Menehune Hall of Honor inducting new members Saturday

LIHUE — The Menehune Boosters will induct coach Walter Souza, coach Albert Soto, the 1990 state softball champions, and Richard “Kazuo” Ueoka into The Menehune Legacy Hall of Honor at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Waimea High School front lawn.

“The Hall is dedicated to recognizing any athlete, coach or booster who has contributed to the Menehune symbol of spirit and tradition,” said Basilio Fuertes, legacy chairman and booster member.

Walter Souza

Souza will be remembered as a renowned versatile coach at Waimea High School, according to Fuertes.

During his tenure, he coached nearly every sport Waimea had to offer. However, baseball was his forte as he went on to coach many successful seasons for the Menehune.

The Waimea High School Invitational Baseball Tournament is now known as The Walter Souza Invitational Tournament.

 In addition to baseball, he was fond of volleyball and traveled around the United States coaching club volleyball, according to Fuertes.

Albert Soto

Soto is Waimea High School’s inaugural championship coach.

Soto accomplished what was considered the epitome of the “David and Goliath” story, according to Fuertes. The Kailua High School Surfriders softball team were seeded No. 1 and were defeated by the Lady Menehune 2-1. They won four games straight to earn the State Championship Title.

 During Soto’s tenure at Waimea, he coached 17 years of girls softball and won 15 championships and two girls basketball titles.

Richard Ueoka

Ueoka is known as one of Waimea High School’s superlative student athletes, according to Fuertes.

He lettered in four sports for the Menehune, and many remember Ueoka as the first person at Waimea to run the 100-yard dash in under 10 seconds.

Ueoka participated in NCAA athletics with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He ran track, played football and was a member of the 1955 team that upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  

Ueoka also helped coach the Menehune football program and is a supporter of the Menehune Boosters Club and fundraising program.

1990 state softball champions

Led by coach Soto and assistant coach Antone Lazaro, these Menehune ladies won four straight games and won the 1990 State High School Softball Championship — The first Division I State Championship for Waimea High School. Waimea beat Kailua 2-1.

 Tickets for the event cost $20. If interested in contributing to the Menehune Booster Club or purchasing tickets, call Waimea High School Athletic Director Jon Kobayashi at 338-6800 ext.175.

• Rick Killeen, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or sports@thegardenisland.com.

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