Govs, Spartans among letter-of-intent signees

Farrington seniors Chantal Mailou, Chasity Wong and Molimau Heimuli signed their letters of intent. (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

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High school classmate. Friend. Teammate. Champion.

College student-athlete. College teammate.

There are few strings of words that are as gratifying as those, and that’s the road travelled by Farrington seniors Molimau Heimuli and Chantal Mailou. The two basketball standouts were among dozens from the class of 2017 who inked their letters of intent in a signing ceremony hosted by Education First on Wednesday morning at the Honolulu Elks Lodge (Waikiki).

Heimuli and Mailou signed to play at Paris Junior College (Texas).

“We have to earn our spots,” said Heimuli, a 6-foot post who was arguably the best girls basketball player in the Oahu Interscholastic Association. “We leave at the end of June. We’re going to play hard.”

The Lady Dragons were 7-23 overall last season, including 4-16 in a tough Region XIV Conference where national powerhouse Blinn College often rules. Heimuli, who averaged 21 points per game, was a Star-Advertiser All-State Fab 15 selection. Mailou was a key contributor on a much-improved Farrington squad coached by Caroline Tatupu.

Now they’ll play for Gonzalo Garza, who just completed his second season with Paris.

“We have to prove to him that we’re capable of working hard,” said Mailou, a combo guard whose defense was a major asset for the Lady Governors.

Garza’s introduction to Farrington’s program came a few years ago when he saw former Gov Penina Faumui play for Blinn. That led to Farrington Vice-Principal Ronald Oyama, who has been a regular pipeline builder for the school’s student-athletes in various sports.

Other Farrington athletes who signed letters include volleyball player Chasity Wong, who will go to Grays Harbor Community College (Wash.).

“I’ve been playing since I was 8. I fell in love with the sport,” Wong said.

There are other teammates heading to college together. Hali‘a Hogan and Kira Morikawa played at different schools, but competed at the club level for years at Kui Kahi. Hogan (‘Iolani), a 6-2 middle blocker, and Morikawa (Punahou) will play at Oklahoma next season.

“The team was really welcoming. I danced hula for them and that was huge,” Hogan said. “They asked me to teach them.”

Kui Kahi Volleyball Club teammates Kira Morikawa (Punahou), Hali‘a Hogan (‘Iolani) and Ana Oglivie (‘Iolani)  signed their letters of intent. (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser
Kui Kahi Volleyball Club teammates Kira Morikawa (Punahou), Hali‘a Hogan (‘Iolani) and Ana Oglivie (‘Iolani) signed their letters of intent. (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

“It’s like here, it’s about family like Hawaii,” Morikawa said. “It’s special.”

Hogan’s Raider and Kui Kahi teammate, setter Ana Oglivie, penned her letter to West Point. She is a daughter of a Marine. The early wake-up calls won’t be a problem.

“Five a.m. is basically what I do now. I actually get up every morning earlier than they do,” Oglivie said. “I’m going into boot camp when I get there July 3. They sent me a 62-page packet on training. My dad was a Marine for eight or 12 years. He says it’s every man for himself, take care of yourself, which is different being from Hawaii or being on a sports team, especially being a woman.”

Hogan wasn’t surprised by her teammate’s choice.

“She’s physically tough, but she’s mentally way more tough to most people,” she said.

St. Martin’s (Wash.) continued to build its stock of Hawaii baseball talent, signing Maryknoll battery mates Matthew Dunaway and Chayson Dulatre. Dunaway, a right-hander, has been a steadying influence for the Spartans. Coach Eric Kadooka considers him one of the best pitchers in the state despite Maryknoll’s difficulties against tough Interscholastic League of Honolulu competition.

Their destination was a fit off the diamond, too.

“Academically, they had our majors,” Dunaway said. “I’m majoring in business marketing and baseball.”

Baseball isn’t a major, but Dunaway’s dedication has never waned. At Maryknoll, he earned the trust of his coaches and has been unflappable.

“Maryknoll is a different atmosphere. You don’t get lost in the crowd. It’s not cliquey because we have such a small student body,” he said.

St. Martin’s, he added, is a similar environment.

“They’re an up-and-coming D-II program and they offer a lot of academic financial aid,” Dunaway said. “You get a lot more money since (Maryknoll) is a Catholic school.”

Maryknoll baseball teammates Chayson Dulatre and Matthew Dunaway will pair up as catcher and pitcher at St. Martin's (Wash.). (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser
Maryknoll baseball teammates Chayson Dulatre and Matthew Dunaway will pair up as catcher and pitcher at St. Martin’s (Wash.). (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

Dulatre plans to major in civil engineering. He picked St. Martin’s over Puget Sound and Whitworth, both D-III schools.

“I took my visit to St. Martin’s and all the Hawaii guys made me feel comfortable. I’m pretty excited because I played with Matt for the past four years and I get to play with him for four more years,” Dulatre said.

