[ HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS ]
Public schools close
Public schools fared much better than a year ago in the final tally of state champions for the 2003-04 school year.
Of the 36 titles, public-school squads won 17 times (47 percent), compared to 19 victories (53 percent) by private-school teams.
The gap was a lot wider a year ago, when private schools finished with a 19-13 (59 percent to 41 percent) advantage.
"Parity is always good for interscholastic sports," Punahou athletic director Tom Holden said. "We don't completely have parity yet, but we've started down that road. I thought it was fantastic seeing Pearl City (a public-school team) win in state boys track (ending an eight-year reign by private schools)."
Broken down by Hawaii's five leagues, the private-school Interscholastic League of Honolulu earned 19 state titles (53 percent), followed by the Oahu Interscholastic Association with 13 (36 percent), the Kauai Interscholastic Federation with two (5 percent) and the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and Maui Interscholastic League with one apiece (3 percent each).
Nine schools won multiple state titles, led by Punahou and Iolani with seven apiece.
See the accompanying list for the complete list of state champions.
Wildcats celebrate in style: State champion Konawaena rode around Waikiki in a stretch limo after its girls basketball title-game victory over Kahuku last Saturday, according to assistant coach Victor McDaniel.
"The kids were floating on a cloud," he said. "It was literally like heaven on Earth for them. It was a high unlike no other."
McDaniel said the turning point in the team's season came after a preseason tournament at Punahou.
"We lost to both Kahuku and Punahou at that tournament," he said. "After that game, we defined everyone's role -- each coach and all the players -- and we revamped our program with our weakness in mind.
"We realized we didn't have a slow-down game. From that day on, it was a concerted effort to practice with each one of our players handling the ball up top and to work on spreading the floor."
The Wildcats employed the slow-down strategy in the fourth quarter of the title game, forcing Kahuku to foul and eventually winning the game at the free-throw line.
Many new coaches: Only one head-coaching vacancy remains in Hawaii high school football -- at the Kamehameha-Big Island campus in Keaau.
Kailua's Gary Rosolowich, a former Canadian Football League player, is the latest addition to the state's head-coaching ranks.
There have been seven other varsity head-coaching appointments since the end of the 2003 season (see accompanying chart).
All-Star Monday: Two high school all-star games are being played Monday -- the annual Sugar Mill Baseball Classic at Aloha Stadium and the Hannemann Girls Basketball Jamboree at the Moanalua High School gym.
Retired University of Hawaii women's basketball coach Vince Goo is scheduled to be honored during the hoops event.
Goo will receive the tournament's Gender Equity Award, given for outstanding contribution to women's sports.
Dennis Agena, Dana Dias and Jill Nunokawa are previous recipients.
The final of the Prep/Collegiate Division (which combines the top current Hawaii high school players with former collegiate players) starts at 3:15 p.m.
The top three teams in the state are well represented. Nancy Hoist, Hina Kimitete and Jessica Hanato of state champion Konawaena, Latoya Wily, Aisha Ale and Karla Tailele of runner-up Kahuku and Shanna-Lei Dacanay, Christine Takara and Eryn Chun of third-place Punahou are participating.
Former New York Mets standout Sid Fernandez, a Kaiser graduate, is one of the coaches in the 3 p.m. all-star baseball game. He joins Joey Meyer, who played for Punahou and had a stint in the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers, in the Aloha squad's dugout.
Former University of Hawaii player and minor leaguer Paul Ah Yat and Florida Marlins scout Scott Murray, who also played in the minor leagues, are the Hawaiian team's coaches.
Farrington's Matt Bell, Aiea's Kepa Wong and Aaron Asher, Kauai's Alec Reichle, Hilo's Matthew Haasenritter and Leilehua's Spencer Omalza are among the Hawaiian team members, while Kamehameha's Kanekoa Texeira, Waiakea's Myles Ioane and Ronnie Loeffler, Saint Louis' Marc Nobriga, and Mid-Pacific's Harrison Kuroda and Ryan Asato are just a few of the Aloha players.
2003-04 state champions
» Iolani 7 (boys cross country, girls cross country, boys volleyball, boys basketball, boys paddling, boys swimming and diving, girls swimming and diving)
» Punahou 7 (girls volleyball, girls soccer, baseball, boys tennis, girls tennis, girls track and field, water polo)
» Kahuku 2.5 (Division I football, boys wrestling, share of girls judo)
» Kapolei 2 (boys bowling, Division I softball)
» Moanalua 2 (girls bowling, medium-division cheerleading)
» Kauai 2 (boys golf, girls golf)
» Pearl City 2 (boys track and field, boys judo)
» Kamehameha 2 (girls paddling, large-division cheerleading)
» Farrington 1.5 (girls wrestling, share of girls judo)
» Aiea 1 (Division II football)
» Mililani 1 (boys soccer)
» King Kekaulike 1 (mixed paddling)
» Roosevelt 1 (Division II girls basketball)
» Konawaena 1 (Division I girls basketball)
» Sacred Hearts 1 (girls air riflery)
» University 1 (Division II softball)
» Saint Louis 1 (boys air riflery)
Football head coaching changes
|No varsity program
|No varsity program
||To be determined
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