Public high schools implement new athletic program

LIHU’E — “It’s unbelievable!” said Derrek Borrero, head JV football coach of Kaua’i High School. “This is going to revamp the way we work.”

Beads of perspiration rolled off his forehead and his shirt was soaked through as he came off one of the drills from the Hawai’i Speed & Quickness program that was adopted by the Kaua’i High School athletic department.

Dan Ahuna, the Kaua’i coordinator for the O’ahu-based athletic skills training clinic as well as one of the coaches for the Red Raider football program, said that all three public high schools will have the program in force by the end of the month.

Kaua’i High School initiated their program on Monday with the help of Mel DeLaura as well as University of Hawai’i football players Davone Bess and Kainoa Akina who came to the island to help Ahuna launch the program.

Ahuna said today, Tuesday, they will be at the Waimea High School’s Clem Gomes Gym to kick off the program for the Menehune, and Kapa’a High School is scheduled to start on Monday, Oct. 31.

The Kaua’i High School gym re-sounded with the stamping of hundreds of pairs of feet punctuated by the shrill whistle signalling a change in routine or the start of the next wave of athletes.

Coaches from a lot of the school’s Winter sports program stopped by to watch their athletes work through the various drills, their interest geared towards how their respective sport’s workouts would be affected.

Red Raider athletes who participated in Monday’s launch included their varsity and JV football program, the boys JV and varsity volleyball program, the girls JV volleyball program, the cheerleading program, and prospective softball athletes.

Roy Nishida, the head of the County’s Antidrug Office, was on hand to watch the athletes work through the drills, noting that this is the next step.

Nishida said the first step was the introduction of the program through a series of free sports clinics that were held throughout the island, the most recent being the University of Hawai’i baseball clinic.

Prior to the start of the skills portion of the clinic, Ahuna led the participants through the Speed & Quickness drills, noting that these the same routines utilized by the University of Hawai’i athletes in the various sports arenas.

Nishida said that the high schools will be adopting the Speed & Quickness drills for the next six months. He pointed out that the program is not limited to just drills, but extends to include mentorships and nutrition among its offerings.

Kaua’i High School baseball coach Hank Ibia was among the ranks of the spectator coaches, noting, “These are all the winners.”

“We (the county) watched this baby being born,” Nishida said. “Now, the high schools have adopted the baby.”

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