Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, June 28, 2002

Marga Stubblefield played golf for the University of Hawaii and then went on to the LPGA Tour.

Stubblefield, Satele
still giving back

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By Cindy Luis

Times have changed, but there are many women who continue to make the same commitment to athletics decades after their playing days have past.

art In 1972, Marga Stubblefield WAS the women's golf team at the University of Hawaii. When she finished second at the 1975 AIAW national championships, women's athletic director Dr. Donnis Thompson called the senior golfer into the office.

"Dr. Thompson told me she was going to get $25 more in books for me," said Stubblefied. "I didn't have a scholarship and my parents were thrilled."

Stubblefield went on to play on the LPGA Tour and then became a teaching pro at Olomana Golf Links. Last year, she returned to her alma mater, where the golf team is fully funded with the NCAA maximum of six scholarships.

"What I've seen in the past 30 years is that the players are stronger, more sure of themselves, and the scoring averages have gone down tremendously," said the 1971 Kailua High School graduate. "As a coach, I'm seeing that the talent pool is so much deeper. There are 250 women's college golf teams now.

"I think Title IX has helped in that regard. It helped girls get the opportunity for a college degree, it helped the game of golf grow and it helped the tour grow."

Stubblefield said one other difference she has noticed is the expectations of girls now of a college scholarship. When she was at Kailua -- which had no golf program for girls or boys -- she never thought about a scholarship.

"I just wanted to play golf," she said. "But I was lucky, because my folks belonged to Mid-Pacific. I got to play in a lot of tournaments with older, role models who were my aunties.

"Even today, I'm recruiting in places where girls are still playing on boys teams."

LEE ANN PESTANA SATELE earned four letters in volleyball and two championship rings. These days, she is helping other former UH athletes feel they are a part of the alumni team, regardless of how successful a career they may have had.

"It's a way of giving back," said Satele, on the board of the UH Letterwinner's Club. "It's a way of helping former athletes stay connected with the university."

Satele connected with athletics early in life, much to the consternation of her grandmother.

"She wanted me to play the piano," she said. "She kept saying, 'What a waste of long fingers.'

"These days, it's so natural for girls to play sports. It's cool to be athletic. Back then, everyone called you a tomboy."

Satele's high school track career at Leilehua lasted just a month because "there was too much running." Now, her five children and their respective sports keeps her and husband Alvis, a former UH football player, on the go.

The former Wahine volleyball player has seen a tremendous growth in youth sports, particularly for girls. Her only daughter, Chanteal, is 11.

"My daughter wanted to play volleyball when she was 8, but I thought she was too young," said Satele, who works for the U.S. Customs Department. "I gave in when she was 10, but by then, she was already behind because the other girls had started years earlier.

"I'm coaching her team and I try to keep it the old-fashioned way in terms of training. I make them work for things. I don't believe in participation trophies. You have to earn it."

Satele says when she walks into the Wahine locker room at the Stan Sheriff Center, she smiles and shakes her head.

"They have nice chairs, their uniforms are laid out," said Satele, who played in Klum Gym from 1980-84. "Back then, I was just happy to have my own locker and towel.

"Things change. And you hope the women know about the hard work that came before."

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