High School Beat

Kalaheo hires Ramos
to lead football team

Orange is a color Russ Ramos knows quite well.

Though he spent many years as an assistant at Kaiser, the former Pac-Five player is wearing the orange and blue of Kalaheo now. Kalaheo filled its head football coaching vacancy by naming Ramos to the post recently.

"I don't have any notoriety coming from a big school or anything like that. I've been down in the trenches," said Ramos, who recently turned 40. He is in the midst of spring practices, learning his players' names and their abilities.

"We're gonna go blue and orange (scrimmage) on Thursday, go maybe 60 plays and get a bunch of reps in," he said.

Kalaheo's program was on an upswing under Tony Tuioti, but the former UH lineman resigned recently to devote time to his growing family.

"We had a good turnout, and the community and school have been very positive. The last staff instilled a really good feeling about football for the kids. I'm stepping into a good situation," Ramos said.

Kalaheo may show some flavor of what Kaiser ran offensively and defensively, but Ramos intends to study his personnel first.

"We're gonna run some of the run-and-shoot and try to run the ball, too. Everybody's new to me, so we're taking a good look at the boys," he said.

Being a first-time varsity head coach has its pluses, but being a hands-on assistant coach is what he is familiar with.

"When I feel comfortable with the staff and how things are going, I'll let the reins go. Campbell, Waipahu are really strong offensively and defensively. Hopefully, we can be competitive with them," said Ramos, who has coached for 17 years.

His most recent varsity coaching experience came in the '90s at Kaiser under Tim Seaman, and then under Tony Gayer.

Ramos, a photographer by trade, competed at Pac-Five under Don Botelho, playing on the Wolfpack's only Prep Bowl championship team.

"He really put a love for the game in me. He kept us going. A bunch of my classmates are coaching," he said.

SB FILE / MAY 2001
Current University of Hawaii pitcher Ricky Bauer is among the alums of the Sugar Mill Classic. Bauer starred at Mid-Pacific.

Sugar Mill Classic tomorrow: If you build it, a film from not so long ago claimed, they will come.

For Eric Tokunaga, operating the lone all-star baseball game in the state has been a bittersweet experience. To be sure, it's mostly sweet.

However, he's made concessions for the better of the Sportstan Sugar Mill Classic, which will be held tomorrow, 1 p.m., at Hans L'Orange Park.

Fifty-one players line the rosters of the two teams, the Hawaiian Stars and Aloha Stars. If the 51-player total sounds like a lot, it's a marked decrease from last year's lineups.

"Last year, we had 66 players in this game. It was a mess," said Tokunaga, the former UH player and currently a full-time pro scout.

"There were so many seniors last year and I wanted to accommodate them, and we couldn't get everyone into the game. I didn't want to do that again. That's why I tried to limit the teams to two players per positions."

Limiting the squads meant leaving out a ton of players who were deserving.

"It's really a difficult process," he said.

At one point, the Sugar Mill Classic was played by four teams.

"They've tried a doubleheader once, but it was too long of a day," Tokunaga said.

Stretching a twinbill over two days was a consideration, but in the end, not practical.

"There are a lot of graduation parties going on," he said. "Getting them to play on one day, Memorial Day, was the only option we had."

The Hawaiian Stars are composed of Oahu Interscholastic Association standouts. The Aloha team is composed of Interscholastic League of Honolulu stars. Both teams will be sprinkled generously with neighbor island players.

Fans can watch batting practice beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow. The Hawaiian Stars have the field for an hour, followed by the Aloha Stars.

Tokyo times: The Hawaii-Japan Goodwill Series resumes this summer for some of Hawaii's top baseball players.

The series of six games will be played June 8-21. The Hawaii team will play in Nagano, Nigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui and Shiiga prefectures.

The series goes back to the mid-1950s. Every four years, the series resumes with Hawaii traveling to the Far East. Originally sponsored by the 442nd Infantry, the series is operated by the Hawaii High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. Neal Takamori, McKinley High School's athletic director, and Lillian Yonamine are the organizers.

The Hawaii Select Goodwill team is composed of: Clayton Uyechi, Waianae; Chaz Miyashiro, Mililani; Derek Kiyabu, Waipahu; Landon Nakata, Punahou; Walter Marciel Jr., Iolani; Tristan Bailey, Campbell; Colby Ho, Kaiser; Thomas Yamasaki, Pearl City; Bronson Ponciano-Ahue, Kahuku; Jarryd Maeda, Kaiser; Andrew Blomberg, Moanalua; Andrew Ontai, Leilehua; Jarren Hirasaki, McKinley; Marcus Makia, Baldwin; Jeff Peters, Kaiser; Anthony Aquino, Mililani; Cameron Kawai, Kohala.

Eric Kadooka of Punahou and Kekoa Kaluhiokalani of Waianae are the coaches.

Buffanblu hoopsters host camp: The Punahou Basketball Camp will be held June 6-10 at Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

Among the instructors will be Punahou girls basketball players Shanna-Lei Dacanay and the Kuehu twins, Shawna-Lei and Shaena-Lyn. The camp is open to students grades 3 through 8. All campers will receive a T-shirt, camp ball, certificate and photo.

For more information and an application form, call 944-5816.

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
E-mail: sports@starbulletin.com

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