Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 |
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• No respect for KIF!
No respect for KIF!
By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island
The volleyball boys at Kaua‘i High School have nothing to lose and everything to gain when they face off against Mililani on the Big Island today at 5 p.m. The Red Raiders were snuffed from a seed at the state high school boys volleyball tournament after posting an undefeated record in KIF play and having a very successful preseason against some of the state’s best.
Not even a number four seed is coming their way. It’s sign of the lack of respect, but the only way to get the consideration from the higher ups is to win a state title.
It won’t matter though, as the Kaua‘i boys will show the rest of the state, just how good they are!
The Red Raiders will have a longer trek to the top, as they challenge a tough Mililani squad, who’s just as good as any team in the field.
It’s been awhile since the KIF had a seeded team in state tournament play and I thought that this would be the year that the KIF finally got a team in the top four seeds.
However, nothing should be taken away from the top four seeds this year. Each team has certainly earned their spot and seedings with Punahou at number one, Waiakea at number two, Kalaheo at number three, and Hana at number four.
Even Kaua‘i High School head coach Shawn Doo predicted that his team would be in one of the four top spots.
“We should be considered for at least the third or fourth spot, but we’ll take what we can get,” Doo said at a recent practice.
The Big Island’s Konawaena women’s basketball squad took a big bite out of the doubt for neighbor island teams, as they took the state title by storm at the “Stanley” last year. I also remembered Hilo High School’s boys’ basketball title run in 2000, led by point guard Jason Mandequit. Dominated by O‘ahu schools, the boys basketball state tournament hasn’t seen an outer island champ since 2000. Speaking of Hilo, the last neighbor island team to win the state boys volleyball title were the Vikings, but back in 1969, under coach Pete Nelson.
The boys field has been dominated by Punahou, who has 24 state titles. The next closest mark is four by Kamehameha.
If the Kaua‘i High School boys are to win their first state title, now would be the greatest and best time for them to do it.
With seniors, Futi Tavana, Garrett Sakimae, Justin McSheehy, Kaleo Baxter, Kevin Downing, and Rikki Garma, the squad has the experience and leadership to challenge any team in the state tournament.
A seed for the boys in red would be a bonus, but now they’ll have to trudge through another game. If you’re rooting for the underdog and I know you are, because that’s what everyone else does when they don’t have any emotional ties to a team, then the Kaua‘i boys are the team to root for, especially after getting passed up for one of the top four seeds in the state high school boys volleyball tournament.
The action unfolds today at 5 p.m. at Kamehameha School’s Gym-Hawai‘i Campus.
The Red Raider boys take on Mililani, with the winner advancing to quarterfinal play against Waiakea on Thursday. Meanwhile, on the Valley Isle, the Red Raider girls take on Kalani at King Kekaulike High School at 6:30 p.m., with the winner facing top-seeded Punahou on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Duane Shimogawa Jr., Sports Editor can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) and firstname.lastname@example.org
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