Shoji’s 1,000 Among Isle Milestones

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - October 21, 2009
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Dave Shoji

Some thoughts from the road as I visit PacWest schools and other Mainland locations this week:

* Congratulations to Dave Shoji for becoming just the second D-I women’s volleyball coach to reach the magical 1,000 career wins milestone. If you add the victories his volleyball playing offspring (Cobey, Kawika, Erik) have earned, that overall win total must number in the thousands. I wonder if they’re the winningest volleyball family in history?

* Should be nearly a full house for the upcoming Hawaii-Boise State football game Saturday. No matter what’s already happened during this often-frustrating up-and-down season for the Warriors, an upset victory over the powerful Broncos would make Hawaii fans’ season!

* For the first time, the UH men’s basketball team will face three PacWest teams. Games against UH-Hilo (Oct. 30) and BYU-Hawaii (Nov. 5) are exhibitions, while the contest against Chaminade (Dec. 9) is a regular-season match-up.

* In local high school football, any one of 10 teams - Kahuku, Farrington, Castle, Mililani, Waianae, Leilehua, Kapolei, Saint Louis, Kamehameha and defending champion Punahou - have a shot at the state title.

* While moving around some old boxes in my closet, I came across an old dog-eared sports memorabilia book called Golden Moments in Hawaii Sports. It was printed in 1973, but no authorship is credited anywhere in the tabloid. Some highlighted dates and excerpts you might find interesting:

1920: “Five great Hawaiian swimmers who trained in the rough surf off Waikiki Beach and the strong currents that swept Honolulu Harbor were shining stars for the U.S. Olympic Team at Antwerp, Belgium. The incomparable Duke Kahanamoku captured the 100-meter freestyle in 1:00.04 and Warren Kealoha broke his own world record for the 100-meter backstroke with a winning time of 1:15.2. Warren’s brother Pua Kealoha and Bill Harris was third for a Hawaii sweep of the 100-meter sprint. FK Kahele was fourth in both the 400-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle finals. Kahanamoku and Pua Kealoha also won relay gold medals.”

1930: “The first night football game in Hawaiian history attracted a festive turnout of 9,000 fans who saw ‘Black Grange’ Hiram Kaakua and Johnny Wise run and pass rings around Honolulu A.C. for a 28-0 University of Hawaii victory.”

1938: “McKinley High School scored a grand slam of the four major sports in the ILH - taking championships in football, basketball, baseball and track.”

1941: “Stanford’s immortal Hank Luisetti, the man who revolutionized basketball with his one-hand shot from all angles of the court, led Coca-Cola of Hawaii over unbeaten University of Oregon, 50-44, before an overflow crowd of 7,000 at the Civic Auditorium.” (This was two seasons after the Ducks won the NCCA title.)

1944: “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, the famous New York Yankee Clipper, made a sellout throng of 26,000 fans happy by slamming a home run over Honolulu Stadium’s left-field stands in the eighth inning for the 7th Air Force team, but the Flyers lost to Navy, 6-2.”

1948: “Twenty-two thousand fans saw one of the most exciting finishes in ILH football history when Farrington nipped Punahou, 22-18, in the last few seconds at Honolulu Stadium. The Govs, with Ken Kahoonei at quarterback, trailed with the ball on the Punahou 24 and time running out on fourth down. Kahoonei threw toward Olinor Salles in the end zone, but (Punahou’s) Dave Eldredge leaped high into the air and deflected the ball - right into the hands of Farrington end Clarence Camara, who made a diving catch for the touchdown that won a thriller.”

1970: “A jam-packed crowd at Honolulu International Center went wild as the University of Hawaii, coached by Red Rocha, whipped BYU, 94-90, in the finals of the sixth annual Rainbow Holiday Basketball Classic. In key roles for the Green and White of UH were Jerome Freeman, John Penebacker, Al Davis, Bob Nash and Dwight Holiday.”

1971: “The $27-plus million football-baseball 50,000-seat stadium complex at Halawa moved off the drawing board with ground-breaking ceremonies at the 100-acre site near Pearl Harbor and the H-1 Freeway.”

If anyone knows who wrote the book, let me know. I’d love to give credit. See you back soon in Hawaii!

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