Prep Beat

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Softball classification
a possibility

By Nick Abramo

Classification is a discussion usually associated with Hawaii high school football, but the topic might be valid for softball, too.

"The athletic directors should look into it," McKinley coach Leilani Okuda said. "The smaller programs are taking a beating."

Last week, Pearl City beat Radford 46-0. Earlier in the season, Mililani toppled the Rams 31-0, while Kalani routed Okuda's McKinley squad 29-3.

The Oahu Interscholastic Association puts its football teams in a two-tier system, separating the stronger and weaker programs.

"I'm not sure they would do it for softball," said Okuda, who has coached softball in the OIA since 1983. "They would be opening doors for more costs. More divisions would mean more playoffs and more playoffs would cost more."

Pearl City coach Cheyene Hoshino thinks classification would be a good idea if it's done correctly.

"There are strong teams along with teams in the middle and teams that are weak every year," Hoshino said. "But you don't always know which teams are going to be strong from year to year."

Okuda suggested another remedy to keep blowouts from happening: a mercy rule that would stop the game if a team is up by 20 or more runs by the fourth inning.

SHA looking for coach: Sacred Hearts Academy is seeking applicants for the job of head track and field coach.

Applications can be faxed to 732-6524, e-mailed to or sent to Sacred Hearts Academy, 3253 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816.

Kaapana takes over: The Waipahu softball team has a new coach.

Leighton Kaapana took over this year for Sanford Machado, who retired after last season.

"Leighton has a lot of experience," Marauders athletic director Hartwell Lee Loy said. "So it's not a drastic change. He's been with the softball program as an assistant and he works well with the girls."

Machado wanted to devote more time to his family, according to Lee Loy.

Kaapana, 57, has coached for more than 30 years in various sports. He's the head coach of the Waipahu girls air riflery team and has been an assistant for the Marauders' baseball team since the early 1990s.

"This is just something I enjoy doing," Kaapana said.

Parade talent search: Parade magazine is inviting readers to suggest talented basketball players for possible inclusion for its 2003 All-America boys and girls basketball teams. Fans can submit suggestions on a special mini-site by going to and typing in the keyword Parade.

Cheerleading to begin: The 2003 cheerleading season gets under way Saturday in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu with the Iolani Invitational at 5 p.m. at the Iolani School pool.

The OIA, which starts its regular season on Feb. 15, is holding a preseason meet Saturday at 4 p.m. at Radford.

The season runs until the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships March 15 at the Stan Sheriff Center.


Athletes of the Week


>> Emmett Aberilla, Castle basketball: Hit a clutch go-ahead 3-pointer as the Knights beat rival Kalaheo 48-41.


>> Sarah Weisskopf, Punahou softball: Pitched a no-hitter in a 9-0 victory over Mid-Pacific. She retired the first 20 batters before walking a batter with two outs in the seventh.

Honor Roll


>> Ranson DeCosta, Damien: Scored 21 in a win over Maryknoll and 20 in a loss to Mid-Pacific.
>> Daniel Balbas, Roosevelt: Notched 20 points to lead the Rough Riders past Farrington in overtime.
>> Jay Ocol, Farrington: Hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Govs in OT against Roosevelt, but Farrington lost 72-61.
>> Chris Young, Moanalua: Poured in 23 points as the Menehunes edged Kaiser.
>> Dustin Umeda, Kalani: Fired up five 3-pointers and finished with 33 points, but the Falcons lost to Kalaheo.
>> Tauran Moore, Radford: Hit for 20 points as the Rams defeated Nanakuli.
>> Lionel Willis, Waipahu: Scored 21 points for the Marauders in a victory over Waialua.
>> Ben Nishimoto, University: Lit up for 22 points in a loss to Damien.


>> Ryan Harada, Iolani: Scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Kamehameha.
>> Christopher Kaaukuu, Pearl City: Notched a three-goal hat trick as the Chargers roared past Leilehua.
>> Aaron Miura, Moanalua: Booted home four goals for the Menehunes in a win over Farrington.
>> Richard Higa, Mid-Pacific: Scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Saint Louis.


>> Ambree Ako, Aiea: Scored five goals in a win over Radford.
>> Liane Tom, Mililani: Led the way with five goals in a win over Campbell.
>> Peperlyn Baguio, Moanalua: Peppered Farrington for four goals in a Menehunes' victory.


>> Jaeylyn Keao, Waialua: Struck out 15 batters in a 7-4 loss to Waipahu.
>> Kawehi Ulii and Shawna Kanoa, Kahuku: Ulii hit a game-winning infield single and Kanoa drove in five runs in a 9-8 extra-inning win over Kaiser.
>> Malama Manuma, Kapolei: Went 4-4 with a triple and three RBIs in a win over Aiea.
>> Courtney Kessell, Kailua: Struck out 12 in a 7-0 shutout of Castle.
>> Celine Akana and Krystal Plunkett, Pearl City: Akana had two home runs and Plunkett went 6-for-7 in a win over Radford


>> Kelii Akana Kaaihue, Kapaa: Won the 100-meter butterfly and the 100 backstroke at a KIF regular-season meet.
>> Katelyn Umetsu, Waimea: Swam to wins in the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle at a KIF regular-season meet.

To nominate ...

To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday:

Phone: 529-4782
Fax: 529-4787

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