LIHU‘E — Waimea High School bowling coach Keiko Sagawa-Pananganan said some of the students were still in their cars having lunch Saturday at the Rice Street Shopping Center.
Todd Ozaki, another of the Menehune bowling coaches, said the team was having its first practice following the Sept. 24 deadline put forth by the Hawai‘i Department of Education for student-athletes, athletic staff, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated, or verified exempted by Sept. 24 to participate in school-sanctioned athletic activities for the 2021-2022 school year.
On Kaua‘i, that means the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation that supervises and coordinates the majority of school-sanctioned sporting events. The KIF is also a member league of the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association that includes membership of the neighbor island leagues and a pair of O‘ahu leagues.
A check on the HHSAA website, sportshigh.com, indicated no notices of change following the approval of a modified sports calendar that allows for three full seasons following Sept. 24. The modified calendar marked Sept. 27, a Monday, as a green day when fall season sports can begin.
The sole KIF-related activity on the HHSAA website indicates the need for a Cheerleading Varsity Head Coach, and a Varsity Assistant Coach for Boys and Girls Wrestling. Interested individuals need to contact Kaua‘i High School athletic director Keli‘i Morgado at 808-274-3169, or email email@example.com.
For the Waimea High School bowling team, this was their first meeting in nearly two years since rolling their last KIF ball.
“Conditioning is pretty easy for us,” Sagawa-Panangonan said. “We’re indoors, air-conditioned, and no weather to deal with. We just need to work together as a team so we’re bowling until our first scheduled match on Oct. 21. We bowl as a KIF league for the next six weeks, ending the season the week of Thanksgiving.”
Ozaki said this is a rebuilding year for the Menehune bowlers.
“We lost a lot during the time we weren’t on the floor,” Ozaki said. “There are only four returnees — one boy and three girls — so it’s pretty much a time to rebuild because the majority of rollers are first-timers.”
On the KIF league level, Ozaki said they also lost a bunch of good bowlers in the quietness of the novel coronavirus, including Dana Murata of Kapa‘a High School, the HHSAA No. 1 Girls Bowler in 2019, who is currently bowling in college after graduating without fanfare in 2020.
Taylor Kusaka, the only other Kaua‘i bowler along with Callum Meredith, currently a senior at Kapa‘a High School, to make the Junior Bowling Nationals, graduated from Kaua‘i High School.
“Callum finished No. 64 out of 3,000 bowlers at Nationals,” Ozaki said. “He also finished No. 23 in the 2019 state tournament as a sophomore. He’s a senior, this year, but despite that, the overall strength in Boys belongs to Kaua‘i High School. On the Girls lanes, Kapa‘a High School girls appear to have the people who can get the job done.”
Other KIF fall season sports including football, air riflery, cheerleading, cross country, and girls volleyball resumed practice on Monday.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island