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LHS softball team optimistic about next season

By Staff | Apr 2, 2020

The team includes (from left): front — Kaile Vasquez Momoa, Leimamo Arruda, Belle Dagupion, Makenzie Alexander, Shaelia Pascua, Ka’ohe Sombelon McEwen and Zoe Reinhardt; back row — Sisilia Hafoka, Kapilina Hoopii, Kauikeolani Alo Kaonohi Ah Loo, Brogan Mitchell, Kyana Brucelas, Silupevaelei Long, Briann Keohuloa, Lilinoe Elam Fonohema and Chey Lee Akina. Jayna Gerard Soliven is not pictured.

LAHAINA – Facing the chaos and consternation of the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the world and shut down daily life as we know it – including the closing of public schools until April 30 – the high school sports schedule for the spring of 2020 looks to be done.

Despite the anxiety of the recent events, the Lahainaluna High School softball program has toiled on under veteran coach Kristy Ann Lei Nakamura. A longtime coach of the sport as the leader of not only the Lady Lunas, but also the Lahaina Youth Fast Pitch and Hawaii Pearls Maui programs, Coach Lei is another in the legion of dedicated mentors to lead our youth in a positive direction.

She is joined on the Lahainaluna staff by assistant coaches Lithe Pokipala Waiohu, Keku’u Haake, Jade Chihara, Flint Nakamura and Shan Tsutsui, along with volunteer assistants Keaka Mitchell, Kalama McEwen, Heidi Stone and Kari Alexander.

The Lady Lunas captured the Maui Interscholastic League championship last year with an 8-4 regular season mark and a 4-0 record in the post-season tournament to win the league title to advance to the state tournament.

Coach Lei reported that the team lost six of the nine starters from that team, but she remains optimistic with “a good amount of younger student-athletes that will help the program grow. They bring youth, fresh minds, good attitudes and the willingness to learn. We have come to an almost ‘starting all over feeling’ with all of the younger players.”

Leading the way for the 2020 Lady Lunas are senior Lily Kamaunu; juniors Briann Keohuloa, Shaelia Pascua and Kimberlyn Pepa; and sophomores Chey Lee Akina, Leimamo Arruda, Brogan Mitchell and Kaile Vasquez Momoa.

Rounding out the roster are seniors Silupevaelei Long and Lilinoe Elam Fonohema, juniors Jayna Gerard Soliven and Zoe Reinhardt, sophomore Kyana Brucelas; and freshmen Makenzie Alexander, Kauikeolani Alo-Kaonohi Ah Loo, Belle Dagupion, Sisilia Hafoka, Kapilina Hoopii and Ka’ohe Sombelon McEwen.

With a sincere sense of melancholy, Coach Lei concluded by saying, “Although it took a bit, they were finally pulling it together as the season started, and they all decided to ‘tie their shoelaces.’ This is my way of saying to tighten it up, concentrate on what’s ahead of us and work together as one. My heart goes out to all the seniors, to the rest of the student-athletes, that their athletic season has come to an abrupt halt, and also to the students that their academic school year is in the same situation.”