Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

America Attacked

High school sports
disruption possible

A decision is due today on whether
the state's prep leagues will be
affected by the attacks on America

By Jason Kaneshiro and Tim Crouse

The high school sports leagues around the state are expected to find out today whether their seasons will be disrupted by yesterday's terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu postponed its volleyball and bowling matches scheduled for last night following news of the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

Events scheduled for yesterday and today on Maui and the Big Island were also postponed, but Department of Education spokesman Greg Knudsen said he anticipates no further disruption in this weekend's sports schedule for the state's public school leagues.

"As long as the schools are open, the extracurricular activities will proceed as usual," Knudsen said. "The expectation is that this weekend's events will go on."

The ILH postponed yesterday's boys volleyball match between Punahou and Maryknoll and girls match between St. Andrew's and Iolani. Five bowling matches were also postponed.

ILH executive secretary Clay Benham said a decision on the rest of the week's activities will be made after discussion among league officials.

The Iolani girls volleyball team will find out today the status of its scheduled trip to Southern California. Airports across the country were shut down yesterday in response to the attacks.

The Raiders were scheduled to leave for California tomorrow to participate in the David Mohs Memorial Tournament.

Iolani coach Ann Kang said yesterday afternoon the school administration would decide this morning on whether or not the team will make the trip. The tournament is scheduled to be played at five high schools in the Huntington Beach area.

The Maui Interscholastic League postponed today's scheduled bowling and volleyball matches. Executive secretary Stephen Kim said league athletic directors will decide on a course of action at their regularly scheduled meeting today.

If the airport shutdown extends later into the week, it could affect the MIL volleyball schedule, as teams must fly to and from Molokai for matches. Hana and King Kekaulike are scheduled to play matches on Molokai and Lanai this weekend.

"That's our major source of transportation," said Molokai athletic director Kurt Ginoza, who may be unable to attend today's meeting due to the shutdown. "It could become something that really affects the schedules for our teams."

The Big Island Interscholastic Federation postponed a volleyball match between Pahoa and Keaau yesterday and executive secretary Roy Fujimoto said the league would follow the DOE's lead in determining when to resume play.

The only events on the Kauai Interscholastic Federation schedule this week are two air riflery matches tomorrow and a football game between Kapaa and Kauai on Friday.

Oahu public schools remained open yesterday, but the impact of the attacks were felt at Radford and Kalaheo High Schools, where the student bodies consist largely of military dependents.

Military installations around the state were put on a heightened state of alert following the attacks. Kalaheo football coach Mike Akiu said there was a sense of uncertainty around the campus yesterday.

"Everybody's shocked that this happened," Akiu said. "(The students) don't know whether their parents are going to be shipped out."

Radford football coach Kelly Sur estimated that 40 percent of the students in his physical education classes were absent yesterday, but practice went on as usual for the Rams.

"I think during this time of crisis, it's good for the kids to have a time to get their minds off of what's happening," Sur said. "I think we all need an outlet."

Radford is scheduled to play Kalaheo in an OIA White Conference football game Saturday at Kailua field.

"Football becomes trivial when something like this happens," Sur said. "We tell the kids when they come out for football, for those two hours football is the most important thing in their lives. But once they leave, they become the best sons and students they can be. It definitely puts things in perspective."

Sur said eight players didn't attend yesterday's practice, but added that the team was looking forward to playing this weekend.

"I didn't sense any type of letdown," Sur said, after the team's workout.

Brandon Bendele, a senior receiver, said the mood on campus was subduded yesterday as the students spent most of the day discussing the tragedy.

"It was very quiet," Bendele said. "We didn't do a whole lot of work. We were just watching TV and talking about what went on."

Bendele said his father, Sean, was to leave for New York today as part of an Army search and recovery team. And he said taking the field yesterday helped alleviate some of his anxiety.

"It kind of relieved some of the stress," he said. "I just want to get out there and play some football. ... When you go out there we're there to just work hard."

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