On October 14, the Pac-5 Boys Air Riflery Team won the first place title in the ILH Championship. The girls team took second place, capping off an impressive season for the Air Riflery program overall.
The Pac-5 team is made up of seven schools and there were 16 HBA students in the combined junior varsity and varsity team this season. The ILH championship was sophomore Braeden Takeuchi’s highlight of the season. He recalled, “It capped off our undefeated season with a win at home, and we got to celebrate the two seniors and hang out as a team.”
Kamalei Canionero, a freshman, also described the final match of the season as an unforgettable moment, since the girls team not only won their final match, placing them in second place in championships, but also beat their team’s own highest score of all time. To top it off, there were a number of freshmen on the team, along with Canionero, and they were thrilled to do well in their first year.
Recalling this past season, Zoe Tawata, a freshman as well, who has only been on volleyball teams, said, “[Air riflery] coaches are way different from the coaches I had in volleyball; there was a lot less yelling. There’s also a lot of safety regulations since we’re working with guns, so there was a lot of getting used to that at the beginning.” Classmate Cody Coulter, who signed up for the sport as he’s had some experience from hunting with his family, was pleasantly surprised by the new friends he made in the sport.
Caden Matsumoto, a junior, who started air riflery in his freshman year as well, enjoys that the sport “really makes you focus, especially on yourself and your actions.” He added, “When you’re shooting, the only real obstacle you have is your own movements.” Matsumoto also observed that a big part of what helped them this season was focusing on continuing to improve instead of overthinking and solely obtaining a good score. Fellow teammate Andy Fang, a sophomore, added that the support from their coaches and other teammates also contributed to their performance this year.
Kylee Fujihana, a sophomore, was one of two HBA students on the varsity team. She said that this season helped her learn how to improve on her mistakes instead of lingering on them. Fellow varsity shooter Lauren Espiritu said that she learned to be more patient and to not hesitate to ask questions.
Canionero is already excited for the next season to begin again. “I would 100% do it again next season,” she said.
At the end of October, junior Sam Lim earned a bronze medal as the 10th place finisher in the Hawaii National Guard Air Riflery State Championships.