LHS honors the year’s top athletes
LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School Athletic Department held its annual awards banquet on May 16 at Kaanapali Beach Hotel to honor the student athletes that participated in sports during the 2009-10 school year.
The Lunas racked up seven Maui Interscholastic League championships — in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, water polo, boys wrestling, girls wrestling, and surfing — including an unprecedented state title for the Lady Luna hoops team, as well as runner-up finishes in softball and boys volleyball.
The program included Most Valuable Player awards in each sport. The presenting head coaches and recipients for each sport were: Baseball — Gary Gatiuan honored Dustin Ompoy; Boys Basketball — Casey Brummel honored Sam Kiek; Girls Basketball — Todd Rickard honored Milika Taufa; Bowling — Will Hutchison honored Jordan Petersen and Paige Green; Cheerleading — Stacy Shibao honored Shaylyn Cordova; Cross Country — Randy Yamamoto honored Puali Solomon Camanse and Kayla Martinez; Football (Offense) — Garret Tihada honored George Chihara; Football (Defense) — Bobby Watson honored Paula Toa; Boys Golf — Sutee Nitakorn honored Chris Shimomura; Girls Golf — Lee Munemitsu honored Wilma Elefante; Paddling — Joey Tihada honored Kyle Akazawa and Alakai Smith-Kaukini; Boys Soccer — Sam Aki honored Bryce Jacinto; Girls Soccer — Dave Rockett honored Nicole Ewing; Softball — Lei Nakamura honored Brennalyn Nakamura; Boys Swimming — Will Hutchison honored Joshua Gaastra; Girls Swimming — Tom Popdan honored Koral Gill; Tennis — Macario Pascual honored Evan Pascual and Kaila Nip; Track and Field — Randy Yamamoto honored Bernard Lambert and Chantal Charkas; Boys Volleyball — Tommy Akima honored Clifford I‘i Jr.; Girls Volleyball — Hano Ganer honored Jena Dreibelbis; Water Polo — Will Hutchison honored Gina Bella Mata‘afa; and Wrestling — Todd Hayase honored Holden Mowat and George Chihara.
The presentation of special awards to the senior student-athletes concluded the banquet. For the Distinguished Coaches Award, Glenn Gazmen presented the trophy to former Lady Lunas’ mentor Earle Kukahiko.
Scholar Athlete of the Year awards were presented by Principal Michael Nakano to Kayla Wall and Holden Mowat.
Alan Kawaguchi honored Most Distinguished Senior Athlete winners Lahela Akima and Blake Ball, and Joe Balangitao Jr. recognized Maiki Viela and George Chihara as the Outstanding Athletes of the Year.
Sponsored by the Luna Booster Club, the event was emceed by LHS Foundation President Rob Shelton. School administration present included Principal Nakano, Vice Principals Lynn Kaho‘ohalahala and Jo Anne Dennis, Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch, Complex Area Superintendant Lindsay Ball and MIL Executive Director Joe Balangitao Jr.
During the program, Shelton announced “mahalo” recognition to athlete tutors Kulani Akahi and Tracy Poouahi, LHS Athletic Trainers Jonathan Conrad and Mikala Mejia, Clifton Akiyama, Keith Amemiya, Henry Ariyoshi, Kim Ball, Ray Camacho, Andy Claydon, Art Fillazar, Leslie Hiraga, Ivy Huerter, Alan Kawaguchi, Robert Kawaguchi, Andrew Kutsunai, Rae Matsumoto, Jean Miyahara, Barbie Otomo, Debbie Rogers, Jeff Rogers and Mark Tillman.