HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL POLL
Punahou, Iolani still first, second in poll
When you're a member of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, which has won the last two state baseball championships, voters take heed.
"I think because of the last two state tournaments that Punahou has dominated, that's still kinda like the league to beat, in a way," Moanalua coach Scott Yamada said. "The OIA hasn't been able to do anything to get over that one game."
Punahou, the two-time defending champion, remained at No. 1 today with 13 of 17 possible first-place votes. Iolani, which led the poll for a part of the season, is at No. 2.
The rest of the Star-Bulletin Top 10 continues to be occupied mostly by Oahu Interscholastic Association squads. While Waianae dropped three notches this week, Kaiser and Moanalua moved up a spot.
Moanalua has not only survived the graduation of pitching ace and power hitter Andrew Blomberg, but thrived.
"It's been a team effort. Every game, it's not been one guy. The team chemistry has been a lot different; we're playing more as a team," Yamada said. "We have 18 guys and I always tell the guys it takes 18 to win the game."
Yamada credited his four-year varsity standout, Peter Arakawa.
"Leadership comes from him. He's been there when we were a young team, and he's the hardest worker," Yamada said of Arakawa's consistent example. "It's been 18 guys working hard."
Yamada conceded that he has a hard time voting for his own team in the weekly balloting.
"I kind of have fun with it. I tell my boys that I will never vote for us because I feel like we don't belong there. At the end, maybe I'll vote for us," he said. "You gotta earn it from your peers, from other teams. I'm kind of biased that way."