Kalaheo Bowler Makes Top 10

Kalaheo bowler Troy Cacal saved his biggest effort for his biggest competition, and the end result just punched his ticket for this week’s state bowling championships on Kauai.

Although the Mustang sophomore averaged 152 per game during the OIA season, Cacal broke through in the conference tournament to post a final tabulation of 1,199 – an average of 199.3 through six games. That placed him ninth overall in the OIA. Cacal also was one of only two bowlers from the East to make the top 10, along with Kalani’s Evan Fujimoto. Although seedings aren’t created for participants entering the OIA post-season, based on his average, Cacal would have been ranked only in the 50s among conference competitors, heading into the competition. The top 32 bowlers from the OIA qualify for the state tournament.

“He knew he could do it all of this time,” said head coach Harry Sakaguchi. “Although he struggled during the regular season, he always stayed positive, which is one of the things I like about him. He didn’t bowl any 200 games during the regular season, but he topped 200 in each of his first four games of the OIA tournament. He proved himself in the tournament.”

Now poised to have an impact at the state level, Cacal is looking at a bright future, as he still has two full years of eligibility remaining.

“He was our best bowler last year as a freshman, and I named him captain this year even though he’s only a sophomore,” Sakaguchi said. “Usually we would choose a senior (as captain), but he’s very respectful, a very good kid, and positive for the team.

“I knew he was a pretty good bowler when he came here,” he added. “He bowls year round in the Junior Bowling program, and the kids that bowl year round are your best bowlers. He’s one of them. He practices a lot.”

Junior Kristi Sakaguchi also will compete at states. She entered the OIA finals with the top average among bowlers from the East Division at 167, but struggled at the tournament, tallying an average of 164 to finish 18th overall.

“It was an opposite story for Kristi,” said Sakaguchi, her coach and father. “She had a good second half and was still able to qualify. Her whole mind-set in the second half (of the OIA finals) was just to qualify.”

Both players figure to enter the tournament with a lot of confidence, according to their coach. “The pressure is off them both now,” he said. “The pressure was more on making the state tournament. Hopefully, they can relax now and do well.”