Alavaso leads Lahaina Chiefs
LAHAINA — First-year Lahaina Chiefs Pop Warner Football President Andy Alavaso is an easy-going Molokai man who makes family and youth sports his number one priority.
Alavaso and his wife, Nalani, have firmly established the fact that they take the raising of their three children within the guidelines of youth sports as the focal point in their lives.
The Alavaso clan is involved in canoe paddling, softball and basketball, and now they have taken the big step to manage the Chiefs program here on the West Side.
They are joined on the leadership board of the organization by Rayleen Kama (vice president), Janis Pagdilao (treasurer), Rebecca Tilliard (secretary), Sabrina Nagasako (scholarship representative), Lafa Filikitonga (field commissioner) and Sione Olevao (HLA representative).
“It’s all running good, and we’re happy with the turnout we’ve had, and we’ve gotten plenty of help from everybody,” said Andy last week from the Chiefs’ practice site at Lahaina Recreation Center Field.
That turnout numbers 135 boys and girls that fill the rosters of the Tiny Mites for players ages 5-7 and 35-75 pounds, Junior Peewees (ages 8-10 and 60-105 pounds), Peewees (ages 9-11 and 75-120 pounds), and the Midget Division (ages 11-14 and 105-160 pounds). There is also a cheerleading squad for each of these divisions.
Tina Nuesca, the cheer coordinator for Lahaina, is joined by coaches Noe Keawe-Aiko, Nalani Alavaso and Nicky Baraoidan, as well as cheer division Treasurer Vange Martinez in guiding the pep squads.
The football teams are mentored by Illia Nagasako (Tiny Mites), Kalani McEwen (Junior Peewees), Ron Maielua (Peewees) and Conan Kama (Midgets).
Most divisions will play a six-game schedule, with the Junior Peewees playing eight games with the addition of the Lanai Rams to the Maui Pop Warner Football Association.
Lahaina will be challenged by teams from Kahului, Wailuku, Kula and Kihei through the regular season games that run through Nov. 25, when the year is culminated by the annual Turkey Bowl games at War Memorial Stadium around the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The Chiefs will open up their season this Sunday, Sept. 13, with a home date against the Kahului Alii.
“Our certification process went well, and we had a very successful Chiefs T-shirt fund-raiser over the last month or so,” said Kama. “Now, we are shifting our focus to the teri burger sale at the Maui County Fair, which is our major fund-raiser for the year. Tickets are on sale from all of our members, and please call us at 268-6981 for more information.
“I think we’re really on the right track to meet our goals for the season. Things have been running smoothly — even better than we had hoped for. I think the whole program is bringing out the best in all of us, and the relationship we have as friends makes it all good and points to a fun year for all. Our thanks goes out to all of the parents, board members, coaches and sponsors that help us keep the program running,” Kama concluded.