Spartans secure MIL crown
Sparks, Chang lead deep Seabury team to first title since 2010
WAIEHU — Kyle Sparks was 10 years old the last time Seabury Hall won the Maui Interscholastic League boys team title.
While that 4th-grader at Waihee Elementary School had no idea he would end up a Spartan, the Seabury Hall senior now knows he will be part of the David S. Ishii Foundation State Championship at Turtle Bay, May 10-11.
“I didn’t know I was going to go to Seabury,” Sparks said after shooting a team-best 38 at Waiehu Municipal Golf Course to lead the Spartans to a 161-174 win over Maui High on Wednesday that clinched Seabury’s first league crown since 2010. “I just started to play golf when I was 8 years old.”
Sparks was joined in the scoring column by Ryan Chang’s 39, Pierce Dowd’s 40 and Hudson Jackson’s 44. The Spartans’ dropped score was Max Flammer’s 47.
The state tournament will offer another chance to show off the depth that the Spartans own.
“Hopefully, if we work hard enough, anything can happen if we play our best,” Sparks said.
Sparks and Chang are seniors, Jackson and Flammer are sophomores, and Dowd is a freshman for the Spartans, who improved to 9-0 with one match to play.
“Very consistent,” Seabury Hall coach Jake Grodzinsky said. “That was definitely our strength this year. Our fifth guy was competing with our No. 1 guy, which for high school golf is just so important. We were deep this year and we had two great seniors. Great year, can’t tell you how proud I am.”
As MIL team champions, the Spartans now own five of the 14 spots that the league receives to the state tournament. The other nine spots will go to the top players who aren’t on the Seabury Hall team roster in the 72-hole MIL individual championship that begins March 31 at Waiehu.
“Knowing that we have a team in, that was a goal and that’s what we all wanted to do,” Grodzinsky said. “There’s a lot of pressure trying to get a team through in the individual tournament.”
The Sabers fell to 6-3 — their first two losses were each by a single stroke, to Kamehameha Maui and Maui Prep.
Maui High was led by Jordan Terada, who shot even-par 36. Asher Aspili shot 41, Noah Manual shot 47 and Kaleb Makimoto had a 50. The Sabers were without Marlon Bottorf, who is on a family vacation.
“We were with four players only today, but still, Seabury played very well,” Maui High coach Lee Sakugawa said.
With only nine more slots available, “That makes it really tough,” Sakugawa said. “So everybody’s got to play good in the individuals now.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
W L T Pct.
x-Seabury Hall 9 0 0 1.000
Maui High 6 3 0 .667
Maui Prep 6 3 0 .667
KS Maui 3 5 0 .375
Lahainaluna 2 6 0 .250
King Kekaulike 0 9 0 .000
x-clinched team championship
Seabury Hall 161, Maui High 174
Maui Prep 169, King Kekaulike 230
Kamehameha Maui vs. Lahainaluna at Kaanapali, no score reported
Maui High vs. Seabury Hall at Maui Country Club, 3:30 p.m.
Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha Maui at The Dunes at Maui Lani, 3:30 p.m.
King Kekaulike vs. Maui Prep at Kapalua Bay, 3:30 p.m.