Sunday, June 6, 2004


Punahou is Benham Cup

Punahou is the 2003-04 Benham Cup winner and one of many schools to show athletic excellence this school year.

Buffanblu teams garnered 316 points in the cup standings, which rate Hawaii's high schools on state tournament performances in the fall, winter and spring sports seasons.

Iolani was second overall and second among Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools with 252.5 points, followed by Kamehameha with 247.17.

Waiakea proved to be the top dog among public schools and fourth overall with 149 points. The Warriors also ranked first among Big Island Interscholastic Federation institutions. They're followed in order in the standings by 13 public schools, including the highest-ranked teams from the Maui Interscholastic League (Baldwin, fifth overall, 146.67), the Oahu Interscholastic Association (Kahuku, sixth overall, 133) and the Kauai Interscholastic Federation (Kauai High, 12th overall, 67.5).

The cup is named after the late Clay Benham, who served as ILH executive secretary for 32 years until his death in 2002.

"We're honored to have achieved an honor in memory of Clay Benham," Buffanblu athletic director Tom Holden said. "He always put athletes first and never voted for anything that didn't put the athletes first. We're proud of our student-athletes. It's not about winning an award or championships. It's the sacrifices the kids make and the sportsmanship aspects that they learn about that's most important."

Iolani placed first in the Benham boys standings, while Punahou topped the girls list for the second year in a row.

Punahou is the second overall winner. A year ago, Kamehameha beat out the Buffanblu 290 to 285.5 on the last day of the spring season.

Holden suggests that the standings be made into two or more divisions (possibly based on enrollment and/or athletic budget) to give more schools a chance to be honored. The cup committee is expected to discuss divisional options this summer.

The committee recognizes the first-place schools in the overall, girls and boys categories.

State tournament champions receive 20 points. Schools are awarded 16 points for second place, 13 for third, 10 for fourth, seven for fifth, five for sixth, four for seventh, two for eighth, and one for ninth through 12th.

Football scorekeeper and basketball referee Thomas Yoshida, former Aiea girls basketball coach Fran Villarmia-Kahawai, former sportswriter Frank Mauz, soccer statistician Chester Chee, and Roy Benham (Clay's brother) make up the five-member Benham Cup committee.


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