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Signing Day: 40 make their college dreams a reality

By Paul Honda on November 8, 2017

Amalia Paige Hilliard saw the writing on the wall years ago. Or actually, there was writing on the table. Year after year, season after season, young Paige sat at the entrance on Letter-of-Intent Signing Day for then-host Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance. High school seniors from virtually every sport filtered through the doors of the Honolulu Elks Lodge in Waikiki or the rode the escalator up to the Sheraton Waikiki Ballrooms. There were the PIAA volunteers, ready and able to assist. […]

St. Francis’ Akana to play baseball for Hawaii

By Billy Hull on September 5, 2017

St. Francis junior Bubba Akana, who plays football, basketball and baseball for the Saints, has committed to play baseball for Hawaii beginning in 2020. Akana committed to the UH coaching staff this morning. Soon after, he passed his road test to get his driver’s license. “Pretty great,” Akana said in a phone interview this afternoon. “It’s great because I get to be around my family and stuff and can always just play in front of them instead of them having […]

Barcoma takes over as Maui baseball coach

By Nick Abramo on August 30, 2017

Leonard Barcoma Jr. will take over as head coach of the state champion Maui High baseball team, Sabers athletic director Michael Ban announced Wednesday. Barcoma has coached in more than 20 seasons in the Maui Interscholastic League — at Maui High and at Kamehameha-Maui. He was Maui’s JV head coach last season. “Coach Barcoma is a dedicated individual who is committed to teaching the game of baseball and instilling common core values such as discipline, hard work and sportsmanship,” Ban […]

HAWAII GROWN: Reds release Kahaloa

By Billy Hull on August 23, 2017

Former Campbell All-State pitcher of the year and Hawaii Hall of Honor inductee Ian Kahaloa was released by the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Kahaloa, who served a 50-game suspension to start the season after testing positive a second time for “a drug of abuse,” was a fifth-round pick of the Reds in 2015. According to a story posted on, Reds farm director Jeff Graupe said Kahaloa did not do enough to show the team he was trying to take […]

Maui state champ baseball coach steps down

By Nick Abramo on August 3, 2017

Maui High baseball coach Chase Corniel stepped down from his position today, according to a press release from Sabers athletic director Michael Ban. Corniel, who will become a vice principal at the school, led the Sabers to the 2017 Division I state championship in May that was capped with a 6-1 victory over Waiakea in the title game. “It was a tough decision, but I was provided an opportunity to better my career and support my family,” Corniel said in […]

Hawaii Baseball Group off to hot start

By Billy Hull on July 25, 2017

The Hawaii Baseball Group, a summer traveling team coached by former UH assistants Keith Komeiji and Chad Konishi, are 6-2 on their current trip to California. The team, which is made up of players who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors this year, leaves for Carlsbad, Calif., on Wednesday and will play in two games at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday before participating in the Phil Singer Tournament in San Diego from July 28 to August 4. The 18-under event […]

Leilehua baseball: Watanuki out, Omalza in

By Nick Abramo on July 22, 2017

Spencer Omalza, a former Leilehua and Hawaii Pacific pitcher and shortstop, is the new varsity baseball coach at Leilehua. Omalza takes over for Lane Watanuki, according to new Mules athletic director Nolan Tokuda. No reason was given for the change. Watanuki is also a former Campbell baseball coach. Omalza will be in charge of the varsity and JV programs for the Mules. In other moves at Leilehua, Tokuda said Wendell Au will take over for Stacy Araki as the varsity […]

Waipahu’s Russell to play for UH Hilo

By Nick Abramo on July 22, 2017

Waipahu Kobie Russell has decided to play college baseball instead of signing with the pros. Russell, who played shortstop for the Marauders before graduating in 2017, was drafted as a catcher by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft last month. Instead, he will head to the Big Island to play for UH Hilo, according to Waipahu head coach Milton Takenaka. Russell originally planned on signing with the Blue Jays, but changed his […]