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Banquet concludes excellent year for Lahainaluna High School sports

By Staff | Jun 15, 2017

The 2016-17 school year’s top athletes were recognized at the Lahainaluna High School Athletic Banquet. PHOTO BY GLEN PASCUAL.

LAHAINA – From the beginning of the 2016-17 school year to the final weeks of athletic competition in the spring, the Lahainaluna High School Red Tide once again surged to the highest levels of success. For their efforts of excellence, the Luna athletes were honored with the annual Athletic Banquet on Wednesday, May 17, at the campus cafeteria.

Lahainaluna kicked off the year with a Maui Interscholastic League Division II football championship and then battled their way to an unprecedented Hawaii High School Athletic Association state title with a thrilling 21-14 victory over Kapaa at Aloha Stadium.

That was followed by hardcourt runs to MIL championships by both the Luna girls and boys basketball teams.

The Red Tide continued its upward flow as the boys and girls wrestling teams surged to MIL gold and then fought their way to top finishes at states. The Lahainaluna girls captured the state championship and the boys finished fourth.

The Lady Luna softball team put a cap on the year with a MIL title. Lahainaluna also took runner-up MIL honors in water polo and tennis.

Lahainaluna booster Rob Shelton emceed the program and introduced Acting Principal Daniel Espaniola, Vice Principal Joanne Dennis, Acting Vice Principal Mark Simms, and Athletic Directors Scott Soldwisch and Jon Conrad to begin the event.

The feature awards of the evening recognized Shania Abut and Antonio Bak as Scholar Athletes of the Year; Iverly Navarro and Justice Tihada as Outstanding Athletes of the Year; and Alexis Encinas and Justice Tihada as Most Distinguished Senior Athletes of the Year.

For the individual sports, Most Valuable Player recognition went to Kaleo Acevedo Silva and Zillah Lafey for cross country by coach Daniel Chorbok; Alexis Anderson and Jared Gaastra for swimming by Tom Popdan; Taylor Asio for softball by Lei Nakamura; Julia Bianco for water polo by Bradley Mason; Raige Bush for baseball by Manu Kenolio; Roberto Cardenas Santiago and Maygan Patch for soccer by Sam Aki and Sky Delaney; Tina Laverne Criste for cheerleading and girls volleyball by Stacey Shibao and Trixy Nuesca, respectively; Donovan Defang and Justice Tihada for football defense and offense by Garret Tihada; Alexis Encinas and Kainalu Estrella for wrestling by Todd Hayase; Tavake Faleta for boys basketball by Jason Justice; Elisapeta Hafoka for girls basketball by Ian Aotaki; James Fujii and Christine Kaela Ramos for tennis by Macario Pascual; Carver Locke and Maygan Patch for track and field by Cynthia Oncal; Pono Murray for boys volleyball by Daniel Schultz; Kealohilani Nolan Criste and Justice Tihada for canoe paddling by Joey Tihada; Hannah Valencia and Jensen Powley for golf by Peter Villatora and Sutee Nitakorn; and Madison Runyon and Ryan West for surfing by Jason Runyon.

The Lahainaluna Athletic Department also recognized a long list of supporters that included Clifton Akiyama, Henry “Bruno” Ariyoshi, John Alexander, Kim Ball, Roy Camacho, Jayme Carlos, Lindsay Elam, Officer Stuart Farberow, Art Fillazar, Athletic Trainer Helen Hetzel, Ivy Huerter, Wallace Ishikawa, Riley Ito, Denton Johnson, Alan Kawaguchi, Bob Kawaguchi, Andrew Kutsunai, Rae Matsumoto, Jean Miyahira, Tara Nakata, Michael Nakano, Barbie Otomo, Glen Pascual, Debbie Rogers, Jeff Rogers, Shandra Sasai, Rob Shelton, Mark Tillman and Dean Wakamatsu.

Athletic Director Soldwisch thanked John Alexander and the LHS Food Service Department, Glen Pascual for the slide show video, and the trusty Banquet Committee and booster club of Tanya Arakawa, Kathy Kekahuna, Irene Kosaka, Sharon Nohara and Coreen Serrano.

“To the coaches, parents, family and the West Maui community of our student athletes, your support and encouragement make Lahainaluna athletics No Ka ‘Oi,” concluded Soldwisch.