Every coach and player in each sport had one commonality these past few weeks at states — wanting to represent not only their school, but the island of Kauai well. Consider it a job well done.
Though no state championship was won, the competitive spirit of The Garden Isle was shown through and through.
From the intense, hard-fought battles between Kauai and Kapaa’s girls volleyball teams, the cool focus and patience I saw at my first air riflery match between Kapaa and Island School, to the raucous applause the Warriors football team received for a gallant effort after its final game at Honolulu — there’s been plenty of highs and lows this past fall season.
As a spectator on the sidelines, it’s been entertaining to watch.
Here is an overview of how the representatives of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation fared at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournaments during the past few weeks, and what their coaches thought of their seasons now that they’ve wrapped up.
KIF champion Kapaa Warriors reached the semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank Football Championships — Division II tournament, losing to Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II champions Iolani, 29-24 on Saturday at Iolani’s home field.
In the quarterfinals, Kapaa beat Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II runner up Pearl City, 30-22 at Vidinha Stadium.
“They were very hard working — mentally focused and also great leadership … I’m proud of them,” said Kapaa varsity football head coach Philip Rapozo. “When we stayed at the hotel, not one incident. So well-behaved. Usually when you travel with young boys like that, they want to have fun. But they were so focused and well-behaved.
“We went the whole season without any kids not making grades. That was awesome. In my seven years coaching at Kapaa High, I’ve never experienced that,” the Warriors coach added. “That was something good for us. I feel really good about that.”
KIF winners Kauai High School beat OIA’s Radford, 2-0 to take seventh place at the New City Nissan Girls Volleyball Championships — Division II tournament on Oahu.
The day before that match, the Red Raider girls beat Hana of the Maui Interscholastic League, 2-0. The night before, Kauai lost to Saint Francis School of the ILH, 3-0.
“Being that I was a first time varsity coach, usually your team would lose because they’re not open to new coaches or change. But these girls were different. They had the desire to change. They wanted something different and they wanted to win,” said Kauai varsity girls volleyball head coach Dorene Matias.
“It comes with life-long lessons. They’ll have something to talk about later in life. They finally got there,” she added about her team making states. “For the younger ones, they’ll have something to look forward to.”
Island School’s boys cross country team placed 19th and the girls team placed 16th at the Honolulu Marathon Cross Country Championships on Oahu.
“Speaking of the Island School runners, the ones that ran last year at states improved as far as their rankings,” said Island School cross country coach Eric Wortmann. “For being such a small school, for us to compete at that level was especially satisfying. It was really special to have the boys and girls teams competing at the same event.”
Island School’s Michael Miller placed 37th (17:55:54) and Kyle Riddle finished 70th (18:31:8). Kapaa’s Braden Andrews finished 101th (18:56:7) and Kauai’s Andrew Herr finished 113th (19:09:8) in the boy’s race.
Island School’s Carolyn Price was timed in at 21:09:3 and finished 31st in the girl’s race. Kauai’s Sydney Brady finished 37th (21:21:5) and Island School’s Gianna D’Annibale finished 57th (21:57:7).
Waimea High School’s girls team placed sixth and the Kauai High boys placed seventh at the Civilian Marksmanship Program Air Riflery Championships on Oahu.
The Menehune girls got 1,842-15 points and the Red Raider boys got 1,938-34 points.
“Between us and Kauai High, it’s been pretty tight,” said Waimea air riflery coach Victor Aguilar. “It was a good season because we had some good shooters.
“The idea that they made it to states, that’s an accomplishment in itself,” he added.
Kauai’s Hikari Oberman was the leading Red Raider shooter with 506-12 (181-7 prone, 154-1 standing, 171-4 kneeling) and finished 25th overall on the boys individual standings. Colby Ihara-Takase finished 43rd with 481-8 (173-3, 143-2, 165-3) and Alec Greer finished 44th with 478-8 (186-6, 120-0, 172-2).
Kauai’s Brooke Hornos was the leading KIF girls shooter, finishing 18th on the girls individual standings with 512-14 (193-9, 150-2, 169-3). Waimea’s Melia Takakusagi finished 40th with 485-4 (181-2, 145-1, 159-1) and Kayla Ishida finished 54th with 462-4 (179-3, 123-0, 160-1).
Kauai High School’s cheer team finished 10th in the medium division of the Zippy’s Cheerleading Championships on Oahu. The Red Raider cheerleaders scored 291 points.
The team won the KIF cheer championship in its home gym earlier this month and five Red Raiders were named on this year’s all star list: senior Tailee “Mahina” Tangonan, juniors Caley Caires and Michaela Licke, and freshmen Torrie Hasegawa and Drewan Pigao.
Kauai High’s boys team finished sixth and the girls team finished eighth at the Billy Tees Bowling Championships on the Big Island. The boys accumulated 6923 points over three games. The girls scored 5595 points.
Kauai’s Kelii Alcos finished 78th (1260) and Allan Bueno finished 89th on the boys individual standings. Kapaa’s Jeorge Ho finished 84th (1231).
Waimea’s Selena Perez-Suniga was the leading KIF girls bowler, placing 61st (1200) on the girls individual standings. Kauai’s Geneva Dela Cruz placed 76th (1114) and Maria Luis placed 78th (1102).
Full results: sportshigh.com
Nick Celario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.