LAHAINA - The propagation of a legend might be considered a daunting task to some, but for Lahainaluna High School tennis coach Macario Pascual, the job of carrying on the model set forth by one of the West Side's endearing community mentors comes as naturally as an evening stroll along a Maui seashore.
Pascual is a living example of the invaluable life lessons taught by Shigeto "Shigesh" Wakida, who established the Lahaina Tennis Club in the 1950s and based his coaching on the premise of hard work and respect for others.
Through over 50 years as the leader of youth tennis in Lahaina, Wakida's stern insistence on selflessness, dedicated practice on the court and strong effort in the classroom from his protgs led to countless success stories of state and county championships on several levels, college scholarships and professional careers.
Coach Macario Pascual said Lahainaluna High School tennis players pushed each other to improve this season. PHOTOS BY ART FILLAZAR.
The public tennis courts on Front Street in Old Lahaina Town are named the Shigeto "Shigesh" Wakida Courts in his honor.
Pascual is one of those tennis players who benefited from the guidance of Wakida. Pascual became a state champion for the Lunas and went on to a collegiate tennis career on the Mainland.
He then returned home to Maui, launched a professional career as an artist and began his personal reinvestment to the community of the priceless value of the lessons taught to him by Wakida within the sport of tennis.
Pascual has continued the tradition of success within the Lahaina Tennis Club and at Lahainaluna. In the summer and fall, Coach Mac lends his leadership to the LTC and in the spring to the Luna programs.
On both fronts, West Side tennis is flourishing, and up the hill at Lahainaluna, the championship fervor is rising.
The Lady Lunas in particular are on the rise, and only a limited roster prevented them from winning a Maui Interscholastic League team title two weeks ago, after they captured the regular season crown going into the post-season tournament.
They were definitely in the mix in the individual competition state qualifier that was played at the Royal Lahaina Courts last week, however, and look to send three to four players to the state tournament on May 1-3 at Wailea here on Maui.
On the other side of the team's practice site at Lahaina Civic Center, the Luna boys - a very young and inexperienced team, according to Coach Mac - are looking to move up in the MIL standings.
"Several of the boys were beginners in the sport this year, but they showed great perseverance and have improved all season long. They all have learned to take what comes in stride and move forward. They have learned to take responsibility for what happens to them," he said, as the teams began practice last week at the LCC courts.
"This team has shown great camaraderie in working together to be better. They have become closer in pushing each other to improve and, in doing so, learned to build character that way. This is just a fantastic bunch that have shown great chemistry as a team. I am thankful to all of them, to their parents that supported the team, to our (Athletic Director) Scott Soldwisch, the school, the teachers, and all who support the values of Mr. Wakida, especially in the areas of academics and responsibility."
The 2014 Lady Luna roster was led by junior team captain Nicole Aceret and included seniors Charve Duque, Maile Amine and Joanne Uzzanti, along with sophomores Joanna Aceret and Krizzia Sunio.
The boys team included junior team captain Max Linder, senior Keoni Miranda, sophomores Jaret Pascual and Blaine Casil, and freshmen Arden Domawa, Ethan Kaleiopu, Radon Sinenci and Joseantonio Rodriguez Gomez.