King Kekaulike to play down South
Na Alii of King Kekaulike will march to faraway Florida this fall, but it won't be strange, new territory to coach J.W. Kenton.
The former Florida resident had his sights set on a trip to Japan, where football national high school champion Kwansei Gakuen is waiting on the flip side of a home-and-home series that began a couple of years ago.
However, plans for that trip fell through, and King Kekaulike decided to head for the Southeast -- something no other local football program has done.
Na Alii will play Bay High School, a formidable team located about 4 hours outside of Gainesville.
Why is Gainesville a note of importance? Kenton is hoping that he can round up enough tickets for his team to attend the Hawaii-Florida game that same weekend.
Florida is known for producing outstanding talent at skill positions, especially speedy athletes.
"We're going to be faster than we've been in the past," Kenton promised. "We'll hold our own."
King Kekaulike recently hired former UH wide receiver Darrick Branch as an assistant coach.
Timing for Takara
has spent many of his waking hours on the campus of Iolani School, which is why he hears this question all the time: What are you going to do with yourself?
The former Iolani girls basketball coach has the same answer each time: "I don't know."
Takara, who guided Iolani to the state final this year, stepped down last week, ending a head coaching reign that began in 2000.
"With the change of seasons, it was just the right time, I think. I had a lot of seniors," he said. "I think the change is going to be good."
Takara began coaching at Iolani in boys basketball and football back in 1986.
"I'll miss the relationships with the girls. It was different from the boys. It was fun," said Takara, who isn't sure yet if he'll still be an assistant football coach under Wendell Look.
New Owls on the perch
Mid-Pacific has promoted two coaches following the resignations of boys basketball coach Kevin O'Connell
and girls volleyball coach Lia Young-Hunt
Nate Hu, a teacher and alumnus of the school, steps in for O'Connell. Hu has 10 years of coaching experience, athletic director Bill Villa said.
Matt Galacia, who works in sports recreation, is the new girls volleyball guru. O'Connell and Young-Hunt stepped down to spend more time with their families, Villa said.
Mid-Pac's boys basketball team, 18-14 overall last season, was the only team besides Iolani to beat eventual state champion Punahou in ILH play. Star-Bulletin All-State Fab 15 selection Marcus Holyfield will be one of the returning Owls next season.
He has some nerve
Saint Louis' Kamakani Usui
had never pitched against four-time state champ Punahou until Monday, and it took all the grit and poise he had to earn the win.
"He's just a gamer," Punahou coach Eric Kadooka said. "He looked like he didn't have his stuff, but he just grinded it out."
Usui admitted to having some jitters early on when he walked the first two batters.
"Coach said to keep it down and keep it inside," the right-hander said.