It has been an absolutely breathtaking winter for Lahainaluna High School athletics. We're now nearing the two-thirds mark of the 2016-17 school year, and the "L" high above the historic campus at Pu'u Pa'u Pa'u (Mount Ball) is already destined to be lit up with the bars and stars that signify Maui Interscholastic League and Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships.
Two weeks ago, the MIL champion Lady Luna wrestling team pulverized the opposition on their way to their 17th girls state wrestling title (their second in the last three years), while the boys team - also MIL champs - finished seventh in the team standings.
These championship efforts came on the heels of the boys basketball team's rise to interscholastic hoop dreams prominence with an undefeated regular season and third consecutive MIL title. At the state playoffs, the Lunas reached the final four and won the third place trophy for their best Division I finish in the school's long and illustrious history.
A week before, the girls basketball team also reached the final four of the state tournament. This came after the program's 13th consecutive MIL championship along with continuing the untouchable 136-game unbeaten regular season all-sport record.
This after the Luna football team won their tenth MIL title in a row and, more significantly, the first state championship in Lahainaluna history.
These state titles and all of the MIL championships add up to a solid tradition that represents the true grit work ethic and grassroots integrity that define not only Lahainaluna athletics but the West Side community as a whole. It runs deep into the family values and the community's dedication to promoting healthy activities for our youth.
Particularly, it relates to contributions of our community youth sports leaders in introducing the kids to the programs and then channeling them to their desired higher levels of competition. The West Maui Youth Basketball League led by Sean Gordon, Westside Hoops and Dan Williams, Maui Style Wrestling with Kim Ball and Conrad Bolor, intermediate school wrestling led by Nate Williams, Pop Warner Football and Maui Big Boys Football guided by the entire Lahainaluna staff all contribute to the development and enrichment of positive childhood development.
And every Lahainaluna coach will tell you that the community support of their teams is unmatched both here on Maui and in Oahu tournaments. This runs from cheering on the sidelines to reaching into the pocketbooks to contribute to the successful runs. The TS Restaurants, Royal Lahaina Resort, Kaanapali Beach Hotel and many, many more all take part in the enrichment of the West Side community. Mahalo to all!