna to play the loser of the Oahu Interscholastic League White Division championship game between Radford and Nanakuli here on Maui Nov. 9 or 10.
This will be the final run for 13 seniors on the Lahainaluna squad, and Co-head Coach Garret Tihada praised the group for their leadership and dedication this season and throughout their student athlete careers.
"This group really stepped up the off-season leadership in the weight room. They have really made a lasting, positive impact on the team by creating a solid foundation for the future. We thank them for this," he said.
Senior tri-captains John John Lacuesta, Mark Alamon and Tytus Lucas have spearheaded the Lunas all year long to one of the most successful regular seasons in recent memory.
Lacuesta and Alamon are three-year veterans of the program, while Lucas has suited up for the Luna varsity for all of his four years at the school.
Classmate Sami Filiai is also a four-year letterman, while Asi Fotongia, Joshua Coston, Christian Portugal, Darren Recaidio, Semisi Filikitonga and Reece Sinenci are two-year contributors. Christian Cardenas Ayala, Kele Balagso and Lovai Hong are first-year players for the Lunas.
Senior managers for the team were Kaua Arcangel, Kekua Haake and Tita Akina.
"We've slowly improved during the season as opposed to previous times," said Coach Garret last week, as the team prepared for the Maui High game.
"Across the board, we've improved, and I think we have a good shot to go far in the playoffs... we owe our success to those kids that came out and led the way in the weight room. They all realized what it takes to be successful, and that is hard work. Not just in football, but in everything - if you work hard, you'll be successful.
"We are really thankful to these kids for their refuse to lose attitude - all of them have this. And we are always thankful for the community support we always get. Our community, our fans always have to travel the farthest to come to support us, but we always have the biggest crowd support. This is really amazing, and we are so thankful to everyone for this," he concluded.