It was just a recreational softball league. Our team, representing the company we worked for, HMSA, didn't approach it that way. We were expected to win the Financial League championship every year in the 1990s, and we often did.
Judging by state championships this school year, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is closing in Hawaii prep sports. Or, perhaps that's now an archaic way of describing the private schools and the public schools, at least when it comes to athletics.
Diamond Head is behind right field. Cool tradewinds float through the facility as dusk approaches. There's affordable ballpark food and not a bad seat in the house. It's all very wonderful at Les Murakami Stadium.
Well, at least this time there's no banner to take down, no national championship to pretend never happened. As part of the University of Hawaii spanking itself for the misdeeds of two of its former basketball coaches alleged by the NCAA, the school is proposing to vacate 36 victories.
It won't be much of a surprise in Surprise, Ariz., this week if the Hawaii Pacific University men's tennis team emerges with a national championship. HPU is 21-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Not bad for a school that doesn't even have its own tennis facility.
Let's get this out there right away. I don't like Tom Brady, and haven't for quite a while. Here's why: When he was asked by an NFL public relations guy to make himself available for a quick walk-and-talk interview after a Pro Bowl practice about 10 years ago, he dropped a long drawn out F-bomb.
It is the forgotten dynasty of Hawaii high school athletics. An 18-year run of state domination. Numerous national championships. And then, 11 years ago, the Lanai physical fitness teams disappeared, like the pineapple fields that were the island’s signature crop.
If things had gone the way they appeared to be headed a couple of years ago, Jeremy Ioane would be at an NFL team's rookie camp and his sister Jasmine would be continuing on a blossoming career as a softball coach.
The SandBows left Tuesday night, ranked No. 2 in the country with a 17-1 record and 13-match winning streak. But if it is to return with the title, Hall knows UH needs every little bit of magic it can get.
David Matlin's first day as University of Hawaii athletic director has finally arrived. The first bit of controversy beat him to his new office, however. It's one of those decisions to make that a large number of people will disagree either way.
Ben Jay turned in his keys and was escorted from the premises Friday. Many University of Hawaii sports fans consider it good riddance. The new athletic director, David Matlin, officially starts work Monday.
Max Holloway of Waianae thinks beyond himself, and that's part of what makes him a great fit as the new face of mixed martial artists from Hawaii. The bigger part, of course, is that after defeating Cub Swanson by submission on Saturday he has six consecutive wins and is now close to being considered a prime contender in the UFC featherweight division.
Sei Young Kim had never heard of Isao Aoki. Can't really blame her. Kim wasn't born until 10 years, almost to the day, after Aoki made international golf and Hawaii sports history with an incredible shot to win the 1983 Hawaiian Open.
Remember when a 10-year-old Michelle Wie said she hoped to play in the Masters someday? Well, if Paula Creamer has her way, the best women golfers in the world will get to play a tournament on the most famous course in the world.
Who's going to win this? I.K. Kim is off to a good start, but the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Apologies to Bob Dylan. And Peter, Paul and Mary have got nothing on Michelle, Ai and Inbee.
Michelle Wie has all the comforts of being where she grew up, including the cooking of her mom, Bo, or at Uncle Bo's, her favorite local eatery. More important, who in the field of the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club knows the wind and greens better than she?
These senior nights keep getting better and better. Saturday's men's volleyball regular-season finale topped them all, with stirring emotion from beginning to end — even though the match itself didn't provide very much drama.
People, especially young folks, test authority. That in itself is not good or bad or right or wrong. It just is. It is reality. Questioning authority under the right circumstances is important and necessary.
Unfortunately, a lot of fans don't get that the University of Hawaii does not exist solely for their sports entertainment. If they did, their pea-brains wouldn't be exploding over Benjy Taylor not being retained as UH's basketball coach.
On the first day of the Major League Baseball season, the University of Hawaii team — more than midway through its schedule — lost 4-0 to UC Davis in what amounted to little more than a spring training game.
Much of the focus on University of Hawaii football this spring is about the turnover of the coaching staff, in particular the coordinators. All three are new: Don Bailey (offense), Tom Mason (defense) and Jake Cookus (special teams).
Shots fired the day before a men's volleyball match between Hawaii and UCLA in the old days might have meant an incendiary quote provided by one of the rival combatants. You know, locker room bulletin board material.
Driving to his downtown office at 9:30 on a Saturday morning is nothing out of the ordinary for David Matlin. “It’s not abnormal,” Matlin said. “What’s different is that I started work today at 5 a.m. (at home).”
Sure, it’s not as great a deal as it was five years ago when the Rainbow Wahine went all the way to the College World Series and hit as many home runs as the ’27 Yankees in 89 fewer games. But University of Hawaii softball is still worth way more than the price of admission.
