First Boys Baseball OIS Title in 21 Years

Chanelle Camero

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     On April 11, the varsity baseball team won the OIA Division 1 Championships against Kailua with a score of 5-4, winning their first OIA title since 1997.

    “It feels amazing to have won because it was a result of all the hard work we put in throughout the whole season. Also, knowing we haven’t won an OIA title in 21 years makes it better because we did it for the alumni and community. It was especially special for all the seniors because for four years we’ve worked hard during the season and off-season for this one moment, and to see it actually happen was an unreal moment,” said Shortstop Senior Bryce Yonemori.

    Their practices focused on the team’s attitude. “Coming in as the third seed in the OIA West, we knew we would have a long, tough road to reach the championship game. We recognized that we couldn’t play tense, so we tried to have fun in practice and during games. This brought us closer together as a team and helped everyone to be more supportive of each other when times got rough,” said Yonemori.

    The team captains’ roles were helpful in contributing positive energy all around to the team. “I pump the team up before the game. I tell them stories and lead in our harmonization in the outfield before games,” said Catcher Team Captain Senior Korrey Siracusa. “As a captain I have to lead the team in the right direction and make sure everyone is on the same page. We set goals and we get help accountable for those goals.” Yonemori added, “My role as team captain is to be someone my team can look to for guidance, encourage my team to do their best, and lead the team.”

    During the semi-finals, they beat Campbell High School 6-5 after beating number one in the East Division. “In the OIA West, every game is a battle as anybody can beat anyone at any given time, but the main competing teams were Campbell and Pearl City,” said Yonemori.

    They were able to overcome adversities in the game. “JR Suehisa fielded a ground ball up the middle and then diving [got] the force out at second base,” said Coach Mark Hirayama. “Brycin Herrera diving to keep a ground ball the infield and getting the out at first base. Our pitchers did great job of throwing strikes.”

    The outlook changed in the first inning of the game. “Turning point of the championship game was when Noah [Domogsac] hit the grand slam because it’s hard to score runs in that type of a game and to jump out to a quick 4-0 lead was big for us,” said Siracusa. Yonemori added, “It really set the tone for the rest of the game and gave us confidence that we’d win in the end.”

    When they won the OIA title, they celebrated and dog piled in the pitchers mound. “The highlight was seeing all the hard work by my players pay off and be rewarded with the OIA title,” said Hirayama.

    The team stuck to their goals and standards for themselves throughout the season. “We said from the beginning of the season that if we can look ourselves in the mirror at the end of the year and say we did all we could and still came up short, then we would be okay with it. We did not want to go out there with regrets saying we should have done this or we should’ve done that,” said Siracusa.      

    Throughout the season, they learned the value of teamwork in order to succeed together. “Challenges for our team would be to compete as one unit. As a player you always want to play, but the needs of the team will be greater than the wants of the individual,” said Hirayama. Yonemori added, “We overcame these challenges by playing for the guy next to us. You can’t play baseball selfishly as it’s a team sport, so [we] all started playing together as one team.”

    The team will continue their dedication to the sport, working hard and collaborating together to strive towards their ultimate goal of winning states.

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First Boys Baseball OIS Title in 21 Years