Other Hawaii residents playing at St. Martin’s include ’15 Maryknoll graduate Kahi Hirano and former Kamehameha shortstop Micah McNicoll.

Oglivie isn’t the only signee with a military academy. As expected, ‘Iolani swimmer Çagla Brennan signed with the U.S. Naval Academy, following a family tradition of sea-farers.

Signees at the letter-of-intent ceremony hosted by Education First and the Honolulu Elks Lodge gathered early in the morning. (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser
Signees at the letter-of-intent ceremony hosted by Education First and the Honolulu Elks Lodge gathered early in the morning. (Apr. 12, 2017) Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

COMMENTS

  1. anywaaaays!! April 12, 2017 12:56 pm

    What would be cool is if SA would compile all athletic scholarships year by year and school by school to see how each school is doing. This would give us an idea of which schools have programs catered to any particular sport and maybe even a reason why a kid would transfer to a school that has a better program for that sport.


  2. thnk1st April 12, 2017 8:50 pm

    geez now they have a signing for JC level? seriously? good luck to them. there is a big difference from D1 to JC. first time i ever saw JC at these signing and the SA making a big deal of this JC signing. JC usually means they didn’t qualify for NCAA D1 or D2. i guess still can be proud, but obvious they didn’t do their school work or wasn’t recruited by D1 or D2.


  3. anywaaaays!! April 12, 2017 10:21 pm

    If the JC is paying a portion of the students costs then I would say its something to be proud of. Think about the rest of the 95% of Hawaii High school athletes that got nothing.

    Also, Kahuku is producing college level rugby talent in boys and girls club rugby. The High school championships are here on Oahu (Turtle Bay) April 27-29 with the #1 and #2 teams from the USA. Im guessing the winner of this tournament will be the #1 Rugby in the nation. Kahuku finished 3rd last year.


  4. Education First April 13, 2017 8:40 am

    Moli is so talented, she is definitely a Top 50 NCAA D1 School prospect. Maybe it’s grades or test scores, but let’s assume it’s not. This girl should be playing at Oregon State, Oregon, Washington, etc. She is that talented.

    I don’t blame the kid. I blame the people around her who should have been hustling for her to get her viewed.


  5. Applestoapples April 13, 2017 9:02 am

    Ok while I definitely agree Moli is talented, it is a little far fetched to say she is a top 50 prospect. Just looking at girls in the top 100 class of 2017, they are committed to the top programs in the nation. This is likely due to the fact that they most likely grew up traveling around the country playing in tournament and after tournament. How tall is moli? 6ft? 6’1? For many elite teams on the mainland your talking about that is considered an agile shooting guard.


  6. Education First April 13, 2017 10:22 am

    @ Applestoapples, I am not saying she is a top 50 prospect. I am not saying that. Please excuse me and allow me to elaborate.

    I think she is super talented and she could be recruited by a top 50 D1 school. That would make her ranked around the 150-200 range for all seniors in the nation. I think she falls into that category.


  7. Proud Hawaii Parent April 19, 2017 1:25 pm

    I realize this comment is a bit late but feel it needs to be said….
    Going the JC route does not necessarily mean that the athlete wasn’t “good enough” for a DI or DII school. Unfortunately that assumption is sorely mistaken and unsubstantiated. I personally know of several athletes who chose the JC route simply because the scholarship offer (i.e. full ride + round trip tickets back home) was exactly what the family needed or because the JC was in a preferred state/location. It wasn’t because the athlete wasn’t skilled enough or their grades/scores weren’t high enough. JC’s allow those who might be hesitant about being far away from home to get the college experience and get adjusted to college life without the demands that a DI/DII commitment has. In fact, many DI colleges recruit from JCs because they know that those athletes have successfully made the transition from high school to college and are mature, responsible and ready to play at the next level. On the flip side, I know athletes who committed to a DI school and ended up regretting it. Some didn’t even last one school year while others didn’t return for their sophomore year. I commend the athletes and their families who decide a JC is a better fit for them. So let’s not be so quick to judge. Instead, let’s celebrate our Hawaii athletes who are taking the next step in their lives to play at the collegiate level, be it a DI, DII, DIII, JC, or NAIA (and any other division I may have missed) school and represent our great state of HAWAII! It’s a wonderful opportunity and hopefully they’ll come out of it with a college degree! After all, shouldn’t that be the intent of going to college???


  8. BG Grad July 9, 2017 2:17 pm

    “anywaaaays!! April 12, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    What would be cool is if SA would compile all athletic scholarships year by year and school by school to see how each school is doing. This would give us an idea of which schools have programs catered to any particular sport and maybe even a reason why a kid would transfer to a school that has a better program for that sport.”

    yeah, but nobody really cares about this except you. so…..


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