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Banquet ends successful season for LHS football

By Staff | Dec 31, 2009

Jaret Nahooikaika (left) and George Chihara were honored by their coaches for their fiery play.

LAHAINA — The 2009 Lahainaluna High School varsity and junior varsity football teams were honored last week Sunday at the annual team banquet held at the school cafeteria.

Lunas varsity co-head coaches Bobby Watson and Garret Tihada and JV offensive coordinator Nolle Smith presided over the dinner event that filled the campus eatery with players, coaches and their families.

The Lunas’ Booster Club, led by Jackie Watson, hosted the event.

The varsity Lunas won their third consecutive Division II championship with a 6-2 Maui Interscholastic League record to advance to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state playoff semifinals, where they fell to Aiea of the Oahu Interscholastic Association by a score of 20-12.

The JV team also won the MIL title with a 7-1 mark.

Both Coach Watson and Coach Tihada, as well as Coach Smith, thanked the players for the effort displayed this season, and also praised the wives and girlfriends of the coaches for their patience and understanding throughout the season.

“It was impressive to see the improvement of the teams as the season went on,” said Smith. “It was also great to see how the JV players thrived in the new practice format that had the varsity and the JV players practicing together. They really got better as the season went on.”

“I played high school football in Honolulu at Roosevelt, and I can say that Lahainaluna football is really different,” Smith. “The spirit and the community camaraderie is really something special, and we all really appreciate that.”

Keynote speaker Walter Chihara, called up as the Lunas’ “number one fan” by Coach Watson, concurred.

“The toughness of spirit of Lahainaluna football is without equal. Coaches from all across Hawaii — and in California — will tell you that the Lunas are one of the most disciplined teams they have ever faced,” said Chihara.

The 2009 Arthur Osamu “Oscar” Chihara Memorial Scholarship Awards were presented next.

These awards — two $1,000 cash awards, custom plaques from Maui Marking Device and celebratory lei crafted by Sharon Nohara — are given annually to two senior Lahainaluna football players in honor of Oscar Chihara.

The memorial honor to him is made possible by the H.W. Gorst Company and Jane and Mike Heagerty.

The winners, selected by the coaches in recognition of exemplary passion for the game throughout the year, were defensive end Jaret Nahooikaika and, in a charming twist of fate, slotback/safety George Chihara, a nephew of Oscar Chihara.

Both Nahooikaika and George Chihara thanked the coaching staff and their teammates for helping them grow as players throughout the season.