Okamoto to play tennis for UH

LIHU‘E — Fresh off his state championship this weekend, Kapa‘a High School’s Chas Okamoto was announced as the newest member of the University of Hawai‘i men’s tennis team in a Tuesday release from the school’s athletic department.

The top-ranked player in the United States Tennis Association-Hawai‘i Section, Okamoto is a four-time Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation singles champion and just won the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Boys Singles championship on Maui without dropping a set in his five matches played.

As the top seed in the state, his title run was completed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over St. Anthony’s Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Tanaka-Tamaki is verbally committed to go play for Pepperdine University in the fall.

Okamoto, of Princeville, was able to get into UH on an academic scholarship.

In addition to his tennis prowess, he was a member of the Warriors’ track team, competing in the 800 Meter Run.

TennisRecruiting.net has him as the second-highest ranked male tennis player in the state. Its top-ranked player, Punahou’s Robin Kiyabu, was beaten in the HHSAA semifinals by Tanaka-Tamaki. Okamoto also ranks 112th in the nation among Boys Seniors on the same website’s RPI rankings.

The Rainbow Warriors just completed their season with a 6-13 record and a 2-4 mark in Western Athletic Conference play. After three straight WAC championships, UH was beaten in the quarterfinals by Boise State, having come into the tournament as the fifth seed.

Jared Spiker, a freshman for the ‘Bows, is also a former state champion, having won the HHSAA tournament in both 2009 and 2010 while at Kalani High School.

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