Bouncing Back: MHS Ping Pong Club Returns


Photo by Tonie Herrera

Servers switch off after serving two points in a row.

Henry Hawes, Reporter

MHS hasn’t had a ping pong club for nearly five years, but a small group of students are bringing table tennis back to the high school. Although the founders never actually expected the club to be anything more than an idea, they’ve gained a large following of students and are already making plans for a school-wide tournament.

    “It started off as a joke late at night, but we turned it into a thing,” said club president Senior Jordan Choo. “Total signings from club fair was around 130.”

    Even though Choo and his friends, Seniors Aaron Catalan and Kotaro Mason, didn’t originally regard the club as a serious endeavor, after overwhelmingly positive feedback from other students they decided to pursue the idea and founded the club. During the process of creating the club, they discovered that ping pong already had a history at Mililani. “There was actually an old ping pong club, apparently, before ours,” said Choo. “If we’re actually gonna do this, we have to live up to that expectation.”

    Enthusiasm for the club wasn’t only shared by students, the administration welcomed the return of ping pong to campus with open arms. Tournament planner Aaron Catalan, or in his words, “Tournament Guy,” felt that he and the other founders didn’t encounter any issues when it came to creating the club. “Mr. Murphy was really ecstatic about it too, like he immediately signed the paper before reading anything, it was great,” said Catalan.

    Choo and his friends went to health and P.E. teacher Micah Turell and asked if he would advise the club, and he quickly agreed. Turell was excited to provide a stress relieving outlet, and a place where students could come to meet new people and discover new opportunities. “Honestly I think my favorite thing is just seeing the excitement and the smiles on their faces,” said Turell.

    The old club didn’t leave behind much, only an old table and a few paddles, which were hardly enough to fit today’s demand, but Choo and Catalan are hoping to change that. The founders of the club made plans to purchase new equipment, and maybe even expand to another room. “With the club fees, we’re gonna buy a new table, and more ping pong balls and paddles,” said Catalan.

    Turell hopes to provide an opportunity for the club founders to develop important life skills. He keeps the team on track by providing challenges and setting goals. “I want them to grow on their leadership as well and then see their thoughts and their creativity come out,” said Turell.

    Although tournament schedules have yet to be solidified, Choo envisions a friendly competition open to any MHS member. This means that students won’t actually have to join the club if they wish to participate in the tournament. “We’re hoping to have them every month, and anybody can join, even faculty. We’re gonna try and get Mr. Murphy,” said Choo.

    The club meets in P-1 every Wednesday and Friday for an hour after school and has ambitions to hold open tournaments within the upcoming months.