Off the Fringe
FARRINGTON has had its share of championship teams -- football, basketball and baseball are the ones I thought of first. But it came as a surprise to me when I found out that the Governors were also golf champions.
Govs golf team
ruled ILH in 1949
That's right, golf.
In 1949, the Govs won the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title at a time when football grabbed most of the headlines.
"In those days, the '40s, people didn't think too much about golf," Henry Uyeshiro, a member of Farrington's 1949 championship golf team, told me during a round of golf at the Moanalua Golf Club last week. "Nobody really ran us guys (the golf team) down about golfing. But Farrington was really small at that time and all we had was the amphitheater. We had no swimming pool, no auditorium; just shacks."
Uyeshiro said golfers also didn't have their own clubs.
"Those days you couldn't afford to buy a whole set," he said. "We were mostly caddies (at clubs) at the time and we couldn't afford clubs. We took what we could get, you know, hand-me-downs. And those days, there weren't any metal (clubs) ... it was all wood. Heck, I even had clubs with wooden shafts.
"But people were still shooting in the 70s."
Kaimuki, led by Ken Miyaoka, was the king of the course in the '40s, said Uyeshiro. In fact, he said the Bulldogs won the title every year up until 1949. And it was in a league that included St. Louis, Roosevelt, McKinley, Iolani and Punahou. Kamehameha, said Uyeshiro, joined the league soon after.
"After '49, the last (match) of the season they held a medal tournament," Uyeshiro said.
"And we took that."
It was the last ILH golf title Farrington would win.
"Golf got bigger and bigger after that ('49 title)," he said.
Uyeshiro attended the University of Hawaii after graduating from Farrington in 1951. He said he was a member of the Rainbow golf team, "but we didn't play anybody because there was no other team to play."
At 67, Uyeshiro is still active in the game.
A member of the Moanalua Golf Club, he tries to play whenever he can get away from his duties as tournament chairman.
Every now and then he talks about Farrington's championship golf team, as he did to me last week.
But he doesn't like to make a big thing out of it.
"A lot of things have changed since then," said the soft-spoken Uyeshiro.
Members of the 1949 Farrington championship team also included George Uyeshiro, Ben Timbreza, Tom Kaneshige, Harry Isokane, Frank Hatakenaka, Walter Fujii, Richard Matsuda, Patrick Kim and Stanley Takahashi.
Star-Bulletin assistant sports editor Randy Cadiente is a once-a-week hacker who carries a 15-handicap. He can be reached at 529-4785 or: email@example.com