The Molokai High School winter sports season kicks off Saturday at Ka Lae Pahaku Beach in Kihei with an all-schools paddling regatta.
The MHS girls’ paddling team, coached by Tania Kaholoaa for over four years, has 18 girls. The boys do not have a team because of a lack of interest.
The other winter sports — basketball, wrestling and swimming — all begin in earnest next weekend except for boys basketball, which kicks off its schedule on Jan. 3.
Boys basketball will also have a new head coach this year, Carl Adolpho Jr. will replace Lester Delos Reyes. With a strong turnout, a junior varsity team is being formed with volunteer coaches Aaron Boswell and Scott Rapanot. So far there is one confirmed JV game for Jan. 3-4 against Seabury Hall on Molokai at The Barn. On that day, the JV boys play at 3:30 p.m. followed by the boys varsity game at 5:30 p.m. and girls varsity at 7 p.m. (Senior night for the girls). The JV boys team will also go to Seabury to play Jan. 24-25.
Most schools dropped their JV squads around 2008 in the face of severe budget cuts, according to MHS Athletic Director Hoku Haliniak. In an effort to help the boys JV team, as well as the travel expenses needed for the other teams, a fundraising project called “Save Our Molokai Sports” has begun. Since September, the school has raised $10,000. Another $22,000 is needed to reach the goal of $32,000 for the 2013-14 school year.
Lee DeRouin returns as head coach for girls basketball. Already he has taken the team to a tournament on the Big Island where they faced Division II state champions Kamehameha School-Hawaii. The Farmer girls also played Division I state champions Konawaena and Division II runner-up Honokaa, as well as Waiakea and Kealakehe in the pre-season tournament in Honokaa, Nov. 21-23.
The girls team will have one more preseason tournament this week before opening the regular season Dec. 13 in Hana. The team will be going to the Seabury Wahine Classic Dec. 5-7 to play against Maui High, Kapaa High (Kauai) and Seabury.
To help build the basketball program, Coach DeRouin is also working at the Molokai Middle School Uplink program with Kawika Crivello. He will be teaching basketball skills as well as study habits. While MHS does not have JV program, DeRouin is showing his commitment to the future by working with these seventh and eighth graders.
Randy Manley is returning for his 10th year as the Molokai wrestling coach. There are about 32 boy and girl student-athletes that have turned out for wrestling.
The boys and girls swim teams will be led by coach Jesse Ford for the fourth year. The season begins Dec. 14 with a meet at the Kihei Aquatics Center.
To contribute to the “Save Our Molokai Sports” campaign, donations can be sent to Molokai High School Athletics, Attn: SOMA, PO Box 158, Hoolehua, HI 96729.
ClickWINTER SCHEDULE to see a PDF of the full winter schedule for Molokai High School sports.