Tennis teams reflect Wakida’s spirit
LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School tennis Coach Macario Pascual has been connected to the game for most of his life, beginning with his childhood days with legendary mentor Shigesh Wakida.
Now entering his second year leading the Lunas tennis teams, Coach Mac carries on the spirit that Mr. Wakida embodied into the 2010 season.
That spirit is manifested in a dedicated work ethic, team camaraderie and academic focus.
“Both the girls and boys teams have improved,” said Pascual last week from the refurbished and improved Lahaina Civic Center courts.
“These kids have good team chemistry, and they have worked really hard in practice on their fundamentals and footwork to get better. They continue to get better as the season progresses, and the only negative thing has been health issues with several of the players getting sick in the early part of the year. They are just really good at working together, helping each other and finding ways to make the team be better. They’re young, but they’ve done well.”
Assistant Coach Ian Cohen, who came to the Lunas after a stint at Keaau on the Big Island last year, added, “These kids are really good learners, as they know how to make adjustments with what the coaches say. They also know how to keep getting in better shape as the season progresses.”
Edwin Pascual is the other assistant to Coach Mac, and the boys team that finished second in the Maui Interscholastic League in 2009 is led by senior captain Evan Pascual, along with classmate and returnee Wasseem Bel and juniors Stephen Adolfson, Jackson Britt and Ty Scott. Rounding out the boys roster is freshman Jordan Baclay.
The Lady Lunas tennis team ended the 2009 MIL campaign in third place. This year, they look to improve upon that finish with junior captain Kaila Nip leading the way.
Returning for her senior season is Naomi Noury, along with junior Mae Bautista and sophomore Jasmine Garde.
Completing Coach Mac’s young roster are freshmen Melissa Taketa, Ezra Baccar, Destinee Costa, Monet Mussa and Lakiesha Ching.
The 2010 MIL Playoffs will be held on April 16-17, tentatively scheduled at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Courts, and both the boys and girls teams are in the hunt for the top spots.
The state championships will be held on the Big Island on May 4-8.