Hawaii will have a new individual high school boys bowling champion this week.
The Billy Tees Bowling State Championships start Thursday and run through Saturday at KBXtreme in Kailua-Kona.
Pearl City’s Nicholas Azumi, last year’s boys champion, has graduated.
Among the top contenders this year are ILH champion Nicholas Lacaden of University and OIA title winner Ryan Kajihiro of Pearl City.
In the girls individual competition, defending state champion and newly-crowned OIA champion Chelsi Morishige of Pearl City is back for a second attempt the state title.
Punahou’s Anastasia Saili, who won the ILH title last week, will contend.
“Chelsi is a really good bowler who has won some big competitions,” Saili said. “I’ve been thinking about what it will take to get past her.”
Team-wise, the Pearl City girls and boys teams should be in the thick of things, if not another rise to the top. The Chargers have won four straight boys state titles and the girls three under coaches James Hayashi and Millie Gomes.
The Hawaii Baptist boys and the Sacred Hearts girls teams won ILH championships last week, and both are hoping to push Pearl City.
Sacred Hearts is coming off a 30-0 ILH season.
“We have a lot of seniors and should be right there in the mix,” said Lancers coach Alan Wallace, whose team placed third at states a year ago.
Greg Hayashi, the coach of ILH boys champion and girls runner-up Hawaii Baptist, thinks his girls have a shot.
“Pearl City’s girls are heavy favorites,” he said. “We hope to get in front of Sacred Hearts and chase Pearl City.”
Hayashi was the last boys coach to win a state championship before his brother James went on the four-year run with Pearl City.
“We had a slow start, but we’ve got it cleaned up and we’re as ready as we can be,” he said of his Eagles boys team.
Among the many other boys individual contenders are Kalaheo’s Dylan John Peters (OIA boys runner-up), Pearl City’s Kristopher Yadao (OIA third place), HBA’s Logan Takeda (ILH runner-up), Mid-Pacific’s Jordan Lee (ILH third place), and Damien’s Alika Vendiola (high ILH season average of 193).
Other girls individual contenders include Zhi Qing Sun of Hawaii Baptist (ILH runner-up), Kaycie Yamasaki of Maryknoll (ILH third place), Ashlynn Castro of Pearl City (OIA runner-up), and Ashley Honda (OIA third place) of Kalani.