Sports

Bringing the Boom

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Division II Defensive Player of the Year Dayton Kaopua-Lee takes down Division II Offensive Player of the Year Waipahu’s Alfred Faleiuga at the DII Championship game at Aloha Stadium..

img_5259by Tiala Nicely

For Scoring Live’s OIA Division II Defensive Player of the Year Dayton Kaopua-Lee, football is not just a game, it’s a lifestyle. When the field lights go on, the spotlight is on linebacker.  Dayton knows his job is get stops and get his offense back on the field.img_9988

Before a game, Dayton puts in his earphones and blasts “On my Grind”, the Kahuku Anthem, and “We Ready” by Archie as his pregame ritual. He says that to win, he and his team have to “get amped up, be together, come in with confidence.” Dayton stresses the importance of going into a game with the right mindset because your mind can be your greatest weakness. “You have to go in wanting it more than anything,” he says. It’s easy to see that Dayton doesn’t let the other players get into his head, he does what needs to be accomplished on the field. What’s even more admirable is that he understands that defense wins games. “There has to be someone to stop them and get our offense back in,” he said.  Just from watching Dayton play, people can see that he’s comfortable, knows what he needs to do, and is not afraid to step to players who are bigger than him.

Dayton Kaopua-Lee (5) defends a pass intercepted by Julian Fely-Menor (6).
Dayton Kaopua-Lee (5) defends a pass intercepted by Julian Fely-Menor (6).

Dayton is an impact player, so he’s accountable and doesn’t hold back. People easily assume that Dayton’s position as linebacker simply requires him to tackle who ever has the ball. Dayton has to read the lineman, needs to know whether the ball will be a pass or a run, to know who to tackle, and be able to read the other team’s offensive line. He needs to be quick, he has to get through the other teams players who are protecting the ball.

In order to make plays, Dayton has to work hard. At practice Dayton works on bag drills and foot drills. He listens to his coaches and takes what they have to say and perfects it.  He states that he’s grateful for Coach Jacob Barit who shows him how to fix

Dayton Kaopua-Lee 5) blitzes through a gap created by Matthan Hatchie 71)
Dayton Kaopua-Lee (5) blitzes through a gap created by DL Matthan Hatchie (71). The play resulted in a sack of Waipahu QB Braden Amorozo.

his mistakes and helps him on defense. Said Assistant Coach Anthony Nery, “He’s the heart and soul of the defense.  He has definitely done a great job in taking that leadership role and making sure that the whole defense is on the same page every play.” During practice he learns different reads and works with the defensive line and especially junior Matthan Hatchie because he the one who opens the gap for Dayton to blitz.

When Dayton is not on the field practicing, he’s with his family and friends. He enjoys going to the beach and having down time. While football may seem like everything to Dayton, he explains how important his family,
friends and academics are to him. He appreciates his family and how they are always there for him, cheering him on and his friends for having his back. Dayton says that he has to put academics on the top of his list of priorities because if he doesn’t pass he won’t be able to play, and he knows that in order to have a future he needs to not only perform well on the field, but in school as well. He makes sure to say, “My biggest inspiration is my dad, because he supports me in everything I do.”  Nick Lee, Dayton’s father said, “My wife and I couldn’t be any more happier for him especially coming three generations playing football for Waialua: Papa Eric, me, and now Dayton.”

Family support at the 'ship!
Family support at the ‘ship!

Dayton is not just the kid who beasts it up on the field, he’s funny and constantly cracking jokes. In school, when Dayton wants to share a story about what happened over the weekend, everyone gets ready for a long tale that will end in the whole class laughing. In the hallways everyone around him will be laughing at something he has said or the library will no longer be quiet when Dayton walks in. Yet, when it’s time to suit up Dayton puts the jokes on hold and gets into his zone.

