Maui Girls Softball Association teams get the green light to play
LAHAINA — The sterling tradition of youth softball here on the West Side continues as Coach Lei Nakamura launches her 20th year of leadership of the program.
Despite the cancellation of Maui Interscholastic League play that wiped out the Lahainaluna High School effort of 2020 and thus far into 2021, the Maui Pearls team guided by Nakamura continues to thrive.
The pathway set many years ago by community visionaries such as Alvin Agawa, Earle Kukahiko, Glen Gazmen and many others continues under Coach Lei despite the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She reported that the postponed MIL season for 2021 remains in doubt, but the Maui Girls Softball Association schedule for this year is a go.
The MGSA consists of youth and high school age student-athletes from all across the Valley Isle.
Joining the Maui Pearls in the league are the Hawaiian Hawks, Kupaa, Maui Titans, and Waiside teams in the youth and both varsity and junior varsity divisions.
The youth categories include keiki ages 8-14 and the high school age groups ages 14-16.
Coach Lei was thrilled to learn that the MGSA is “on” after the high school games were scrubbed.
She learned recently that the club schedules would be played beginning in March and continuing through July at Central Maui Regional Park Complex under strict pandemic protocols.
“We had meetings with the MGSA and county officials that outlined the protocols to follow to get the program moving,” said Nakamura last week.
“No one was to be in the bleachers, masks to be worn at all times, six feet apart, and two parents allowed outside the fence. We also required temperature checks as a part of the strict guidelines required,” she continued.
“We truly thank the MGSA board for putting in the time to make the season happen. They are always well-organized and reflect excellent communication led by Lyndelle Tsutsui, Bobbi Ranis, Marya Ortiz, Nani Domingo, Jenna Silifaiva and Madison Vaught. And I also appreciate the trust that Earle Kukahiko has in me to lead the program, and the unending support of Tony Saffery, Mike Okimoto and husband Flint Nakamura, who always feels the joy and passion that comes with all of this.”
Coach Lei also recognized the Pearls coaching staff made up of Keri Pasion-Salas, Shan Tsutsui, Ka’aina Kalanikau, Avei Silivaiva, Mark Vaught, Madison Vaught, Montana Vaught, Mayumi Kamau, Lithe Pokipala-Waiohu, Keku’ulani Haake, and Jade Chihara.