Maui football may get more statewide exposure via OC-16
The world of high school athletics continues to grow, at least in live, televised broadcasts.
OC-16 is looking into the possibility of broadcasting football games from Maui in the coming season. The cable station has already aired the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's Division I football title game between Kealakehe and Keaau, as well as two volleyball matches.
The MIL has not determined its schedule yet, but the relationship between the league and OC-16 is healthy and growing. MIL executive secretary Stephen Kim was not available for comment.
Defending MIL champion Baldwin would be a likely candidate for a telecast. Coach Jimmy Morimoto welcomed the possibility.
"It's a good thing for Maui and the state, for that matter," he said.
Longtime Lahainaluna coach Bobby Watson expressed some excitement about the possible telecasts.
"I'm not too keen about having cameras on me, but I think it's good for the kids. It's nice, you know, for the outer islands, a little more exposure for the kids. That's always good," he said.
OC-16 has said that an MIL game might be the front side of a doubleheader, with an Oahu Interscholastic Association game as the back end.
"The games might have to be televised early, and I'm not for playing at 5 o'clock," Morimoto said.
"It's tough for us. Five o'clock is real tough, especially coming from Lahaina (to War Memorial Stadium)," he said. "I don't know if we can get our officials there on time. It's hard enough getting them there for the JV games," he said.
"On Fridays, people rush home and then get to games. If we play early, we might lose a lot of fans," Watson added.
A matchup of top rivals, like Lahainaluna and Baldwin, usually draws more than 4,000 at the turnstiles. That provides irreplaceable revenue for MIL athletic departments.
"I don't know if we (coaches) will have a say. We'll have our athletic directors to voice anything," Watson said.
Another aspect of being televised statewide is scouting.
"Having other teams look at us, that's not a problem for me," Morimoto said of his team, which has operated a run-and-shoot offense for several years.
If the telecasts happen, the intensity level of MIL football could kick up a notch.
"I think they're going to be excited about playing on TV, but that's as far as it goes. Some individuals might be more pumped being on TV, but our kids are pumped about any game," Morimoto said.
Bad News 'Dogs:
Waialua's long season on the diamond could have taken a turn for the worse after Saturday's 40-1 loss to Leilehua.
"It was really embarrassing," first-year Leilehua coach Mike Kim said. "Everybody felt bad. One of our kids hit a 400-foot single. He could've gone further, but I told him, 'Just stay there. Don't be uncool.' "
Perhaps most disturbing is what has happened to the psyche of Waialua.
"They looked like they quit in the first couple of innings, and it was only 7-0. You can't help but feel badly for them," Kim said.
Concerns about Waialua's morale seem to be legitimate, but coach Herbert Onizuka remains optimistic.
"Surprisingly, these kids are not doing that bad. They understand the situation we're in. They don't really know the inside of baseball, but they plug along."
Though numbers at the historic school have shrunk significantly over the years, fielding a viable and competitive Waialua team isn't out of the question. Waialua's athletes aren't necessarily weaker or smaller. It's a matter of skill levels.
"We have a lot of players who played up to (Little League) minors, but they didn't play after that," said Onizuka, a longtime Waialua resident who is in his 15th year as head coach. "You get a few kids who like to play, so you just gotta plug along and help them get better. Because they don't have the experience of playing, they don't know what to do when certain things happen."
The Leilehua game was especially difficult because of an extracurricular event. Five players missed the game because of the prom, and the Bulldogs nearly had to forfeit due to lack of players.
The future isn't necessarily going to improve without offseason work. Onizuka worries that it might not happen, even with half the team expected to return next year.
"I tell the kids, do what you can and let's get better. The guys coming back next year will get a better chance. I'm trying to encourage the kids to play in tournaments, in Legion ball at Wahiawa, but a lot of them, when the baseball season is over, they go into football training," Onizuka said. "It's kind of rough."
Athletes of the week
Redmond Tutor, Kahuku:
Placed first in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump at the OIA East Championships. Also ran with the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. In addition, at the OIA Relay Championships, the senior won the long jump and triple jump, and ran with the 4x110 winning shuffle hurdle relay team.
Nicole Fu, Maryknoll basketball:
The senior guard scored a career-high 44 points as the Lancers edged Sacred Hearts in double overtime, 65-58.
Cameron Bayne, Saint Louis:
Fired a three-hit shutout against Kamehameha.
Kamahoi Cookman, Kaimuki: Went 4-for-5 with an RBI against Farrington.
John Estores, Moanalua: Went 4-for-4 with six RBIs against Farrington.
Darius Fuller, Waianae: Struck out 11 and walked none in a three-hit shutout at Radford.
Daren Muramoto, Kaimuki: Went 4-for-4 with three triples and two RBIs against Farrington.
Chase Nawod, Kaimuki: Went 4-for-5 with four RBIs against Farrington.
Joshua Pastor, Leilehua: Went 5-for-5 with four RBIs in a win over Waialua.
Adam Tamashiro, Mid-Pacific: Collected seven hits in eight at-bats against Pac-Five and Saint Louis (two homers, two doubles, nine RBIs and three runs).
Nick Wong, Roosevelt: Pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and one walk against Kahuku.
Camilla Ah-Hoy, Kahuku:
Scored 25 points in a win over McKinley.
Janelle Fetui, Hanalani: Scored 24 points against Kamehameha II.
Kendra Fischer, Kalaheo: Scored 22 points, including four treys, against Kahuku.
Natasha Helsham, Aiea: Scored 23 points in a win over Waianae.
Kaitlyn Ikehara, McKinley: Scored 23 points, including seven treys, against Kahuku.
Jodi Kamemoto, Hawaii Baptist: Scored 24 points in a win over Word of Life.
Tatriana Lorenzo, Kamehameha: Scored 22 points against Sacred Hearts.
Ashley Medcalf, Christian Academy: Scored 38 points against Le Jardin and 22 against St. Andrew's Priory.
Shannon Miyashiro, Roosevelt: Scored 26 points in a win over Kaiser.
Artevia Wily, Kahuku: Scored 23 points in a win over Kalaheo.
Kelly Aoki, Leilehua:
Carded a 78 to lead the OIA West boys.
Britney Choy, Leilehua: Shot a 72 to pace the OIA West girls.
TRACK AND FIELD
OIA East Championships
Ilissa Aalona, Kahuku:
Won the shot put and discus.
Leialoha Bratton, Kaiser: Captured the 400, 800 and 1,500. She also ran with the winning 4x400 relay team.
Johnna Frantzen, Kalaheo: Placed first in the 100, 300 hurdles and long jump.
Dennis Swart, Kaiser: Won the 400 and 800.
Suaesi Tuimaunei, Kahuku: Won the 100 and 200.
OIA West Championships
AJ Clark, Mililani
: Won the 100- , 200- , and 400-meter dashes as well as the long jump.
d'Andre Benjamin, Mililani: Won both hurdles events.
Ciara Quarles, Mililani: Won the 200- and 300-meter dashes.
Jasmine Pratt, Mililani: Captured the long jump and triple jump titles.
Kharyse Thompson, Radford: Cruised to wins in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
Charnelle Ione, Kapolei: Won the discus by more than 13 feet. She also won the shot put.
Kaila Garcia, Kalani:
Scored seven goals against Moanalua.
Sita Om, Leilehua: Scored seven goals against Aiea.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: