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Signing day arrives

Punahou outside hitter Josh Taylor and Castle multi-sport standout Leisha Liilii will be among more than two dozen student-athletes who will sign their letters of intent tomorrow at the Honolulu Design Center.

The signing event, hosted by Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance, will begin at 6 a.m., the earliest time athletes nationwide can sign their binding letters to universities.

Taylor was named player of the year in boys volleyball last year after helping Punahou capture the state championship. He will sign with Pepperdine. Liilii, who plays basketball and softball, will sign with Hawaii.

The list of signees is a who’s who of all-state talent. Among the baseball signees will be state player of the year Michael Suiter of Punahou (Santa Clara), infielder Kaeo Aliviado of Saint Louis (Hawaii), pitcher Lawrence Chew of Mid-Pacific (Hawaii), Kalei Contrades of Saint Louis (San Jose State), Jordan DePonte of Moanalua (Hawaii), Justin Protacio of MPI (Kansas) and Carlos Rodriguez of ‘Iolani (Oregon State).

Softball signees will include Nicole Arata of Campbell (Utah State), Tori Hamura of MPI (Pacific Lutheran), Kayde Kochi of MPI (Seattle), Kimberlee Souza of ‘Iolani (Washington) and Kaitlyn Wills of Kapolei (Hawaii-Hilo).

Volleyball standout Ginger Long of Kamehameha-Maui (Hawaii) will also sign at the site, along with many other top athletes in other sports.

Appreciation goes both ways

Punga Vea isn’t the loudest or most animated athlete, but the Kahuku football team co-captain knows what his team means to the tight-knit North Shore community.

"It’s started off kind of depressing hearing that we might not be able to play and finding out that we weren’t, but it’s nice getting all the support from the community. At 9:30 at night they came out to help support us," Vea said, referring to the enthusiastic sign-holders who gathered in front of the school along Kamehameha Highway.

"Five hundred people, that shows how much support we get from the community," he said.

Kahuku was disqualified from further play earlier on Friday by the Oahu Interscholastic Association due to the participation of an ineligible player.

 

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