POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 2, 2011
For Bobbie Awa, a labor of love wasn't about titles or glory.
It was just basketball, a sport she loved and a means to get her many nieces and nephews involved in something fun. After several years as a youth coach for the Kona Stingrays club that she and her husband, Donald, formed, she was hired at Konawaena High School, her alma mater, in 2000.
Eleven years later, she was saluted by the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association. Awa, along with longtime Kailua softball coach Bernard Victor, were honored yesterday at HIADA's annual conference in the Ala Moana Hotel.
Awa, 43, was still stunned by the attention.
"That's an honor to be honored by all these athletic directors. There are so many good coaches out there who have done great things," she said.
Lyle Crozier, the former Konawaena athletic director and current executive director of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, hired Awa.
"It's a prestigious award when you see all the names and the people who won in the past. She was shocked. I think she's had a lot of success, coaching for 11 years, eight BIIF titles, four state titles, six times in the finals," he said.
Victor, who coached at Kailua for 32 years, was stunned by the award. His teams won four league championships.
"It's surprising, really. I really didn't expect this," he said. "Yeah, I miss coaching, but I don't think I really want to go back. I want to relax right now."
As for the conference, the first day commenced without any buildup or surprise. As far as proposals go, this is a rare year without many heavy topics. A year ago, the annual athletic directors conference was a battleground for new Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive director Christopher Chun.
"It was tough," he recalled. "Compared to this year, it was really tough."
One proposal would couple the Division I boys and girls state soccer tournaments on the same island in the same week.
Currently, the tournaments are split by gender rather than division.
"For the outer islands, it makes sense," Kamehameha-Maui athletic director Kurt Ginoza said of the proposal. For parents and administration, you can maximize your (travel) planning."
The BIIF, which hosted two of the first three air riflery state championships in the 1990s, offered a measure that would bring the neighbor islands into the hosting rotation.
Longtime HHSAA air riflery coordinator Ed Chang has no objection to the idea.
"I checked out the site (Kamehameha-Hawaii) and it would be good. There would be no rent," he said, noting that the HHSAA pays rent at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.
"The Oahu kids who would like to travel, the kids would like it. I don't know about the ADs," Chang said. "I'm not voting. I don't get any say. Either way is fine."
Another proposal would allow judoka a brief time period to correct any uniform infractions.
"It would be if they have the wrong kind of gi, anything like that," veteran coordinator Keith Matsumoto said. "It's called fairness."
One of the wrestling proposals would push the state championships back from Week 32 (mid-February) to Week 34. This would give football players who participate in the state football championships — which end in early December — more time to train for wrestling.
A track and field proposal to award points to all eight finalists — which is common to most states — was viewed skeptically in committee. Likelihood of passage was marginal at best. Currently, only the top six finishers in each event earn points for their team totals.
Discussion on proposals kicked off in committees and leagues reconvened late in the night to strategize.
Committees — groups of four — have divided up roughly 75 proposals submitted by the five leagues and the HHSAA. Voting will commence today in committee, and proposals that pass today will be up for final HIADA vote tomorrow morning in the general assembly.
Even if a proposal gets through the assembly vote, where all league representatives vote on the open floor, no rule will change unless the HHSAA executive board gives the OK at its meeting later this month.
Though the HHSAA often rubber-stamps HIADA-approved measures, there have been a fair share of proposals that are argued over for days at HIADA, scrape through the conference, then got flattened within minutes at the HHSAA level.