Senior-heavy ‘Iolani loaded with college talent

Iolani batter Micah Yonamine follows through on a home run swing over the center field fence against Saint Louis in this 2019 game at Goeas Field, Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser (Apr. 22, 2019).

At ‘Iolani, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Nobody knows this better than baseball coach Kurt Miyahira. The Raiders’ baseball diamond is now the site of a giant tent that covers tables and chairs. Concrete sits on the once pristine playing field, providing a safe environment outdoors for ‘Iolani’s student body.

The Raiders have made do by working out in their batting cages and on small sections of grass on their outfield.

“We use what we’ve got. Our infielders do a lot of short work, a lot of drills,” Miyahira said. “It’s been fun. In life, everything doesn’t go your way. It’s been a great learning experience for our kids.”

The Raiders will visit Mid-Pacific today at 3:30 p.m. in the ILH regular-season opener. Spectators are not allowed, but the game will be streamed live on Mid-Pacific’s Facebook page.

Top returnees

P Brayden Hiraki, Sr.
P Zach Tenn, Jr. (commit to Hawaii)
P Isaiah Ahokovi, Sr. (Loyola Marymount)

SS Tate Shimao, Sr. (Hawaii)
OF Jaden Arakaki, Sr. (Nebraska)
IF Kody Watanabe, Sr. (Hawaii)
IF Colby Ching, Sr.
C/DH/U Joshua Miyazawa, Sr.

All the development and talent are exceptional. Saint Louis coach George Gusman considers ‘Iolani among the ILH’s top three teams.

“‘Iolani’s top of the lineup has four, five Division I (college) guys,” he said. “Kamehameha, Mid-Pacific and ‘Iolani are the top three teams.”

Miyahira observes the gauntlet that is ILH baseball.

“I think it’s a very competitive league. It’s always fun. There are no gimmies, that’s for sure. You have to be ready to compete every day and let it hang, and see what happens.”

The Raiders had two scrimmages, both at Mid-Pacific.

“I would think more (scrimmages and games) are better, especially for our batters getting their timing down. Playing more is better. We’re making the best of it. We’re finding a way to compete,” Miyahira said. “We’ll figure out a way to get it done.”

In all, there are 12 seniors on the roster.

“Nine of them are going to go on and play in college. I’m proud that they’ve earned that opportunity to play in college. They’ve worked extremely hard in the classroom and we have very supportive parents who love their kids,” the coach said.

The shorter season and playoff tournament puts more weight on each outing.

“I definitely don’t take this opportunity for granted. Our school’s been good about safety and protocols,” Miyahira said. “Shout out to the administrators and athletic department staff for putting in place protocols for keeping our athletes safe.”


  1. ILH April 14, 2021 8:56 am

    Congrats to the seniors! 9 playing in college – Wow! Know that several will be attending highly academic colleges. Smart kids!

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