Letterman’s Club connects with kula ha’aha’a


Photo by Brianne Reformina

As a member of the Letterman’s Club, senior Kiana Correa chats with elementary school students at lunch on Friday, Sept. 16. The club for exceptional student-athletes is hoping to inspire younger students to join Warrior athletics when they get to high school.

Whether they’re the quarterback of the football team or leading scorer for basketball, those brave and hard-working Warrior athletes serve as role models to the younger generations.

Senior football player Nevan Watanabe has started the schoolʻs first Letterman’s Club, and on Friday, members started the year by having lunch with their youngest fans–the students of ke kula haʻahaʻa.

He modeled it after lettermen’s clubs at schools around the nation, and he said that this club is for outstanding student-athletes.

Kamehameha Maui athletes must have played in at least six varsity games and have  a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in order to qualify for membership.

Around 160 student-athletes meet the minimum requirements and were invited to join, and about half of them have accepted so far.

The mission of the club is to encourage members to become leaders and role models, and Watanabe and the club’s adviser, Ms. Lisa Correa, brainstormed about ways to accomplish that mission.

“We’ve been planning this since, like, last year, October actually,” he said.

The elementary students, although confused at first, were glad to have some fun conversations with the athletes who hiked up to the elementary dining hall.

“I had fun. I met Ashley who plays bowling and basketball and Kainoa who plays football,” said Chaela Gantala, a third-grade student.

After lunch, the athletes were surprised to see how well-organized and responsible the elementary students were when they began to bring towels and wipe down tables while others stacked chairs.

The athletes earned a round of applause from a group of elementary students as a thank you for taking time out of their school schedule to come and hang out with them.

“We plan to do this once a month and hopefully get more athletes to come down and interact with the kids,” Watanabe said.

One elementary class was lucky enough to throw a football with senior Kyle “Kai” Segundo and quarterback Kainoa Sanchez.

The day, or in this case, lunch, came to an end quickly and happily. Since then, Watanabe has heard from several of the elementary students–some who are interested in air riflery, and some who are interested in bowling.

Although the club started as a senior project, Watanabe has juniors on the club board who he hopes will keep the club alive next year as a way of inspiring young Warriors to become involved in athletics while excelling at academics.