by Erin Hardin
With Mount Ka’ala as a backdrop, Waialua High School’s Toshi Nakasone Field is the most picturesque on the island. However, these are some of the words that described the field in the past decade: Dirt. Dusty. Hard. Muddy. Rock Solid. Waialua football and soccer fans were wondering for years when the renovation of the field was going to happen. Well, with some unexpected delays, the process of grading, crowning, and putting in a new irrigation system has begun.
Construction was originally planned to start on October 21, 2016, and to be finished in time for graduation; but due to the football team making it to the HHSAA Football Championship and needing the field to practice, construction was postponed and began on November 23rd. However, some winter athletic teams had to make adjustments for practice field time.
The Waialua Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer teams had to relocate practices and will have no home games. Many of the soccer players do like it, but understand it has to be done. Said Sophomore Alyssa Alejandro, “We practice between the bleachers and the weight room and I feel like we are at a disadvantage because we don’t have a full field like the other schools do.” Senior Cody Miyataki added, “It’s huge inconvienence for friends, family, and faculty to watch the games and sometimes we have to get out of school early so we miss class time.” However, next year’s football players offer a different perspective. Said junior defensive tackle Matthan Hatchie, “It’ll be really good because it has been 60 years since the last renovation, and it will help the health of the players as there will be less injuries, cuts and scrapes.”
The reason behind this renovation is the field has not been re-crowned since it’s installation more than 60 years ago. In addition, the sprinkler system has gone bad, due to age and corrosion. To fix that issue, they will be installing a brand-new sprinkler system. Then they will begin to do the re-crowning of the field so it will have a slope so the water will run-off towards the sides of the field instead of pooling in the dirt areas in the middle of the field and causing muddy puddles. Other issues that will be taken care of is the drainage issues around the track. The plan is to create a barrier so the water will drain to the sides of the track, instead of on the track, which created dips and valleys on the running surface. Finally, the track will be re-done, leveled, and the cinder will be replaced.
Another change that will be taking place on the field is the long jump/triple jump runway. The pit will be moved from the visitor’s side, to the mauka end zone. In addition, another possible change that’s still being discussed is changing the light fixtures to LED lights. The cost for the entire construction is still uncertain, but because of the new changes that might be added, the final cost is yet to be determined.
If all goes well, the field should be ready for graduation and the football team’s summer practice. Toshi Nakasone Field will once again be the most beautiful place to watch a football game or commencement on O’ahu.