There’s nothing like being a high school athlete. Field hockey and track were my strongest sports. Competition was really tough in Virginia Beach, especially with there being so many schools and so many athletes vying for the few slots allotted in each state tournament. I had made it to the state track championships several times for long jump and triple jump, and I have to say there’s nothing like facing off against some of the best athletes from state and showing them and all the spectators what you can do.
That’s why I think it’s a great time to be a part of the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation this year. In the few months that I’ve been covering KIF sports — since the football and volleyball seasons — I’ve enjoyed watching the games and seeing how the athletes interact with each other.
For instance, if Kaua‘i and Waimea are playing each other, I’ve seen the Kapa‘a players come to watch. They all seem to be friends and that’s nice.
Back home, if we had a bye, we’d be out doing something else and not attending the other teams’ games. And for the most part, only the really good athletes hung out with each other. That’s only because we’d find ourselves invited to the same invitationals and what not. I found myself hanging out with the Bayside High girls because I’d be the only Green Run girl at the meets while they had their top five.
It doesn’t look like it’s that way here.
But the real reason I think it’s great to be a part of KIF sports is that all the athletes seem to be excelling. They’re showing the other Hawai‘i teams that, despite only three public schools, they compete at the state level.
This year, we saw a historic football game between Kaua’i High and Maui’s King Kekaulike. They were the first two Neighbor Islands to make it to the state championship game, making headlines in all Hawai‘i newspapers and on all airwaves. The game was at Aloha Stadium — home of the University of Hawai‘i Warriors, the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl, the Hula Bowl and the Pro Bowl — and broadcast and streamed online by local television and radio.
The Waimea girls volleyball team cruised up the state tournament line-up to finish third.
Kaua‘i girls softball proved themselves to be the comeback queens of the field, bouncing back to take the KIF championship and a spot in the state tournament.
On their first night of play, cold rain and winds postponed the game against Pahoa, where they were down 7-6. With the sun out the next day, they rebounded, holding Pahoa scoreless and winning 14-7. In the semifinal, Maryknoll was up 4 runs by the fourth only to see it evaporate in a flurry as Kaua‘i came back with a five-run fifth that put them ahead for good.
In the finals was just icing on the cake as they got to play rival Sacred Hearts, the team that eliminated them from last year’s tourney.
This week, the Kapa‘a girls soccer team gets to show their worth at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park, and the OC16 sports crew will be on-island to tape the Kaua‘i-Kapa‘a boys varsity basketball game.
So congratulations and good job to all the KIF athletes out there. Keep it up and keep showing the rest of the state what you can do. Good luck to all.