The championship game against Waipahu was the most memorable and important  games of Dayton’s life. Before the game he said “I want to make our community proud. I’m ready, I’m gonna crank them.”  Before the championship game, his coaches told him, “Give it your all, don’t let this be your last game, we worked hard this whole season.”  Dayton kept his parents inspirational words in his head the whole game: “Go all out, play like it’s your last game.” and that’s exactly what Dayton did.

With a wink, Dayton turned to walk away, smiled, and said, “Make sure you put my IG in this article.”

Shooting Star Stress

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Senior Saige-Caleigh Dayacos takes aim at a championship.

img_9991by Hannah Bartlett

Shooting at a target may seem easy, but when you are shooting from three different positions, controlling your breathing, and all the while keeping the rifle steady, the challenge becomes immense. Air rifle is that challenge.  In this sport, the amount of experience you have does not determine how good you are at it.  Saige-Caleigh Dayacos has only been shooting for two years and is the number one shooter on the team. Asked to join the team by fellow senior Chalseah Pascua, she decided to give it a try. After shooting for a year, she went back the next season because she was “okay at it, so I might as well shoot,” Saige-Caleigh stated.

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Saige-Caleigh Dayacos takes aim at the target from the prone position.

In air riflery, there are three positions to shoot; prone, kneeling, and standing. For Saige, prone, which is laying on your stomach, is the easiest because you have the most control over the rifle. When you’re kneeling or standing there is no way to balance the rifle besides the control of your hands. Air riflery is “fun and you get to meet a lot of new people,” she says, “but the hardest part is dealing with stress of doing well enough to place and score decently, but I just breathe and calm down by singing myself a song.” Stress is something that comes with any sport, but unlike most sports, the stress of air rifle is totally on you. not the entire team.

How you score is what makes or breaks your chances of going to states and championship matches, so the pressure to score a high enough score out of 600 can be a lot. Since Saige-Caleigh is the only one in her family that has ever img_8590shot for an air riflery team, she convinced her little brother to try out and he is planning on following in her footsteps and shooting when he’s older.

For the Lausterer family, air riflery is a family sport. Each one of Sara Lausterer’s sisters have shot for WHIS; which is part of the reason she’s the number two shooter on the team. Both of her parents are very involved in the sport, and help out with coaching and helping new students learn how to handle and take care of the rifle. Having your family supporting you and guiding you through something that they have all been through before, is helpful when dealing with the pressure.

Besides it being a family thing, Sara shoots because of the scholarships. Getting an air riflery scholarship would be great for Sara, or anyone of her sisters since there’s six Lausterer girls. “If you’re good at something and you can get money and scholarships from it, continue to do it,” she said. The hardest part about air riflery Sara says is,  “getting people to do their stuff that needs to get done, on time, and well.” Being team captain last year, Sara knows how to get her team to do the things they need to do without being bossy. Her teammates have respect for her and listen, most of the time. She prepares for matches by controlling her  breathing and listening to music. She would like to thank her parents, her coach, and last but not least her teammates for the support throughout the years, she couldn’t do it without them.

From the long drives to the North Shore, staying at practice until 6pm, to staying up until 3am scoring and submitting scores, shows that being an air riflery coach takes serious dedication. Since the WHIS team shoots their matches on campus, Head Coach Jonathan Knox has to make sure that everything is set up correctly and img_8587nobody is breaking any rules – safety is always first.

If you ask any air rifle shooter, they’ll all admit to double shooting a target; which automatically takes two points off your score. Double shooting is the number one mistake every shooter makes, and can knock down your confidence while shooting. Scoring a double shot can be difficult to score because when Coach Knox scores, it’s based of his memory; so he has to recall whose target is whose, and who double shot and where. Being a coach is also stressful, you have to be very well organized, honest, and have to get scores in on time so that they count. The parents of the team members help out at times with staying late while someone finishes shooting, encouraging the team to do well, and supporting them through school, and air riflery.

The Air Riflery program at Waialua is growing, with Sara Lausterer, Cassidy Heath, and Brooke Barbosa qualifying for the 2016 Girls State Championships.  As the team improves, shooting for the stars seems to be a likely possibility.

