LHS golf teams gain experience during the 2019 MIL season
LAHAINA – Despite an off year with limited numbers and inexperienced players, Lahainaluna High School’s girls and boys golf teams still managed to find drives of optimism in the 2019 Maui Interscholastic League season.
Guided by girls coach Peter Villatora, assisted by Lee Lins, Nick Ruiz and Caitlyn Villatora, and boys leader Sutee Nitakorn, the inexperienced Luna lineups advanced through the playoff rounds. The state tournament will be held at the Waikaloa Golf Course on the Big Island in early May.
The boys foursome – all seniors -was led by their only experienced player Matt Ramelb, and included Kaito Nishiji, Jonas Marcial and Josh Gutierrez.
“These guys are all good friends and, considering that Matt was the only one with experience, they did really well to advance in the team playoffs. And Matt will be one of the favorites for the MIL title,” said Coach Sutee.
It was a rebuilding year for the Lady Lunas and Coach Villatora, but the team looked to upstart Gretchen Olson and seniors Ashley Langaman, Alanarose Duran and Kirsten Balucan for leadership throughout the season. Rounding out the roster were Nolita Samisoni, Ciana Lins, Jackie Nguyen, Angie Lai, Malia Kaufonoga and Alexa Mupas.
Both Coach Peter and Coach Sutee recognized the Lahaina Junior Golf program for its support of youth players on Maui. “Lahaina Junior Golf continues to promote opportunities for younger players to continue in the game of golf and the transition to high school,” said Villatora.
“This year, Alanarose Duran, Ashley Langaman and Kirsten Balucan are our seniors that stuck it out to develop into great young adults prepared to move on to the next level in life: college. Our teams had a cumulative 3.7 grade point average – just awesome!”
Coach Peter also recognized Kaanapali Golf Director Nitakorn for his support of the high school and LJG programs through allowing the young golfers the opportunity to practice at the world-class Kaanapali Golf Courses as their home venue. Coach Sutee also thanked Kaanapali Resort and the Waiehu, Wailea and Makena Golf courses for their support of the MIL.