Softball program emphasizes fundamentals
LAHAINA — Lahaina Girls Softball (LGS) President Dennis Harmon spent nine years as an assistant coach on the Lahainaluna High School junior varsity football staff before stepping into his new leadership role last year.
Organizational skills intact, Harmon begins his second year with LGS and, as with the championship gridiron teams he worked with up at Lahainaluna, good things are happening with his current position and staff of Angel Badua, Nani Dapitan, Michelle Harmon, Corrine Nobriga, Lei Nakamura and Nane Aluli.
Over 100 girls ages 5-16 are registered with LGS this year, divided into nine teams of the five age divisions within the Maui Girls Softball Association.
LGS this year has one Six-and-under team, two 8U rosters, two 10U, two 12U and two 14U. These teams will compete in regular season games that began on March 27 and will continue through early June.
“After the regular season, we’ll send three teams — one each from our tens, twelves and fourteens divisions — to the state tournament on Oahu,” Harmon explained from the LGS field at Ainakea Park.
“Next up after that will be the Maui Invitational Tournament for the tens and twelves on June 10-12 at Kahului, followed by the Lahaina Invitational hosted by us at the end of July. The big one after that will be the Cat Osterman Experience that our 16-and-under team has been invited to play in. That one is in Nebraska in mid-July.”
Coach Dennis explained the primary goals of the Lahaina program.
“Our main focus is to get all of the girls, and the coaches, on the same page. We want to get them ready to play at the high school level at Lahainaluna, and we want to do this by emphasizing the fundamentals. We’ve participated in several clinics already this season, including the Hawaii Fast Pitch Academy event and the U.H. Hitting Clinic with Coach Bob Coolen and his staff,” he said.
“Our basic philosophy is to take the work set in place with Lahaina Girls Softball by Coach Earle (Kukahiko) and continue that on. We want to emulate the high school girls program, and also learn the game while always having fun doing it.”
Harmon praised the division coaches, particularly Alexis O’Keefe with the Six-and-unders; Chris Lallo and Dennis Bivit leading the 8U teams; Mamo Hussey for the 10U; Badua and Aloha Kaniho with the 12U; and Cy Miyamoto with the 14U.
“Thanks goes out to all of the coaches, and also to Flint Nakamura, Coach Earle and his crew with the county, and Pat Matsui for their contributions to reconditioning our field here. It’s now in beautiful shape and on par with all of the softball facilities that we’ll be playing on,” he said.
Harmon concluded by inviting the Lahaina community to come out and enjoy some softball at the LGS home games on May 8.
“These games are really fun to watch, so come out and have some fun with us,” he concluded.