Working in sports and living in Hawaii … a dream come true, right? But a lot of these jobs come with tremendous amounts of pressure and are at times seemingly impossible to succeed at — sometimes, even when you win on the field.
The University of Hawaii tells us the chancellor can wait another two weeks before announcing his choice for a new athletic director. I guess we can be relieved that he's actually making a choice, and not letting one be rammed down his throat.
There's a college basketball team from Oahu that overcame tremendous off-court adversity not of its own making. And instead of wallowing in self-pity and falling apart it made the best of things and continues to build on a successful season.
The pendulum effect has been in full force when it comes to hiring University of Hawaii athletic directors. Since the 1980s it has swung back-and-forth each time, between the islands and the continent.
Overall it was a great weekend for the University of Hawaii's court sports. Men's volleyball wins Friday and Sunday sandwiching women's basketball's stirring senior night and men's hoops winning on the road on Saturday.
Benjy Taylor has presented most of his case — the part on the court, anyway. Right now, the University of Hawaii basketball team still has a chance at 20 wins as it prepares for the finale of the regular conference slate at Fullerton and then the Big West tournament.
Negus Webster-Chan is a very funny guy. But his coach, Benjy Taylor, was much more amused with the small forward’s 20 points as Hawaii beat Long Beach State 78-59 on Thursday night than he was by the sharpshooter’s latest gag at the shoot-around earlier in the day.
For Hawaii sports fans around my age, the name Al "Eki" Espinda is mostly associated with Farrington football. But with Espinda's death last week at age 78, his classmate Paul Wysgard reminds us that Espinda was also an outstanding all-around athlete.
On an evening where it needed every encouraging shriek from the season-high 1,989 sixth men and sixth little girls in the Stan Sheriff Center stands, the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team also got a huge lift from the most unlikely of benchies.
If you can break a record set by Tom Henderson you're doing pretty well.
That's not just because Henderson is one of the best two or three players in University of Hawaii basketball history and went on to the U.S. Olympic team and the NBA.
There are at least four strong local potential candidates for University of Hawaii athletic director: Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi, Mufi Hannemann and John McNamara. June Jones said he wants to be football coach again, not AD.
The current University of Hawaii baseball team got out of Saturday's alumni game unscathed after what coach Mike Trapasso described as "a clean game" and a 10-0 win. That's good news, since UH wants everyone ready when the season opens Friday against Oregon.
This might come as a surprise to you. It certainly did to me. According to the NCAA, I’m a University of Hawaii basketball booster. You might be a booster, too, without realizing it ... even if you never bought season tickets or never made a donation.
As the fax machine whirs into action on National Letter of Intent day, we're left to ponder if the University of Hawaii lost some recruiting battles because it competed the last few weeks short-handed.
Judy Mosley-McAfee and Lynette Liu barely knew each other. But they are forever linked. "That's true," said Liu, who will play in the University of Hawaii women's basketball alumnae game Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center, at 2 p.m., prior to UH's game against CSUN. "We have a lot in common."
Like many of us, Linnea Garcia-Tatupu is conflicted about football. The game allowed the men in her life to fulfill their dreams, to achieve at the highest level of a profession, starring in the NFL. Her husband, Mosi, made it to the Pro Bowl.
Rarely is it true that whining works with basketball officials. It's OK to ask them in a respectful manner about what you did that got you tagged for a foul, so you can try not to commit the same offense again.
If we look at the composition of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame after the induction of its first two classes, maybe we can put a stereotype to rest. Yes, the Pacific Islands are known for producing linemen.
Forget about Pitt on Maui. Never mind Colorado in the Diamond Head Classic. Or any of the other 11 victories this season. That win Thursday against unheralded UC Davis was the biggest of 2014-15 for the University of Hawaii basketball team.
Any winning athlete or coach will tell you. Successfully defending a championship is a lot harder than winning the first one. It's the same with big new organizations and their big, annual events. There should, however, be no sophomore slump for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
The University of Hawaii Manoa has an interim chancellor, a lame-duck athletic director, a winning "acting" basketball coach and a football coach who most anywhere else would have been fired after his third consecutive losing season.
This isn't the first time George Gusman of Waipio is officiating a national championship college football game. Nor is it the first time he's working a big Oregon-Ohio State game where he and the Ducks starting quarterback had gone to the same high school.
Benjy Taylor is not in denial about what awaits his University of Hawaii basketball team as Big West conference play gets underway. The Rainbow Warriors chalked up some impressive victories before the New Year, but now comes the grind.
Some kind of misfortune had struck the Brigham Young basketball team a long time ago. The Cougars lost a game they shouldn't have, or one of their missionaries decided religion was more important than sports and didn't return to Provo, Utah. I don't remember exactly.
