The little green team that could

by Paul Honda on December 10, 2013

The Wildcats were in a great mood after a semifinal win over Waimea. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

The Wildcats were in a great mood after a semifinal win over Waimea. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

It may seen tardy, but I’ve got a drive full of semi-old photos that need to be posted.

It’s not for everybody. But for the kids in green who are in these pics, the memories are priceless. Konawaena, an underdog in the Division II state volleyball tournament, ultimately triumphed. The Wildcats topped another BIIF program, Hawaii Prep, 25-16, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21. I got to see them in the semifinal round — a sweep of Waimea — and their cohesion and chemistry were striking.

But more surprising was the talent and grit of their entire team, which was led by basketball phenom Chanelle Molina. The skilled sophomore was a big part of the Wildcats team that reached the state basketball final — in Division I — almost a year ago.

For most Oahu spectators, it was a chance to see how much she and her team had progressed on the volleyball hardwood. Progress, indeed!

Chanelle Molina was an All-State selection in basketball as a freshman. Now she's an All-State volleyball player as a sophomore. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Chanelle Molina was an All-State selection in basketball as a freshman. Now she’s an All-State volleyball player as a sophomore. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Freshman Celina Molina, sister of Chanelle, had seven kills and 29 digs in the D-II state final. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Freshman Celina Molina, sister of Chanelle, had seven kills and 29 digs in the D-II state final. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Family and friends who made the trip from Kona to Oahu were well rewarded. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Family and friends who made the trip from Kona to Oahu were well rewarded. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Team Aloha coach Fran Villarmia gives Chanelle Molina a hug. Molina played in the summer on Coach Villarmia's team. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Team Aloha coach Fran Villarmia gives Chanelle Molina a hug. Molina played in the summer on Coach Villarmia’s team. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Longtime club coach Ainsley Keawekane guided Konawaena to a state title in his first season as varsity coach. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Longtime club coach Ainsley Keawekane guided Konawaena to a state title in his first season as varsity coach. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

The Wildcats and their faithful followers. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

The Wildcats and their faithful followers. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

A light moment for the Wildcats. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

A light moment for the Wildcats. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.

*

Previous post:

Next post: