Obrey says he's not done elevating HBA boys volleyball
Contrary to what the rumor mill has churned out lately, Teoni Obrey is not leaving his position as boys volleyball coach at Hawaii Baptist Academy.
Obrey, who led the Eagles to the Division II state tournament this season, was rumored to be on Iolani's short list of candidates for the vacant girls volleyball post.
"I have not been contacted for that job. I'm really happy at HBA," Obrey said on Monday.
Obrey has a small bit of history with Iolani.
"Way back when I first started coaching, I applied for the boys job. Later on, I applied for the girls position a few years ago, but I ended up withdrawing my name. I went for the first interview, but I just couldn't up and leave the position (at HBA)," Obrey said.
"We didn't reach our goals yet."
Now that Hawaii Baptist is a force in boys volleyball, the time could be ripe for a move to a more prominent program. Obrey, however, is staying put.
"We haven't reached our goals at all. The program has elevated. It's more competitive and the kids now want to play club. Now the next part is, hopefully, eventually winning championships," he said.
"The support from the parents and (athletic director) Deren Oshiro is great. They believe in us and what we're doing," added Obrey, who teaches P.E. at Kawaiahao Church's elementary school.
Pads back on: Just when the rubber-particle dust of Aloha Stadium had settled with the end of football season, cleats are stomping the fertile soil of Farrington's field.
The Hawaii squad will begin practice next week for the third annual Kingdom Bowl in American Samoa. The game, organized in part by Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai, will be played in Tafuna.
The team will depart on Christmas Day.
"The boys will be busy. When we get there, we double practice every day," Livai said.
The squad includes quarterbacks Stanford Leti of Moanalua and Cameron Higgins of Saint Louis.
Livai also organizes a similar, annual game in Tonga each summer.
Hoop heaven: For high school basketball fans, this time of year is truly a blessing. From Oahu to Keaau, tournaments abound.
At the Baldwin Invitational, Konawaena, Mililani and host Baldwin shared the tourney title by going 2-1 in the round-robin format. Baldwin is the defending Maui Interscholastic League champion, and Konawaena was last year's Big Island Interscholastic Federation titlist.
Mililani, with an influx of size and talent, has a lot of potential. First-year coach Hiram Akina will need all of his experience and savvy to mold the Trojans into an Oahu Interscholastic Association title contender.
At McKinley's Black and Gold Invitational, Tyler Tsukazaki was a scoring machine in the final. He hit six of his seven 3-point attempts and finished with 31 points in Maryknoll's 50-35 win over Kapolei.
The young Spartans are also learning to survive when Tsukazaki isn't on the court. He was in foul trouble in a semifinal battle against Kaimuki and sat the entire third quarter. Maryknoll still found a way to win, even if coach Blaine Gier prefers that his team remain under the radar.
Tough to do when your team is 8-1.
Mustangs coach out: Russell Ramos has announced that he is stepping down as football coach at Kalaheo. No announcement for applicants has been made yet by the school.
Volleyball openings: Castle girls volleyball coach Vincent Bajet has stepped down.
The school is accepting applicants. Contact athletic director Richard Haru at 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, HI, 96744. The deadline is January 13.
Classic moments: The Iolani Classic, the state's premier prep basketball tournament, tips off on Friday with Division II bracket action.
Lanakila Baptist and Waialua tangle at 6:30 p.m., followed by Ka'u and Iolani II at 8 p.m.
Division I bracket play begins on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The field includes national powerhouse Montrose Christian (Md.) and Urspring of Germany. Another top-level program, Mt. Vernon (N.Y.), opens against Leilehua at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Regular visitor Fairfax (Los Angeles) begins play on Monday.
Other local entries are Punahou, Damien, Kohala, Kalaheo, Maryknoll, Kahuku and host and four-time defending state champion Iolani.
The tournament concludes Dec. 22.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: