LIHUE — Waimea High School bowling coach Keiko Sagawa-Pananganan said having her sister Lyrissa Sagawa coaching the Sacred Hearts bowlers when the Billy Tees Hawaii High School Athletic Association bowling tournament opens is a nice homecoming.
“We both grew up bowling, and now, we’re still involved with bowling,” she said. “It’s always nice to have her home and doing the same things.”
Lyrissa shares coaching duties at Sacred Hearts with Kaelin Gusman whose father, Kevin Gusman, coaches the Kapaa High School Warriors.
“We all coached together at St. Francis before the school closed,” Kevin said. “I was fortunate that Kapaa hired me as a coach. I’m lucky that Kaelin and Lyrissa both ended up at Sacred Hearts as coaches.”
Tanner Sera, qualifying for the state tournament from Kalani High School, is grateful to those St. Francis coaches.
“This is my first time qualifying for states,” said Sera, a junior at Kalani. “Yes, I’m nervous, but I’m grateful to coaches Kevin and Lyrissa for giving me the chance to bowl competitively. I’m hoping to do my best out there.”
Sacred Hearts qualified three girls to the tournament — Kendra Torii, making her second appearance at the state tournament, Sugar Chung, a junior, and Alysa Choy, a senior, and making her first showing on the state lanes.
“I didn’t get to bowl much this past year,” Choy said. “But Coach Kaelin was very good. She told me not to stress too much about the scores because then, you can’t overcome the pressure. I just want to end the tournament decently high.”
Torii finished last year’s state tournament in 13th place.
“I would like to do better than that,” Torii said. “But I switched ball last season and I’m still adjusting to the fingertip control.”
Dana Murata, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation Girls No. 1 individual, was involved with practice with the Kapaa High School boys team.
“This is just very exciting,” she said, reveling in the coaches’ homecoming.
The girls take the floor first, starting at 8 a.m. today, followed by the boys.
“It’s going to be very loud,” said Collyne Murata, Dana’s mother. “The bowlers can’t be too loud, but the spectators will have the place loud.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.