PO‘IPU — Kaua‘i High School boys took the first round of KIF Golf yesterday.
But the margin of victory was by just three strokes as the Red Raiders were being hounded by Kapa‘a High School at the Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course.
“This is one of our best teams,” said Kapa‘a coach Fred Levinthol as he watched his Warrior men work through some of their pre-game practices.
“During our qualifying rounds, we had six golfers shooting in the 70s,” he said. “But Kaua‘i is still the team to beat. They have a lot of talent.”
Kaua‘i boys finished with a total of 304 followed by Kapa‘a at 307 and Waimea at 359.
Nikko Tacsiat set the pace for the field, finishing the day at 70 (33-37) for Kaua‘i High School. Following Tacsiat, Levi Miyashiro (37-39-76), Cory Oride (35-41-76) and Micah Yoshioka (44-38-82) made up the winning foursome.
Travis Toguchi, despite mis-shooting his second shot on the No. 2 fairway, rebounded nicely to lead Kapa‘a with a 71 (35-36). Toguchi’s front-nine 35 was matched by his team mate Maikai Laureta who finished at No. 2 for Kapa‘a at 76 (35-41). Laureta, who played for Kamehameha Schools last year, is new to the Warrior team this season.
Jet Levinthol (37-42-79) and Sean Mamaclay (41-40-81) made up the Kapa‘a foursome that accounted for the team scoring.
Mamaclay is entering the field for the first time as a freshman, being one of the smaller players, but still making an impression among the spectators who noted the potential of the Warrior newcomer.
“Right now, our lowest scorer is Laureta,” Fred said. “But with six golfers capable of shooting in the 70s, it’s anybody’s game.”
Cyrus Ogawa, the sole golfer from Kula School, finished at 79 (36-43), tying with Jet Levinthol for third overall.
Mikki Ueoka set the pace for the girls’ field, firing a 77 (37-40) to lead the Raider team that finished with 250. Rae-lyn Morikawa (39-43-82) filled in the No. 2 position followed by Kristi Rapozo (50-51-101) in third for the scoring threesome.
Gabi Saiki, the sole wahine from Kapa‘a, was in the foursome with Ueoka and two boys — Byron Rualizo from Kaua‘i and Jonathan Ganir from Waimea. She finished with a 93 (45-48).
Waimea opened the season with seven girls listed on the scoring roster, although for the Saturday run, Leslyn Ibara (56-55-111) and Kolonahe Arquette (74-75-149) tallied scores.
Arquette, coming off a strong soccer season, was joined by her sister Hamiha, as they made their first appearance on the KIF field this year.
Other Waimea girls on the scoring roster include Tia Agader, Melissa Kagawa, Moana Henriques and Chisato Umetsu.
Missing at Saturday’s action were the Island School golfers.
The KIF golf program moves to the Kaua‘i Lagoons, Mokihana Course Saturday where Kaua‘i High School will be the host. The first group tees off starting at 11:30 a.m.