Sports Notebook

Friday, June 28, 2002

The push is on
for water polo

By Jason Kaneshiro

Although his knowledge of water polo is admittedly limited, Richard Haru is busy promoting the virtues of the Oahu Interscholastic Association's newest sport.

The Castle athletics director was put in charge of the OIA girls water polo program, and his first goal is to get at least 10 teams in the pool for the league's inaugural season, which starts next spring,

"I want to touch base with all the schools and the coaches to do whatever they can to drum up interest," Haru said. "The kids I've talked to at Castle are excited about it, so I told them to go out and tell their friends to come out."

Haru said 13 schools expressed an initial interest in fielding teams and has sought advice from Roosevelt swimming coach Susan Nishioka in coming up with a plan to implement the sport. Nishioka also coaches Roosevelt's water polo team that competes at the club level.

Four OIA schools have functioning swimming pools, but Haru said he is also looking into the possibility of holding games at the University of Hawaii's Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex.

Doubleheader building steam: The Hawaii High School Athletic Association/First Hawaiian Bank Football Classic is still almost three months away, but the hype for the doubleheader is building locally and in California.

De La Salle (Concord) athletic director Terry Eidson said he has already sold more than 200 of the 500 tickets allotted to the school for its game against St. Louis on Sept. 21 at Aloha Stadium.

Poly (Long Beach) has also seen brisk sales for its contest against Kahuku in the first game of the doubleheader.

"I was kind of surprised," Eidson said. "There's definitely a lot of interest, and because we announced it so early, a lot of people are planning their vacations around it.

"There are two factors working for us. One, it's good competition and two, it's Hawaii."

Tickets are tentatively scheduled to go on sale to the general public on Aug. 1. HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya said a television deal for the doubleheader is still in the works.

Lutheran seeking coaches: Lutheran High School is accepting applications for head coaches for its junior varsity boys and girls volleyball teams for the upcoming season.

Those interested should fax their resumes to Lutheran athletics director Deems Utsumi at 843-1950. The deadline is July 8.

Best of the West: The 10th annual Best of the West baseball tournament wraps up tomorrow and Sunday at Aloha Stadium.

The tournament, featuring eight mainland and two Hawaii teams of players ages 19 and under, began with pool play Tuesday at Central Oahu Regional Park and Ala Wai Field. After an off-day today, the tournament continues tomorrow with the playoff rounds.

The top two teams in each pool, advance to the championship bracket games set for 4 and 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. The winners meet for the championship at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Leeward and Hawaii Wave (formerly known as West Oahu) are the local teams entered in the tournament. West Oahu won last year's championship.

Mainland teams participating are Scottsdale (Ariz.), Rincon Valley Rebels (Santa Rosa, Calif.), Phoenix (Ariz.), Western Baseball Club (Covina, Calif.), Hurricane Baseball (Seattle/Tacoma, Wash.), Hardtke World of Baseball (San Jose, Calif.), Storm Club (Cincinnati) and Baseball Factory (Columbia, Md.).

Summer hoops: The King Kamehameha Summer Basketball Tournament opens today and runs through Sunday at gyms in the Kalihi area.

The tournament features boys and girls teams from Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa and Texas. Local teams scheduled to compete in the girls bracket are Kamehameha, Punahou, Iolani, Extreme Hawaii and Kalakaua. Kamehameha, University and Hawaii Stars represent the state in the boys bracket.

Games will be played at the Palama, Farrington, Kalihi Valley District Park and Lanakila District Park gyms today. Play moves to Kamehameha's Kekuhaupio Gym tomorrow and Sunday.

Admission is free.

Passing interest: Footballs will fill the air once again when the Summer Pass League season opens July 3.

Six teams each from the ILH and OIA are entered in the seven-on-seven, touch-tackle league. Joining St. Louis, Kamehameha, Punahou, Iolani, Pac-Five and Damien this summer are Campbell, Nanakuli, Kapolei, Kalaheo, Aiea and Moanalua. The league runs through July 27.

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