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Rickard, Carbajal honored for their strength of spirit

By Staff | Dec 30, 2010

From left, Coach Bobby Watson, Teanu Rickard, Jostin Carbajal and Coach Garret Tihada celebrate the awards.

For the first time in 15 years, I missed the Lahainaluna High School football banquet, as I was attending the graduation of our son, George, from the United States Coast Guard boot camp training course at Cape May, New Jersey.

The event that honors the Luna football players and coaches was held Sunday, Dec. 19, at the athletic complex on campus. It’s annually one of my favorite celebrations of the year.

Lahainaluna football ranks high on my list of programs that serve to promote the maturation and positive development of our young student athletes into contributing adults. I was dismayed to have to miss the banquet but gained comfort in knowing that some members of my family were there.

Co-head coaches Bobby Watson and Garret Tihada and the entire varsity and junior varsity staffs have molded a winning program that stands tall as one of the most consistent in the state. Maui Interscholastic League championships and deep runs into the state playoffs have become commonplace.

Several Luna players have taken their experiences with the program to the next level to play college football and earn a degree. It is no coincidence that Luna football’s winning ways have contributed to the strength of the community at large and served to inspire the development of the state-of-the-art stadium project, the Imu.

For our family, one of the endearing segments of the football banquet is the recognition of the recipients of the Arthur Osamu “Oscar” Chihara Memorial Scholarship Award.

This honor is bestowed upon the Luna players that have exhibited the strength of spirit, the passion and poise to lead their team to higher levels of performance.

My brother, Oscar Chihara, who passed away at the age of 44, was an outstanding guard and linebacker during his high school football career. He was a captain of the team, and the only time he left the field was due to injury.

As chosen by the coaching staff, the award winners — who each receive a $1,000 cash scholarship and custom-made plaque — are selected after exhibiting that same commitment and dedication to the game and to their team.

The scholarship is funded by the Harry W. Gorst Company and its president, Michael Heagerty. Heagerty, a friend and business associate of my brother, has seen fit to ensure Oscar’s legacy with this honor.

Congratulations to Luna seniors Teanu Rickard and Josten Carbajal as the 2010 recipients of the Arthur Osamu “Oscar” Chihara Memorial Scholarship Award. You have both manifested the true spirit of my brother.

In the words of Coach Watson, “These two were our 48-minute men. They played the whole game and always gave us everything they had. They were our leaders and worked hard throughout the year to take us to the level we achieved as a team.”