Hawai’i Pacific University Softball Team have been under the successful coaching of head coach Bryan Nakasone, assistant coaches Jon Correles, Roger Javilo, Richard Nomura and newly retired Howard A. Okita. Nakasone is about to begin his fifth season as the Sea Warriors head coach. With multiple successful seasons under his belt, Nakasone has coached his Sea Warriors through to the NCAA Pac-West Regionals in three of his five seasons as head coach, including one which ended up with the highest achievement a year could bring, a NCAA Division II National Championship in 2010. Overall, he has recorded a winning record of 162-50 in four seasons.
The Hawai’i Pacific Lady Sea Warriors had a whopping nine freshman join the team in the 2009-2010 softball season, with only four returning seniors. This young team worked together as an Ohana (“family”), and won each game one by one. There season went to a 21-0 start, before they lost there first game, but there loss only encouraged them to do better as a team in the future.
The “dream team” hosted the NCAA Pac-West Regionals tournament at their home field in Kaneohe, Hawai’i, and finished with a winning record of 4-1. The following week, the Sea Warriors remained in the number one seed, and were given the opportunity to host the NCAA Pac-West Super Regional tournament vs. Chico State. Overall, beating Chico State with a winning record of 2-1, the Sea Warriors were advancing to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament in Saint Joseph, Missouri.
The HPU softball team ended their National Tournament weekend with a 4-0 winning record, and awarding the Sea Warriors the title of the NCAA Division II Softball National Champs. A moment in their life they will always remember.
According to KITV news, Casey Sugihara said, “It was a storybook ending to a senior year.”
Freshman at the time Pomaika’i Kalakau, now a newly alumnae, had this to say about her freshman year.
“It was a cool experience to witness a team winning the national championship, not just the game but the entire journey. It really is true when people say it all comes down to a team’s chemistry on and off the field,” Kalakau adds, ” Selfless players come together to make a winning team and that’s exactly what I witnessed my freshman year.”
February of 2014 is the official kick start to the new Hawai’i Pacific University softball team, and for Nakasones’ fifth season as head coach.
With the “dream teams” whole roster off starting their lives after college, the HPU softball team welcomes 10 new student-athletes to the roster with only six returnees.
When it comes to taking the right stepping stones to make a transition run smoothly, Courtney Ahlo, junior infielder, says, ” the nine seniors were our leaders, and when they left we were handed the leadership role of a lot of new teammates and it has been harder then previous years,” Ahlo adds, “but as leaders now we just are making sure that everyone is in check and are doing what needs to be done. We want to make sure that no new player is afraid to ask any questions if they need help.”
Come and support the HPU Sea Warriors when there season kicks off on February, 3, 2014, Vs. Western Washington University at Howard A. Okita Field at 1 p.m.