Season looking bright for water polo team

Season+looking+bright+for+water+polo+team+

Photo by Maya Nitta (file photo)

For the past six seasons, the Lunas have shut out the Warriors and the rest of the MIL in water polo. With a new head coach this year, will this be the year of the Warriors?

By Mehana Lee, news writer

The text of this article from our March 2, 2012, issue was incorrect. It is being re-printed here in its correct form. The staff of Ka Leo o Nā Koa apologizes for the error.

With Lāhainaluna’s head coach Will Hutchinson leaving the water polo team and heading off to coach a team in California this spring season, many feel that this will be the year the Kamehameha lady Warriors will have their best chance at winning the MIL title. The 2012 team consists of both returnees and new players.

“I think the competition for us is really going to change. We have a lot of new recruits, too, that have a lot of potential,” said Anuhea Ka‘iaokamālie, junior and returnee of three years.

There was a turnout of 14 new players, many of whose experience in water polo had only consisted of playing during physical education class up to this year. So the returnees will have to take the lead.

Even with Lāhainaluna’s loss of their head coach, their team still has excellent players. They have not lost in six undefeated seasons, and the lady Warriors are thirsty for a victory.

“We’re going to be a young team, but there are a good amount of returnees. If we pull everything together in four weeks, we will be in the running for victory for the MIL (Maui Interscholastic League) champions,” returning Head Coach Leo Delatori said.

25 showed up for the team’s tryouts. This was the biggest turnout for a Warriors water polo season. Coach Delatori said that there will have to be some cuts since the team is too big. Players will have to be able to swim for two hours straight with no breaks in order to finish practice. Conditioning will be grueling for players to make it through.

“I feel prepared for the season mentally and believe in my team, but physically there is always room for improvement, which I intend to accomplish throughout this season,” sophomore and second year-player Kela Killam said.

The biggest concern is getting the team into shape and getting the offense to where it needs to be according to Coach Delatori. Other than that, this season could possibly be the year that the girl’s water polo team will dominate.

“I feel the league is wide open this year.  Lāhainaluna will always be good. They still have experienced and strong players.  Baldwin will be good as well.  They will have speed, and they have the best goalie in the league.  Maui High School returns with some strong swimmers.  Any team can win on a given day.  It will depend on who brings their ‘A’ game,” Coach Delatori said.