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2016 Waialua High School Air Rifle Team

 

Leaving His Mark

 

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Risein Campbell runs over two Kalaheo defenders.

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by Hayden Myers

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Noah and Risein Campbell

When starting running back Risein “Hoku” Campbell takes the handoff for Waialua, he’s looking for the goal line.  If you try to tackle him, he will run you over – and that will probably leave a mark. Like how he plays football, Hoku is leaving an impression on Waialua High and the people that know him.  When he graduates, he will leave behind memories of his athletic achievements as well as being a special person who people will miss if he ever decides to leave the Hawaii.  Hoku is definitely a one of a kind personality. During his interview, he cracked a few jokes and smiled a lot – a very friendly guy. A senior who has lived in Waialua his whole life and loves the North Shore, appreciates how wonderful his little town is. “Life here is awesome,” he says,  “Everything is so close by and friends are always down to hang out.” Hoku loves to go out and travel around the island with his brother Ikaika. “We usually just go beach or just cruise around, wherever we want to go we just go.”

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Chelseah Pascual, Hoku Campbell, and Kaitlin Ayonon

Lots of people know Hoku because he is such a great personality – especially with the ladies. “He is an extrovert, of course, and just carries a friendly aura with everyone. Really easy to talk to and, well, an incredibly talented athlete and singer.” said senior Chelseah Pascua. “You know? Just hanging out with friends and chilling is awesome,” says Hoku. Senior Kaitlin Ayonon, Ho’omana’o Editor-in-Chief, who’s known Hoku since they were in 7th grade said, “He’s super sweet, has a killer smile, and an overall great personality.” img_6670Hoku is a guy you’ll be happy to meet and be around.”  And now he’s known all over the state telling his pencil “knock knock” joke on KHON’s Cover 2 “Pop Quiz”.

Although kicking it with his friends is important, Hoku is very passionate about his family. “It should be a priority to spend time with your family, they’re the ones who always got your back and they are people closest to you. They raised you and made you the person you are.” Keeping close to family is one of Hoku’s beliefs that he takes to heart. Along with loyalty, honesty, and respectfulness, he thanks his family for teaching him the proper way of being a young man and having wonderful integrity. Hoku feels like he lives an average life at home but his family all care about each other and want to see each other succeed. Although there are good and bad times, they stick together and get through it together, no matter what.

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Hoku Campbell runs through the Kalaheo defense.

Throughout his life, Hoku always strives to do well. “I always motivate myself to do more everyday, I don’t want to see myself  as a failure, but I keep that thought through my mind to make sure I keep myself on track with my goals.”  With these thoughts, Hoku works hard in school and gives it his best in football. Wearing number 8 on the football field, Hoku puts in many hours each week to perform his best each game. “I work hard at what I do because I want to leave my mark on the field. I want to leave a trail of my own instead of the path that has been marched by many others.” He smirked, smiled, and said, “Now that I say that out loud, it makes me sound a little arrogant,” followed by some chuckles.

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Hoku and his senior classmates hanging in the library. Sitting L-R: Chelseah Pascual, Hoku Campbell, Kaitlin Ayonon, Morgan Achiu; Standing L-R: Cody Miyatake, Tiala Nicely.

Hoku is also very proud of his football team because they had an incredible season. “He is a very hard worker and a great teammate,” said receivers coach Tony Nery, “In games he runs hard and takes the offense all the way down to the goal line, but we’re all waiting for him to score more touchdowns.” The Bulldogs finished the regular season with five wins and two losses, with Hoku rushing for 158 yards in his final home regular season game win against Pearl City.  And what does he think about playing Kaimuki in the first round of the playoffs?  “I’m very excited to get on the field and face them again, the first game was a fluke and we’re gonna play our hardest and get that win.”

