NISSAN HALL OF HONOR
Ho, Shoji among 12 Nissan inductees
The seniors will be honored at a June awards banquet
She dominated the high school running world for three years before a back injury threatened her senior season.
It didn't matter for Lauren Ho. The Hawaii Baptist Academy harrier rehabilitated in time to win the state cross country title last fall. A leg injury later cost her the track and field season, but Ho's mammoth body of work was recognized by the selection committee of the Nissan Hall of Honor yesterday.
Ho is one of 12 inductees to the 2006 class. Each inductee will receive a $2,000 scholarship and be enshrined in the Hall, which began recognizing the state's top student-athletes in 1983.
The 12 will be honored at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl/ HHSAA Foundation Athletic Awards Dinner on June 11 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
"I'm very excited because it's such an honor. Two runners I know of, Todd Iacovelli (Punahou) and Tia Ferguson (Seabury Hall), are in the hall," Ho said. "I was hoping. I thought, that would be a neat thing to be a part of."
The athletes were selected primarily for athletic achievement, though academics and extracurricular activities also factored into each equation.
"It's an amazing honor," said Iolani's Kawika Shoji, who excelled in volleyball and basketball. "It's nice to see that my hard work paid off, and I'm privileged to be named to the Hall of Honor with a great bunch of recipients."
Shoji is well aware of his school's rich history of quality individuals.
"Just to be regarded in the same company as the previous recipients, especially the ones from Iolani, like coach Adam Wong to Derrick Low to Todd Blankenship to Kyle Pape, it's just an honor," he said.
Brandon Low, another standout in a line of Saint Louis wrestling champions,
praised the ones who set the bar of excellence.
"I'm just grateful to Travis Lee and Jonathan (Spiker). They're all my older brothers. They took me under their wings. I knew exactly what I had to do to be successful like them," Low said.
Here's a look at the inductees:
» Camilla Ah-Hoy, Kahuku: A four-year starter in volleyball and a Star-Bulletin All-State selection, as well as an All-OIA pick in basketball. She signed to play volleyball at Oregon State.
» Okesene Ale Jr., Kahuku: The All-State player of the year in basketball (23 points per game) and two-time OIA player of the year. He returned to a volleyball team decimated by departures before the state tourney and helped the Red Raiders to a strong performance.
» Kenny Estes, Waimea: A standout in soccer and track and field, and a two-way All-KIF player in football. He signed to play football at Hawaii this fall.
» Lauren Ho, Hawaii Baptist: A two-time cross country state champion. In track, she won the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 at last year's state championships, and also won the 1,500 as a freshman.
» Jeremy Kamaka'ala, Kamehameha: A two-time cross country state champion (and record holder), as well as the 3,000 and 1,500 winner this year.
» Brandon Low, Saint Louis: The first wrestler to win state titles in four weight divisions (112, 119, 125 and 130 pounds).
» Careena Onosai, Word of Life: A standout in basketball and an All-State volleyball player, she is a three-time state discus champion and has won the shot put twice. Onosai has signed with UCLA on a track and field scholarship.
» Tye Perdido, Seabury Hall: An All-State soccer player who also played for the Spartans volleyball, track and field, and baseball teams, earning All-MIL honors. He was also an All-MIL punter and place-kicker for the football team.
» Kealoha Pilares, Damien: The All-State offensive player of the year in football, rushing for 2,000 yards, including a 50-carry, 300-yard single-game performance. Also a two-time state triple-jump champion. Signed to play football at Air Force.
» Dylan Rush, Ka'u: A three-time state wrestling champion (215 and 275), an All-State defensive end and judo champion. Signed to play football at UCLA. Spent most of his high school career at Konawaena before transferring back to Ka'u this spring.
» Kawika Shoji, Iolani: A three-time All-State selection in volleyball, an All-State selection in basketball, leading Iolani to its fifth straight state championship. Also competed in golf.
» Gerritt Vincent, Kamehameha: An All-State linebacker and ILH defensive player of the year, and a two-time wrestling state champion.
Former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh, will be a guest speaker at the awards banquet.
Four more individuals will be honored for their contributions of yesteryear: James Alegre, Radford basketball coach who passed away last fall; pro golfer David Ishii, formerly of Kauai High School and title sponsor of the state golf championships; Cal Lee, retired Saint Louis football coach and athletic director; and Dr. Richard Mamiya, former Saint Louis football, basketball and baseball standout.