KAPAA — Kapaa High School senior Kiran Costa said he wasn’t even aware he was being considered as one of the top high school standouts.
He got the call from his athletic director Saturday night informing him that he will be one of just 12 student-athletes that will recognized in the state.
“It was definitely, not a shock, but it was surprising to me. Super thankful for it,” Costa said Wednesday. “It wasn’t expected. There was a lot of competition going throughout the state — some of the top athletes, all of their accolades and what they’ve accomplished throughout their four years of high school. I actually got the call from Mr. Gonsalves (athletic director Greg Gonsalves). He told me the news, and I was super stoked. I was super grateful for that reward.”
Costa, 18, will be an inductee of the 2019 Enterprise Rent-a-Car Hawaii High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor class.
The 6-foot-2 Kapaa Warrior was recognized for his achievements in football, soccer and volleyball. Some of his accomplishments in his Warriors career are:
- Volleyball: played outside hitter; four-time Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion; three-time HHSAA Division II runner-up; one-time HHSAA Division II all-tournament team selection; one-time KIF all-star selection; 2019 Honolulu Star-Advertiser Boys Volleyball All-State Fab 15 selection
- Soccer: played defender; 2019 HHSAA Division II state champion; 2019 KIF Player of the Year; two-time KIF champion; one-time HHSAA Division II state runner-up; two-time HHSAA Division II all-tournament team selection; two-time KIF all-star selection
- Football: played wide receiver; one year varsity; one-time HHSAA Division II runner-up
“Definitely blessed with all of the opportunities that I was given to accomplish those goals. Given those opportunities to play at states, to compete with some of the best in the state, that was definitely rewarding for me,” Costa said. “I wouldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
The last student-athlete from the KIF that was a Hall of Honor inductee was Kauai High School’s Taegan Keep in 2018 (basketball, track and field, volleyball). Prior to last year, the last KIF inductee was Island School’s Pierce Murphy in 2011 (track and field, cross country).
Kaeo Kruse, a Kalaheo native and Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama alumnus, was an HHSAA Hall of Honor inductee in 2016 (cross country, swimming, track and field).
The 2019 Hall of Honor class inductees are:
- Costa, Kapaa (football, soccer, volleyball)
- Naighel Calderon, Lanai (baseball, basketball, football)
- Duke Clemens, Punahou (baseball, basketball, football)
- Kelani Corbett, Leilehua (judo, wrestling)
- Sunshine Fontes, Pearl City (soccer)
- Dillon Gabriel, Mililani (football)
- Ashley Gooman, Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama (wrestling)
- Mikayla Kekoa, Kohala (basketball, softball, volleyball)
- Kameron Ng, Saint Francis (basketball, volleyball)
- Kalina Obrey, Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama (basketball, volleyball)
- Faatui Tuitele, Saint Louis (football)
- Noah Wusstig, Moanalua (judo, wrestling)
The 2019 class will be formerly recognized at the HHSAA Awards Banquet on June 2 at the Dole Cannery’s Pomaika‘i Ballroom in Honolulu.
Also, each inductee will receive a $2,000 scholarship courtesy of the HHSAA and Enterprise Holdings.
“I’m definitely going to be enjoying the moment, to be nominated as one of the top athletes in the state,” Costa said. “Just seeing people that share similar traits and have accomplished a lot throughout their years, I think it’s going to be a remarkable feeling to be in that situation.”
After graduating from Kapaa High School, Costa — son of Evan and Lisa Costa — intends to walk on for the University of Hawaii’s men’s volleyball team.
This past season, UH was ranked No. 1 in the country and reached the NCAA championship match but fell to Long Beach State in the national title game earlier this month.
“They’re second in the nation. It’s going to be tough,” Costa said. “I already know how hard it’s going to be, but I’m up for the challenge. I think I’ve gone through a lot of preparation to get me to that moment. Hopefully, I can perform and make the team.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.