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Jamie Stinar

Thursday, April 8, 2004


Pac-5 more than a game
to its dedicated athletes


For five months, Alika Borabora, a freshman at Lanakila Baptist High School, went from Ewa Beach to Manoa after school. He made the almost two-hour trip daily to get to football practice.

He and Shaun Shimose, another LBHS freshman, would catch a ride with Shimose's mother, who dropped them off at St. Francis Hospital-Ewa. From there, their coach picked them up and drove them to Mid-Pacific field. After a two-hour practice, they made the trip back home through traffic.

"It takes endurance and commitment to do it every day," says Borabora. "But I love the rush of the game."

Borabora plans to do the same trip next year, despite coming home at 7:30 p.m Monday through Friday. He also spent Saturday afternoons as a starter in the safety position.

Borabora plays for Pac-5, a coalition of small private schools that allow athletes to compete in Hawaii high school sports. More than 800 students across Oahu participated in 50 teams in 11 types of sports last year, said John Hom, Pac-5 athletic director.

"It gives athletes the opportunity to play any sport that their school may not be able to do," says Hom, who also teaches English at Hawaii Baptist Academy. Pac-5 participates in the Interscholastic League of Hawaii, the private schools sports league.

Nineteen smaller private schools make up Pac-5.

"I consider a small school fewer than 1,000 students of girls and boys," says Hom. Schools like Lanakila Baptist High School, with 120 students, to Maryknoll with just under 1,000 fall into this category.

Pac-5 started about 32 years ago with the purpose of pulling resources to make a team to compete in football. Now, with the growth of Pac-5 in teams and sports, the challenges are matters of team cohesiveness and coordinating practices.

"The hardest thing to work out is practice times with different school schedules," says Jerome Fukuda, Pac-5 judo head coach. His team practices at University High. For gymnastics, Hawaii Academy provides the gym on Sumner Street. Some students come from as far as Kaneohe.

Other coaches agreed with Fukoda. Some felt the bonding of the team presented challenges.

"The chemistry is more difficult because they don't know each other," says Mike Koehne, Pac-5 Girls Water Polo coach. Koehne has been coaching for five years. Because of Pac-5, Koehne uses Mid-Pacific school's pool and bigger group of athletes to recruit from.

Like other teams, teamwork matters and is one of the first things coaches work on. For Pac-5, the challenge remains the same.

"The students come from different communities and they have been taught different aspects," says Bruce Segawa, Pac-5 Boys JV baseball coach. "So I have to concentrate on pulling them together and teach all the aspects about baseball.

"We have to work hard for our reputation," says Segawa. Most players have little experience playing high school sports.

Everrett Martin, LBHS sophomore, enjoys meeting students from other schools. He also likes Coach Segawa's unusual drills that build teamwork and skills, and he doesn't mind that practice occasionally goes past 6 p.m. He learned that he likes pushing his teammates toward excellence.

"If I weren't on a baseball team, I'd be totally lazy and not do anything," Martin says.


Jamie Stinar is a junior at Lanakila Baptist High School and sports editor of the school newspaper, Warrior.

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