While Hoku is very focused on his athletics, he’s also made some hard choices on where to go for college. “ I really want to go with the flow and see where life takes me, but I would enjoy going to school on the West Coast. It’s close to home and the culture there isn’t going to be too dramatic of a change.”  Wherever life takes him, do not stand in the way of Hoku Campbell running toward his dreams.  Because like the Pearl City defenders who he ran over last week Friday, it just may leave a mark.

Click to watch the pep-rally video!

Click to watch the electric-slide video!

 

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Hoku Campbell gets ready to “leave his mark” on a Kalaheo defender.
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Hoku Campbell takes a handoff from Quarterback Tevesi Toia.

Time for Payback

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Tevesi Toia gets ready to throw a deep ball while Makana Nahooikaika blocks the Kalaheo pass rush.

by Gregory Kamisato – Special to The Waialuan

“If you lose a big fight, it will worry you all of your life. It will plague you – until you get your revenge.”   – Muhammad Ali

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Free Safety Daytin Vidad-Albeso

As Tevesi Toia kneeled in the victory formation to complete Waialua’s 14-12 victory over Pearl City, all thoughts in the crowd of 1000+ at Toshi Nakasone Field turned to the Division II semi-final opponent: Kaimuki. In a rematch of week one’s 22-20 overtime loss to the Bulldogs at Kaiser High School stadium, this is the revenge game the Waialua players, students, and community have been waiting for. Penalties called back two Lancen Kuni kick returns for touchdowns, and another one negated a Kuni interception for a TD on the final play of regulation that would have given Waialua a huge win over a Kaimuki team that many saw repeating as OIA DII regular season champions. “It’s kind of sickening,” said free safety Daytin Vidad-Albeso, “We had three touchdowns called back. In the end, we let the refs to decide the game.”

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Defensive Tackle Matthan Hatchie

The Waialua players are looking forward to playing Kaimuki again – but payback is not the only reason. Said defensive tackle Mathan Hachtie, “Playing Kaimuki again gives us a chance to show that we’re a different team from that first week of the season.”  Not only have the Bulldogs played better in their last six games (going  5-1 with their only loss to regular season champ Waipahu), they also had 10 players who couldn’t suit up because they were on academic probation. “This game we have all those players who didn’t play because of grades,” stated Hatchie, “and we’re all gonna work together to make sure we win.”

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Offensive Tackle Kapono Kamai

To win, the players feel the ground game will be key. Hoku Campbell rushed for 158 yards against Pearl City and Makana Naho’oikaika added 104 yards and a touchdown to chew up time and run down the Charger defense. “We need to work as one team and run the ball,” said offensive tackle Kapono Kamai, “that way we keep the clock running while we gain yards.”  The running game will open up the passing game and although Toia threw for only 61 yards, 12 of those were a touchdown to Kuni. Toia is the fifth leading passer in OIA DII with 1014 yards and 12 TDs to 15 interceptions.  On special teams, Kuni is the dangerous returner everyone is keying on – and now they are directing kickoffs and punts away from him.

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Receivers Coach Tony Nery

This game brings on a larger importance for the community. If Waialua wins, they will play for the OIA DII Championship, as well as qualify for the state football tournament for the first time.  “A win in this game will put us on the map,” said assistant receiver coach Anthony Nery, “even though they’ve lived on Oahu all their life, not too many people know where Waialua is. Many think we’re located on Kauai (near the Wailua River). It also will give exposure to the program and the kids.”  One thing is certain: the small community of Waialua/Haleiwa know about the team. Since the beginning of the season, the crowds have gotten bigger each game – even when they play away.  “Here at Waialua, we only have a high school student body of roughly 440 kids. We get who we get – and it’s rough,” said Nery, “but we show that we can compete against the bigger schools and the community knows that and has backed us up by showing their support at all the games.  They are SO proud of this team.”

