Punahou does more than just win
In the past few weeks alone: baseball, golf, tennis, track, judo, water polo.
State championships for Punahou, Punahou, Punahou, Punahou and ... Punahou.
It was a month-long march to the victory stand for the Buffanblu. Even more than most years.
Does it make you want to send money to Hillary Clinton to fuel a last-ditch attempt to knock out Barack Obama? Perhaps you now wish Paula Abdul-like lameness upon Carrie Ann Inaba. Would Parker McLachlin hanging on to win his first pro tournament yesterday have put you over the edge?
The Buffanblu also do well while they're still in school, especially on the playing fields, and especially lately.
The results of the spring state tournaments are enough to turn even the kindest soul into a hater of the school Sports Illustrated named the fourth best in high school athletics nationwide a couple of years ago.
But that would probably only be if said person knew the Punahou athletic department only from afar. Meet it in person -- players, coaches, administrators, staff -- and you might come away with one overriding impression: They're generally very good people.
For me, that was reinforced by something I witnessed an hour before Saturday's track and field finals got started.
Lucas Lam, on crutches, and Garrett Prinslow of Kealakehe approached the officials' tent together. What could this be about? Weren't both of them out of the meet, Lam getting hurt by either falling on his own or after being jostled by Prinslow during the 800-meter trials the day before? Prinslow had been disqualified and Lam was clearly in no condition to run.
Lam spoke first, to meet director Jeff Meister.
"I can't run. Can he take my place?"
Jaws dropped. Prinslow was supposedly the guy who injured Lam, literally kicking him to the curb. That's what the officials said happened.
But not Lam.
"There was no contact," he said, as he had the day before.
Quite a gesture, but Meister could do nothing. The field was already set.
The incident says a lot about the Punahou track team. So did the fact that the boys won the meet with just one first in an event.
It was a slow weekend for Punahou -- just one state championship -- but the Oahu private schools swept all six titles.
So be ready for a barrage of letters to the editor, radio call-ins and water cooler talk about how the public schools should stop playing them. I have never met a public school athlete who didn't want to compete against those from the private schools. Neither has our lead preps writer Paul Honda, and he talks to them all.
"The attitude is bring 'em on. You want to have that chance to take them on," said Honda, who was a basketball player at Kaimuki.
Punahou certainly has some advantages. But its great athletes, coaching, tradition and other resources just mean Punahou gets the best out of its competitors. And you gotta take your best shot at someone who might be famous someday.
is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter who covers University of Hawaii football and other topics. His column appears periodically.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org