Iolanis Ichinose kicks down gender barrierBy Pat Bigold
Mark down this date for future Hawaii football trivia: Oct. 26, 1996.
It was the day when Iolani senior Angela Ichinose became the first female to kick a field goal in a Hawaii varsity high school game.
The kick was an unsightly yet accurate 27-yarder against Kamehameha in the fourth quarter of her school's 30-6 victory at Aloha Stadium.
Ichinose said it's lucky for her she didn't know she was on the verge of a milestone when she left the bench and headed toward the field.
"It would've made me more nervous if I knew," she said. "I wasn't sure if Tui Moe had already done it."
Moe, the former Punahou athlete who was the first varsity girl to kick a PAT, tried but never made a field goal.
Now a member of the University of Hawaii women's soccer team, she broke Hawaii's football gender barrier in 1994. Moanalua's Heather Holbron became the Oahu Interscholastic Association's first female to kick a PAT later in that same season.
Lisa Kowal kicked PATs for Punahou in 1995.
But Ichinose is a true pioneer.
Kicking a field goal can be more difficult than kicking a PAT.
"I had asked (first-string kicker) Ryan Kaneshiro about what happens if they (the defense) get through, and he said, 'Well, if they hit you, they hit you. Just make contact with the ball.' "
No one reached her but it was not a problem-free kick for the 5-foot-5, 135-pound Ichinose.
"It was a pretty good snap but the ball was off the tee."
How did she hit it?
"Horrible," said Ichinose. "It was a nasty kick."
She said Iolani's standout nose guard, Ed Taamu, was the first to rush over and congratulate her. "He just about knocked me down," said Ichinose with a laugh.
"I feel honored. It's pretty overwhelming."
Ichinose is an outstanding striker for the Iolani girls' soccer team and played volleyball up until last fall. An anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered last winter in soccer prevented her from playing volleyball this year.
Kaimuki topped the boys' meet and Roosevelt the girls' in the OIA Eastern Division cross country championships at the old Hawaii Loa campus last weekend.
CROSS COUNTRY TITLISTS
Kalaheo's Jason Peters and Roosevelt's Ryan Gomes tied for first in the boys' three-mile race while Pacita Stark won the girls' two-mile race.
In the Western Division championships at Hawaii Loa, Pearl City was the boys' team winner while Mililani topped the girls.
The Chargers' Michael Donaldson won the boys' race while the Trojans' Jodi Enomoto was the girls' winner.