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Cornerback and kick returner Lancen Kuni

There was a chilling calmness as the players talked about the rematch with Kaimuki while running their 100 yard sprints at the beginning of practice on Monday.  They were loose, but everyone understood the challenge on Friday under the lights of Kaiser Stadium and the importance the game to the community. Kuni is one of those players who is fueled by avenging a hard-fought loss so many weeks ago.  “It IS a revenge game,” he said, “we were robbed the first time and now we’re hungry to beat them to get to the tournament and win a state championship – that’s our ultimate goal as a team.”  This semi-final game is billed as the “Battle of the Bulldogs”, but if the attitude of the team is any indication, Kaimuki better watch out because revenge is a dish best served cold  – and Waialua is ready to deliver.

Lancen Kuni looks for a lane on a punt return against Kalaheo.
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Makana Nahooikaika scores a touchdown against Kalaheo.

New Season – Same Goal

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The Waialua girl’s soccer team huddles up before last year’s OIA Division II Championship game.

img_1078by Hoku Sabanal

It’s that time of year again.  Another season full of sweat, tears, wins, loses, smiles, and a whole lot of memories.  This year’s Waialua High & Intermediate School’s girls soccer team has entered Division I and they’re more than anxious to see what this season has in store for them.  

“Despite being in Division I, we are hoping to earn our way into playoffs and give the team hope for soccer to keep getting better throughout the years,” senior Jordyn Bjur answered when asked about what she hopes to accomplish through this season.  

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Senior fullback Jordyn Bjur

After their great season last year (Division II West Champions and playing for the Division II title), they realize it’s the begining of a new season and last year is in the past.

Jordyn explained,”Since last season, I’ve been nervous about what this season has in store for us, but I’m excited after hearing about the new and returnee players that will be coming out for the season.  It sounds like we have potential to have a strong team.”  The girls will be practicing hard and intend to play even harder during the games.  

There are some new faces entering this soccer team, such as the new head coach for the girl’s soccer team –  Conrad Ishii, along with their new conditioning coach Moana Bjur.  They are both excited to prepare their girls and see them train hard and see improvements this season.

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Senior midfielder Lorena Wilkenson

Senior Lorena Wilkinson informed us that, “The difficult thing this season would be having a completely new experience with being in a higher division. Being able to make slight adjustments, having a new mindset and confidence needed to play in Division I will definitely be something we all need to overcome together.”  Persistence, positive mindset, and hard work is what they need to show this season.  

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Senior midfileder Marcus Pao

On the boy’s side, the Bulldogs are back and ready to play.  It’s a new season and this year’s boy’s soccer team for Waialua High & Intermediate School are looking forward to being back on the field again.  Just like the girl’s soccer team, the boys are moving up into Division I.  

“Working on our teamwork is going to be one of the most important thing to accomplish this season and after that everything will become easier,” senior Marcus Pa’o answered.  They’re coming back with hopes to have an even better season this year.  

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Senior striker Ethan Grubbs

“In order to prepare, we’re going to begin training soon, and being able to emphasize our motto of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice into each day at practice!” senior Ethan Grubbs exclaimed. He’ll be coming back this season to help take the team to the playoffs and he’s “feeling good about the season because there are a lot of seniors on the team this year who are ready to put in the work to meet our goals of making playoffs.”  

There’s some difficulties that will occur this season such as the school re-doing their field which will make the soccer teams find another place to practice.  Also, they would have to travel to other different schools to play, so there won’t be any home games this season.  This will be a challenge, but they are going to be able to work around this problem and still continue to have a great season.  They’re ready to do some damage, and for the seniors on the team, they’re going to try their best to leave everything on the field.

Sophomore Zane Balmoja
Sophomore midfielder Zane Balmoja

 

There is going to be a JV boy’s soccer team this year and sophomore Zane Balmoja mentioned, “One thing we want to accomplish this year is to be OIA Division I JV Champions since they took a loss last season.  He wants the team to learn from their mistakes from last year, improve their skills and work as a team and not individuals.  Both of the boy’s soccer teams are willing to accomplish their goals for this season and make more memorable memories with their team.