Coaches, Athletes Honored at Banquet
Another sports season, full of buzzer beaters, towering touchdowns and sizzling spikes, has come to an end at Molokai High School. Last week at Molokai’s athletic banquet, the school celebrated the 187 student athletes and nearly 50 coaches who participated in 16 different sports this season.
Every athlete in attendance got a recognition certificate and a moment on stage in the banquet’s first-ever Parade of Athletes. Coaches, many of whom juggled other jobs off the field, were honored with lei and greeted by every athlete.
“Sports is everything,” said junior wrestler Cendall Manley. “… It’s more than just being involved, it’s the family aspect. It’s learning to do things even when you don’t want to do them. It’s pushing through the pain.”
The banquet also honored this season’s Maui Interscholastic League champions, both individual and team, as well as the state-qualifying athletes. The Farmers were MIL Division II champions in girls’ basketball, baseball, boys’ air riflery and boys’ cross country. MHS’s individual MIL champions included Cody Nip in air riflery; Kaila`oe Cabanting, Saydee Makaiwi and Alex Simon in wrestling; and Cabanting, Ikua DePonte and Kui Han in judo.
At states, baseball had Molokai’s highest team finish in fifth place. The Farmers’ top individual finisher at states was the junior wrestler Simon, who came second overall.
This athletic school year was marked by several firsts. In the fall, Molokai won its first boys’ cross country and boys’ air riflery MIL titles. During the winter season, Lee DeRouin stepped in as the school’s new AD, and in the spring the softball team unveiled its new field, while the school’s judo team made its MIL debut.
DeRouin said he enjoys seeing the impact sports can have on the athletes.
“I see it when they come to play sports. I see a change in their attitude,” said DeRouin. “… What’s great is when they see the benefits themselves, when they see themselves change for the better.”