Ravens rebuild Kapolei diamond
Its official task was to improve the Kapolei football field for use by the NFL all-stars practicing for the Pro Bowl. But the field crew of the Baltimore Ravens took one look at the Hurricanes baseball field and turned it into a pet project of sorts.
The field had long been a source of frustration for the Hurricanes. The infield grass was too soft and the outfield was hard as stone. The Ravens rectified the problem during a stint at the school during a Pro Bowl-related event.
The baseball field won't be ready until summer, but it was worth the price.
"In the long run, it's gonna benefit us," Kapolei baseball coach Tom Ebanez said. "We're fortunate that NFL was here. The field crew took care of our field. Those guys are amazing and they did some new things."
The infield was soft, apparently, because there was too much fungus on the ground -- a by-product of over-watering. The outfield was tough as concrete. The sprinkler system is fed from the reservoir at Kapolei Golf Course. Because of the impact of coral in the area, Ebanez learned, the water coming to the Hurricanes' field had too much salt.
The Ravens fixed some broken sprinklers and put in a filtration system.
"It takes out the salt, and now we can also fertilize through the system," Ebanez said. "They aerated it, and now you can have a picnic on it, it's so nice."
The infield, however, needs much more time to heal.
"It looks like it's ready to go, but it's not," Ebanez said.
The disadvantage of not having an infield means the 'Canes have been taking grounders on the outfield grass instead of dirt. Without a home field, parents have to travel for all games this season.
"But it's worth it," Ebanez said. "It must've been 85 degrees out there. Super hot. And the (Ravens) crew was happy to do all kinds of stuff."
Hoke to Weber State
Kamehameha quarterback Michael Hoke
is on his way to Weber State. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior will join a lot of local recruits who arrived at the Utah school in recent years.
Coach Ron McBride has a history of recruiting the islands, dating back to his reign at the University of Utah. Former Baldwin coach Chad Kauhaahaa has spearheaded the effort since joining the Wildcats after the 2004 season. He sees plenty of potential in the strong-armed Hoke.
"I like his athleticism, his arm. He's a tough kid and he's a good fit for our offense. He's grown and he's a smart kid," Kauhaahaa said.
The current starter is former Saint Louis standout Cameron Higgins, who thrives in the spread option and multiple sets.
"Cameron has the upper hand, but we have no backup," Kauhaahaa added.
Hoke had earlier committed to Southern Utah.
Weber State plays at Hawaii on Sept. 6.
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