On the first day of 2015, Marcus Mariota was high, and seemingly, tight.
The unflappable one adjusted his calibration quickly enough, and with a little help from his friends on both sides of the ball — the Heisman Trophy winner got better as the Rose Bowl went along.
Let's face it. Those of us from Hawaii (and a lot of other folks) are biased. And there's nothing wrong with that, just understand that it might cloud reality a bit. And maybe cost you a couple of shekels if you like to wager.
There's no denying Marcus Mariota is a star in a bright galaxy, gleaming over Hawaii -- and beyond. With the Heisman Trophy in hand he has earned his place among the pillars of a golden era full of island sports stars that began early last decade and continues, with much of the fuel now coming from Mariota's exploits.
As Punahou graduate Davis Miyashiro-Saipaia was being interviewed Monday at media day for the Rose Bowl by the hometown paper, Oregon teammate Bronson Yim kept repeating to him, "Shout out to Saint Louis! Shout out to Saint Louis!"
DeForest Buckner was taken back Sunday to when he was a child and his life changed forever, when his father, George, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Through tears, he shared the story of being a young boy in Waianae and having to grow up fast.
The easy thing to do is put the halo on Marcus Mariota and the horns on Jameis Winston, paint the Rose Bowl as a showdown between good and evil, and call it a day. Especially since Mariota is our latest and greatest hometown hero.
There's more than one way to get onto the field of a college football game.
I was curious about one of the entry level jobs of officiating, the equivalent of dishwasher at a restaurant. So I filed my formal application with the guy in charge, Matt Sumstine.
Sometimes the cost of doing business makes you look bad. When you play really hard for 40-plus minutes, you can be prone to mistakes in overtime that make it look like you're dogging it when really you're just dog-tired.
It's hard to believe, but there was a time when bowl games were so limited two of the teams that ended up sharing the college football national championship 48 years ago didn't play after the regular season.
One of the best things about running is limits do not exist. There are no outs, like in baseball. There might be a clock, but it doesn't go down to zero — it goes up. You can run as far as you want or can, for as long as you want or can.
If you want results, David Monti is your guy. If there's a distance race anywhere in the world he can tell you who won, and why. And if you need help deciding which professional runners to invite to your event, he can do that, too.
The chancellor and the athletic director put on a good show of lovey-dovey. Don't buy it. Robert Bley-Vroman is a linguist, and that means he's careful with his words. One of Ben Jay's problems has been with the way he says things (and what he says).
Despite all kinds of meetings this week, barring an unforeseen case of intestinal fortitude, there's no "decision" coming, University of Hawaii football fans — or at least not the one many of you want.
As David Ige takes office, it is time to ponder how much impact the new governor will project upon the Hawaii sports scene. Of particular interest is University of Hawaii athletics, considering the poor record in recent years of the highest profile and biggest breadwinning sport, football, and other issues.
There's a third-year coach at the University of Hawaii who gets a pass on some losses because a lot of people see progress. For the first nine minutes Saturday the women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with the fifth-ranked team in the nation.
Even in a season of relative discontent, the Hawaii women's volleyball team is winning more than 75 percent of its matches. It's a rebuilding year, and headed into the final weekend of the Big West schedule the Rainbow Wahine have crept back into the top 25 of the coaches poll, after spending much of 2014 unranked.
What better topic than food as we prepare to feast on Thursday? Star-Advertiser videographer Kim Yuen and I recently visited the University of Hawaii to check out the expanded training table breakfast fare, since the NCAA now allows "unlimited food and snacks."
This was a second consecutive great weekend for University of Hawaii sports. Make that for Hawaii sports, in general. Contested on the same night UH was upsetting Pitt in basketball, the Mililani-Punahou football state championship final Friday was one of the most entertaining games I've ever seen.
Some will call it luck. Some will say the timer deserves the game ball. And some will remind us that UNLV is a very lousy football team. But in the end it didn't matter on senior night for the University of Hawaii.
In this day and age, you'd expect a distinct cheer from the boisterous crowd of 19,254 at Aloha Stadium as the University of Hawaii basketball team completed its upset victory over Pitt on Maui on Friday evening.
‘Iolani — where the school's motto for teamwork originated generations ago with Father Kenneth Bray — is back in the Division II championship game it has won seven of the past nine years under coach Wendell Look, playing Lahainaluna in Friday's first game.
Maybe Walter Murray needs to show up at more University of Hawaii football games. "This is my first one since my playing days," the UH wide receiver great from the 1980s said at halftime of the Rainbow Warriors' 13-0 win at San Jose State on Saturday afternoon.