Inexperienced Luna tennis teams improved throughout the season
LAHAINA – The legacy of Lahaina legend Shigeto “Shigesh” Wakida lives on in the new millennium within the youth tennis culture here on the West Side now led by current mentor Macario Pascual.
For more than a decade, Coach Mac has guided the Lahainaluna High School and Lahaina Tennis Club that Wakida had formed and coached beginning in the 1950s. Pascual is quick to tell you that the foundation of both programs is based upon the steadfast standards of respect, sportsmanship, work ethic and self-sacrifice to create a mindset that works as a bonding agent within the team and, in a much broader sense, in the community.
Pascual noted that the current team is young and inexperienced but were quick to adapt and learn the importance of self-sacrifice and perseverance to contribute to the whole.
The humility of Coach Mac is represented here as his nurturing of the young players – several of whom never played tennis before – to learn the game and the specific strategies he implemented for key matches paid dividends to the success of the team.
The continuous improvement of the entire roster and their ability to absorb the coaching of Pascual and assistants Deborah Dorenzo, Juvenal Ramos, Edwin Pascual, Madelyn Ramos and Kaila Ramos led to competitive finishes for both the girls and boys teams.
In the Maui Interscholastic League West Division, the Luna boys were the runner-ups, while the girls team completed the season in the middle of the pack.
The MIL individual playoffs and state qualifying matches were held last week at the Lahaina Civic Center Courts, with the state championships slated for next week in Honolulu.
The Lady Lunas were led by team captain Kehau Lani Freeman and Kiana Bell along with the roster made up of sophomores Leilani Esperanza, Abigail Sandi, Deolian Domawa and Chalice Pascual, and first-year players Kahealani Garcia, Caitlyn Baclay, Ariana Pacleb and Anna Rodriguez Gomez.
The boys team was led by captains Shane Ramos and Everette Prieto, who were joined by Kennedy Makekau, Joshua Calaoagan, Kyle Killet, Kekai Cajudoy, James Fujii and Alex Rodriguez Gomez, as well as freshmen Shawn Abut, Adricix Lapus, Vinson Goldston, Jukka Hyytia and Mackenzie Cajudoy in the Lahainaluna lineup.
“It’s been a really fun season with this team, as we were always impressed with their effort and intelligence to process the information we gave them,” said Coach Mac from his second “home” at the Civic Center courts.
“As always, we send our gratitude to the parents and families of the kids for organizing the potlucks and Senior Night, as well as to Tropic Water for their continuous donation to the program, and to A.D. Scott Soldwisch and assistant and Trainer Jon Conrad for their support.”