Raiders, Warriors, Buffanblu and more on NLI signing day

Grandfather Jim and little brother Gage made the trip to support Beau Sylvester. The five-week journey concluded in Arizona during the fall of 2020. Sylvester signed with Washington on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Beau Sylvester.

While ‘Iolani held a signing ceremony on early Wednesday morning, national letter-of-intent day was busy for plenty of student-athletes, especially from Kamehameha and Punahou.

The early-period signing day included all sports with the exception of football. The next national letter-of-intent signing day will be in February.

At Kamehameha, a signing ceremony was held for six Warriors: baseball players Beau Sylvester (Washington) and Keola Yim (William Jessup), softball players Haley Agena (Saint Martin’s), Nikki Donahue (Texas-Arlington) and Madison Rabe (Georgian Court), and soccer player Anuhea Aluli (Oakland University, Mich.).

Sylvester, along with Saint Louis shortstop Aiva Arquette, is regarded as one of the top two baseball prospects in Hawaii.

“Washington is a place I could call home aside from the baseball, and on the baseball aspect, the coaches were awesome and really seemed invested,” said Sylvester, a power-hitting catcher with tremendous arm strength and good speed. “I wanted to compete at a Power-5 school.”

In addition, ‘Iolani ace pitcher Zach Tenn is also signing with Washington.

In a signing ceremony at Saint Louis, Arquette signed with Washington, joining Sylvester as a Huskie.

“I am feeling great. It is a wonderful opportunity,” said Arquette, who is 6 feet, 4 inches and 205 pounds now as a senior.

That’s 25 pounds stronger than Arquette was as a sophomore.

The Education 1st signing event on Zoom included several top seniors. Among them were Punahou volleyball players Riley Haine (USC), Keau Thompson (Ball State) and Aidan Tune (Pepperdine), Kamehameha volleyball player Devin Kahahawai (Texas), Punahou baseball player Kaikea Harrison (Texas A&M), Mililani softball player Cierra Yamamoto (Hawaii), Konawaena soccer player Caiya Hanks (Wake Forest) and Punahou softball player Asia Lee (Pacific).

Along with Haine, that makes four Buffanblu boys volleyball players who signed on Wednesday.

“It makes me feel proud of the team and the hard work we put in,” Tune said.

Kahahawai recently returned from a stint with the national team that played in Mexico. Her Kamehameha teammate, Maui Robins, signed with the University of Portland. 

One of the most unusual signing stories belongs to Tommy Musto, a soccer player who signed with Seattle University. He is a student at Hawaii Technology School, but never played in high school. Instead, he plays midfielder with the Rush Hawaii soccer club, training at his home base in Upcountry Maui with his father, Carl. A key to the process is being proactive.

“I think it is more important to go to camps at the colleges than to rely on your club. It’s mainly up to you to find a school,” Musto said. “I would recommend to do what is best for each person and do what they want to. For me, the most important thing is finding the best environment to train in, and that is training with my dad.”

Musto didn’t wait for opportunity. The old saying, if you’re good, they will find you — not applicable today.

“False. You’ve got to do the work to get yourself in front of them. There is a lot of competition,” Musto said. “I emailed programs I was interested, so I looked online. I would recommend to not rely on others to get you to where you want to go.”

Agbayani, who pitches and plays shortstop, has traveled back and forth between Oahu and Florida as she plays weekend tournaments with the OC Batbusters. The grind is something she has embraced.

“I owe everything to my parents. They sacrificed so much for me to be able to travel every weekend to the mainland and play on one of the best nationally-ranked softball organizations,” she said. “They dedicate their time and money into me playing softball and going to the best college prep school in Hawaii. I owe it all to them. None of this would be possible without their love and support.”


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