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The Maui News 2019-20 MIL Paddling All-Stars

Spartans exceeded expectations: Proctor, Tremble selected MIL Paddlers of the Year after helping young Seabury team sweep titles

Seabury Hall’s mixed crew of Kai Jenkins, Jake Devane, Kahealani Haupu, Lana Kelmenson, Keahi Artates and Ryder Tremble paddle to a win in an MIL regatta in January. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Seabury Hall paddlers Amber Proctor and Ryder Tremble both agreed that the season exceeded their expectations.

And to top it off, the Maui Interscholastic League’s coaches chose Proctor and Tremble as the league’s Paddlers of the Year, while Spartans coach Paul Luuwai was voted coach of the year.

“It’s an honor to be able to be named that, especially for one of my close friends to also be named paddler of the year, it’s great,” Tremble said last month via phone. “Just all that hard work for the past year and then just having that written down, it’s pretty cool.”

The duo led the Spartans to a sweep of the MIL titles earlier this year — Seabury last accomplished the feat in 2017.

“I feel honored,” Proctor said. “I was not expecting it since we had such strong paddlers this year that I felt all deserved this title as well. I am also proud that Ryder and coach (Luuwai) got those titles too, they play a big part for this team.”

The Spartans girls crew of Keala Bouwens, Haupu, Annalise Lambert, Kekua Richards, Amber Proctor and Tatum Hoshino head to an MIL championship-clinching victory in February. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Looking back on the past four years of her high school career, some of Proctor’s favorite memories were with the Seabury paddling team, such as edging King Kekaulike for the MIL crown in February, and spending time on Oahu with the team as the girls crew finished third at the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Canoe Paddling State Championships at Keehi Lagoon.

The mixed crew took fourth at state, while the boys finished seventh.

“Every year since my freshman year has been the same in the aspect that we all become really close during the season and work hard for the season,” she said. “It’s all a lot of fun and hard work, but is very worth it in the end.”

Proctor is joined on the girls first team by crewmates Kekua Richards, Keala Bouwens and Kahealani Haupu; King Kekaulike’s Kamakana Kawaa and Skyler Sands; Molokai’s Laulea Kekahuna and Ashawna Davis; Maui Prep’s Sydney Snyder; and Lahainaluna’s Jordan Rogers.

“To end my high school paddling career with those titles is amazing and by far exceeded my expectations of what we could have done,” Proctor said. “Beginning the season, I had a good feeling that we would do better than previous years, but winning those titles makes me so proud of everything the team worked hard for.”

The Maui News 2019-2020 MIL Paddling All-Stars

This fall, Proctor heads to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to study nursing. In the meantime, she said she didn’t have plans to play spring sports in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, “my heart goes out to the athletes that were.”

Tremble, who planned to compete on Seabury’s baseball and surf teams, was bummed about the abbreviated season but has been keeping himself busy nonetheless.

“I’ve been surfing a good amount. … I live pretty close to the beach,” he said. “I’ve been running a lot too, and then just doing projects at the house, pretty endless.”

Tremble is joined on the boys first team by teammates Kalai Anderson, Flavio Signoretti and Gasum Chang; Baldwin’s Aiden Eda and Hunter Carpio; Kamehameha Maui’s Kaehukai Molitau and Bronson Espania; Lahainaluna’s Sean Freitas; and King Kekaulike’s John Ferrell.

During his junior paddle season, Tremble steered both the mixed and boys crews to title-clinching victories at the fourth MIL regatta.

Josh Foley was the only senior, so just about the whole crew returns next year.

“It went way beyond any expectations that I ever had for the season,” Tremble said. “We have a really young team and so I thought we weren’t going to really stand much of a chance, but we worked really hard and we have a great coach, and our boys just pushed through and we all just kept getting better and realized that it’s actually doable.”

He said he’s taking what he’s learned from summer regattas and MIL paddling seasons into his final go-round, in addition to “having fun and enjoying my senior year.”

“I learned what hard work can do, I think we’re practicing super hard and working every single day to get better, and it doesn’t really matter how big you are — if you put your mind to it, you can do anything,” he said. “To win states would just be the craziest thing ever, it’s kind of what I wanted since hearing about it in middle school about the upper school teams winning state championships.

“So I know it’s been done and that would be crazy to do and I think our team is able to, but that would be amazing.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com

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