It will be a whole new world for the Maryknoll baseball team next spring.
Due to their three consecutive Division II state championships, next season the Spartans — by ILH rule — will be moving up to Division I in the ILH and fighting for a berth in the D-I state tournament.
Instead of teams such as Pac-Five and Damien as its main obstacles in D-II, Maryknoll will have to play the iron of the league — Mid-Pacific, Kamehameha, ‘Iolani among others — to have a shot at a coveted spot in the D-I state tournament.
“This (D-I) is where we want to be,” Spartans coach Randy Yamashiro said. “But we wanted to make sure it was the right time and did’t want to rush it.”
It appears to be the right time. Aside from its three D-II state titles in a row and four out of the last seven, the Spartans play solid baseball and should be able to compete against the ILH bigwigs.
“Wee’re going to have to work harder and get better next season,” Yamashiro said after the Spartans beat Aiea 8-6 in the D-II state final Saturday at Les Murakami Stadium. “We don’t have five-star athletes. We have three-star athletes who are hungry and love the game and are students of the game.”