HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Waianae among the big movers
The shuffle is on.
Four teams departed and four new squads entered the Star-Bulletin Baseball Top 10 today.
Topping the new arrivals is Waianae, which opened play in the tough Oahu Interscholastic Association West with big wins over Pearl City and Leilehua last week. Coach Kekoa Kaluhiokalani's team is at No. 4.
By no coincidence, Pearl City and Leilehua were among the four teams that were voted off the Top 10 by the panel of coaches and media.
Kailua also landed in the Top 10, much to the chagrin of longtime coach Corey Ishigo.
"Ohhh," he replied, almost moaning in agony upon learning that his team is ranked seventh. "Yeah, it's not good."
The defending OIA champion Surfriders blanked Kalaheo and downed Roosevelt to open league play 2-0.
"I'm still not happy (yet). We're playing more as a team. They're learning to play together. We still gotta continue to grow and work out some kinks," Ishigo said.
The tough, single-elimination OIA playoffs, along with the improvement of many programs over the years, makes the chase entertaining to fans. For coaches, it means a few more gray hairs in the quest for a title.
"That's tough to do every year. Our league has so many teams that are good. It's not like the old OIA, where you had only three teams that had a chance to win it," said Ishigo, who has led Kailua to five of the last six OIA titles.
"Now one through six (playoff teams in the East and West divisions) are tough."