HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Veteran Baldwin coach
Rudy Souza still active
Veteran coach Rudy Souza may be semi-retired, but he never has a dull moment. Especially when he tools around War Memorial Stadium in a golf cart.
Souza, family and friends have volunteered for years at the stadium's concession stand during football season. With their cooking talents and plain-old hard work, they've managed to help raise funds for different MIL athletic programs week after week.
When baseball starts, they do the same at nearby Iron Maehara Stadium. Souza, a longtime softball guru, remains active despite being a survivor of a triple-bypass procedure.
Though the food at the concession can't be beat -- one of his sons, a chef, makes an unforgettable beef stew -- Souza's passion remains softball.
His son, Ryan Souza, has been head coach of the Bears program for a few years now. Baldwin is young and talented, said Rudy, perhaps more so now than ever.
That's good news for Baldwin fans who have gotten used to winning ways. Under Rudy, the Bears won 30 Maui Interscholastic League titles in 35 seasons, and the tradition of state tournament appearances has continued under Ryan.
Rudy, meanwhile, can't seem to sit still. He was coaxed into staying on for one more year at the concession stand by MIL chief Steve Kim. And, there are practices around the corner with the Bears.
The only place longtime fans may not see Rudy is off-island. "I don't care too much to travel," he said, noting that Ryan took the team to the Mililani tournament last week while dad stayed home.
"Aah, you might see me on Oahu. We'll see," he said.
Youth movement: Also nearby, at the Baldwin gym and soccer fields, freshmen could be prominent in the MIL.
Boys basketball coach Wayne Gushiken has veteran leadership in point guard Cody Tesoro, post Trenson Himalaya and forward Cody Nakamura.
Tesoro is healing up from a foot injury, and Himalaya, a standout linebacker on the football team, is nursing a cold. Both should be ready for preseason action soon.
Gushiken has a pair of 6-foot-1 freshmen on the varsity this season, which gives him reason to smile. "Even our JV. We have the tallest JV team we've ever had," the longtime coach said.
The boys soccer team, meanwhile, has as many as four freshmen who could see significant playing time.
A busy weekend awaits Baldwin senior Kaluka Maiava.
The standout linebacker will travel to Los Angeles with his father, Scott Mahoney, to attend the Notre Dame-USC game Saturday.
Though it is not an official visit, going to the game is part of being a prized recruit. There will be a number of other prospects at the game, Mahoney said.
Maiava, 6-0 and 215 pounds, was offered a scholarship by USC during the summer.