Kenessey out after 9 years as Campbell football coach
After 19 years, it's hard for Tumoana Kenessey not to answer to the title "Coach."
But Kenessey is no longer the head football coach at Campbell. The school has opened up the position, which had been Kenessey's for nine of those 19 seasons in the program.
"We had a meeting last week. It was cordial. I can't comment on it other than the AD (athletic director Sam Delos Reyes) decided not to renew my contract," Kenessey said. "Like all things, all I can say is things are renewed on a year-to-year basis. They want to go in a new direction."
He is also dean of students at the school. "I like the job," he said.
Coaching, though, is also in his blood.
"My life is still football. I'm gonna take a step back and continue working at the school and keep my options open," he said.
Campbell endured myriad problems last season, but still qualified for the playoffs. Thieves stripped the football facility of copper wiring for its stadium lights, forcing the cancellation of a nonconference game and necessitating daytime games.
Later in the season, the Sabers were involved in an on-field fracas at Aiea.
Kenessey led Campbell to the 2004 state Division II championship.
Sharks in murky water
For a second year in a row, Thompson's boys basketball team got into a fracas.
On Monday night, officials called off a game between Thompson and Waialua with the home team, Waialua, ahead 53-30.
Waialua coach Virgilio Basilio declined comment.
The incident wasn't severe, according to Thompson athletic director Andrew Aki, but warranted action.
"It was a minor altercation, and just to be safe, we decided to call the game," he said. "The community was very good about it."
Last year, Thompson was at Aiea when a postgame incident involving players and fans occurred. Aki said that a sanction from the Oahu Interscholastic Association would be a surprise.
"We work very well with the OIA," he said. "(Incidents) happen every day with so many teams. We're the new school and all our games are away games. Our kids are from everywhere, and with no facilities, we don't have a home. It can be hard to control our fans, but we're trying to build camaraderie.
"The OIA understands. This is my fifth year as the AD and I'm still learning new things. We're still learning and growing."
Hip injury points to shortage
When McKinley junior varsity basketball player Ashley Gravelly
suffered an injury during the second half of a game at Campbell, it was the start of a string of on-court plays that left players on both sides hobbling.
Gravelly wound up in the hospital with a dislocated hip, according to an uncle, former Farrington standout Leo Leopoldo. She was pushed from behind by a Campbell player, he said, in a play that was rough, but not necessarily intentional or malicious.
But the physical play continued without any correction by officials. Despite having a lead, McKinley JV coach Myles Komatsu pulled his team off the court and took a forfeit loss for safety's sake.
Perhaps just as disturbing was a comment from one of the officials in pregame, when he asked captains of both teams to remind their parents to refrain from yelling because it made him feel "nervous."
When a parent began yelling during the game, one of the players hushed the parent, and the official said, "Thanks" to the athlete.
In coaching circles, there is a widespread belief that the problem won't get better. A shortage of quality officials due to the move of girls basketball from spring to winter is having a large effect on Oahu and the Big Island. A recent Honokaa-Konawaena varsity game had only two officials.
Coaches won't comment on the record about the quality of officiating, but concern has grown significantly.
When home is not a home
Kalaheo will "visit" Kahuku on Friday in a key boys basketball matchup to close the regular season. For Kahuku, it's a home game in name only. The site was switched to Mililani when Oceanic Cable's OC-16 requested a telecast.
Kahuku coach Nathan James was upset about losing homecourt advantage and all the normal traditions for a final home game, including senior night and a team potluck.
Kalaheo's Chico Furtado empathized.
"As a coach preparing for them, of course it's a benefit that we don't have to go to their court," Furtado said, recalling his team's narrow 50-48 win over the Red Raiders at Kalaheo's Pete Smith Court. "I feel for Coach James, a game of this magnitude moving when it's senior night. But it's happened to us several times in the past. When I was coaching (Kalaheo's) girls, we ended up playing at McKinley against McKinley, and we lost that game.
"That's part of the athletic world we live in with the OIA. Oceanic controls the contract and games get moved. Unfortunately, they're the victim. But there's no guarantees. We still gotta play the game."
Swinging in the rain
Four-time defending state baseball champion Punahou is back on the diamond, as baseball season officially opened on Monday.
The Buffanblu return 22 of 23 players from last year's roster, including Star-Bulletin All-State pitcher of the year Harrison "Jeeter" Ishida and position player of the year Paul Snieder. Ishida has committed to Arizona State. Snieder has committed to Northwestern.
Coach Eric Kadooka is more optimistic than usual, however, after his team's successful offseason.
"We have worked extremely harder this offseason than in prior years," said Kadooka, who has guided Punahou to four state crowns in a row.
The Buffanblu play six games in Katy, Texas, on Feb. 21-23. That could help give prospects like catcher Zach Kometani more exposure. Along with Ishida and Snieder, Kometani has drawn increasing attention from pro scouts, Kadooka said.