Tysyn Estrella played the first two seasons of his high school career for the Lunas of Lahainaluna, the four-time HHSAA Division II state champions.
After receiving two state championship rings, it was time for a change. Estrella decided to transfer across Maui to King Kekaulike.
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“Up country, we just laugh way more. We have fun,” Estrella told KHON2’s Alan Hoshida. “In Lahaina, it’s kind of like a repetitive process but that’s why they’re good.”
At Lahainaluna, Estrella learned the meaning of discipline. Although he may not have enjoyed the lack of fun at the time, he certainly appreciates it now.
“Keep my mouth shut, eyes down, just try not to get into anyone’s business,” he says. “It humbled me. I didn’t see it as a positive but this year, I definitely saw it as a positive.”
Estrella, a middle linebacker, is viewed as the team’s leader. Na Alii will leans on his experience and leadership on the field. Off the field, he has also become a role model.
“I have kids coming up to me during lunch and recess asking me, ‘Should I do this, should I do that?’ I feel like an older brother to them,” Estrella said.
“Him coming back home, it helped the team dramatically,” King Kekaulike head coach Tyson Valle added. “It helped us with intensity on the field, defensively, offensively, but he brings great leadership to the program and it’s kind of what we’re looking for.”
Estrella is currently recovering from an ankle injury, but he expects to be ready for the team’s next game against Kamehameha-Maui on Dec. 3. The team is currently 0-4, but has two more chances to earn a win before the season ends. Estrella calls it a goal to play at the college level, but for now, his main objective is to get Na Alii back in the win column.
“I have to enjoy everything,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, as long as you’re having fun.”