HANAPEPE — Several softball players who are more than 80 years old will be recognized Saturday when the Kauai Senior Softball League opens its season at the Hanapepe Softball Complex with ceremonies starting at 9 a.m.
“With the number of roster moves and the addition of new players to teams, the Kauai (Senior Softball) league shows significant signs of improvement with a real battle for the top spot to unfold during the season which runs through July 14,” said J Robertson, the league’s vice president. “The Kauai league has been recognized as the most competitive in the state, supported by the disproportionate number of first place titles earned during state championship tournaments.”
Robertson added that along with softball skills, the league boasts the most sportsmanship, camaraderie and after-game potlucks.
The day will be filled with six games with the Kilauea Da Kruzers drawing the opening day bye.
Bartek’s, under coach Pat Baniaga and finishing fourth last season, will go up against the Hanamaulu Hillsiders while the Rookies from Kaumakani will meet Kawaihau on one of two fields set up for the day.
The East Kauai Kaimana Gents, two-time defending champion under coach Sia Salausa, will take on West Kauai in the feature game starting at 11:30 a.m.
This will be followed by the ‘Ohana Rebels, finishing in second place during the 2017 season, taking on the East Kauai Legends. ‘Ohana will challenge the Islanders before Kuku’s Aces close the day against the Lihue A’s, finishing third place in the 2017 season.
The Kauai Senior Softball League features more than 200 players competing on 13 teams from Kilauea to the Westside. Eligible players must be at least 55 years old to participate.
Teams include the Lihue A’s coached by Dwight Fujii and ending as C Division 2017 state champions, the Rookies with Coach Alan Horikawa finishing as E Division 2017 state champions, ‘Ohana with Coach Frank Bukoski, Bartek’s with Coach Baniaga, the Hanamaulu Hillsiders with Coach Peter Rayno, the East Kauai Legends with Coach Norman Holt Sr., Kawaihau with Coach Earnest Koerte who finished as G Division 2017 state champions, West Kauai with Coach Neal Zaslow, Kuku’s Aces with Coach Francis DeCosta, Da Kruzers with Coach Barry Toy, and the Islanders with Coach Joe Bertucci.