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Jordan’s baseball journey was not an easy road. In fact, he was released from the Maryknoll team his sophomore year and cut during tryouts his junior year – excluded when the team went on to win back-to-back State Championships. He struggled to find his position, playing shortstop during middle school, third base his freshmen and sophomore years, and then finally making his début as a hard-throwing pitcher his senior year. His dedication and decent senior campaign allotted him a scholarship to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where he studied marine biology and continued to work hard. “I would run the hardest, lift the hardest and do as much extra work as I could to see myself succeed. On top of daily practice, I swam and did arm care in the form of rubber band workouts and rice buckets daily. I also ran extra on the weekends to condition myself and strengthen my legs,” describes Jordan. By his senior year at UH Hilo, he was throwing the ball over 90 miles per hour in the thick air, gaining respect from the big teams in the conference, and being scouted by the major leagues. “Having that experience with Maryknoll baseball is a big reason why I am a professional today. It made me work extremely hard to prove everybody wrong,” explains Jordan. “I throw with conviction, and I want everybody watching to know what I am about.” the Field Like the Maryknoll “lifer” Jordan, the story of the Maryknoll softball and baseball teams is filled with dedication, dreams, and also success, starting with the foundation of any team – their play area. Five years ago, we would find the softball and baseball players vying for throwing space in the cement basketball courts behind the high school. Every few days, the opportunity to actually practice at a neighborhood field would arise. Then in 2011, head softball coach John Uekawa along with the Hawaii Softball Foundation discovered six waterfront fields at Sand Island Recreation Area – but the once-beautiful fields were hardly identifiable. Glass, rocks, and tires littered the fields along with remnants from

makeshift dwellings. Much of the infrastructure was missing or in disarray, and the fields were far from playable. The hard work commenced. “With the help of a lot of parents, we were able to clean up a softball field,” says Coach Uekawa. “The field gets better and better every year to a point where now it is college level playability,” says Coach Uekawa. “To build a good basketball team, we needed a good gym. To build a good softball team, we needed to have a good field. That was the foundation of everything,” explains eleventh-year Head Coach Uekawa. The baseball team also wanted to find that foundation. Three years ago, baseball parent Ron Chinen ‘83 spearheaded the

accolades: four-time all-league, three-time all-state, and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. Throughout these last five years, the girls have made two Division I State Championship appearances and tied for first in the ILH, arguably the most competitive league in the state. The baseball boys’ dedication has also harvested a lot of success: three Division II State Championships in a row from 2013 to 2015 and two-time all-state pitcher Joshua Muneno ‘15, who went on to play college ball along with a number of his teammates. Continuous victories in Division II caused baseball to transition to Division I for the 2016 season. Incoming Head Coach Eric Kadooka has won seven consecutive Division I

“ the Field haS giVen the StudentS a Place to call their own. theY Practice there eVerY daY, and it haS giVen them a lot oF StaBilitY.” efforts to restore one of the Sand Island baseball fields. Mitsunuga & Associates Inc. quickly secured the permits, and the baseball parents mobilized to clean up another field. Chinen, owner at Advanced Fence Solutions, volunteered all the fencing for the field, and he also called on classmate Dirk Bonawitz ‘83, manager at Sports Turf Hawaii, who unhesitatingly supplied the sod for the field and did a lot of the caretaking. Athletic Director Ben Valle ‘84 says, “The field has given the students a place to call their own. They practice there every day, and it has given them a lot of stability.” the Dedication and the success Congruent with the establishment of respectable playing fields came the recognition of Maryknoll as having some of the most respectable softball and baseball teams at the state level. Consistent Division I success for the softball team started about five years ago with the development of the field, a strong team, and an excellent pitcher, Shearyna Labasan ‘15. Shearyna would go on to earn many

State Championships before coming to Maryknoll and says, “Playing in the best league in this state, the ILH Division I is where you want to be.” Senior catcher Chayson Dulatre ‘17 looks forward to finishing his Maryknoll baseball career in Division I and continuing to build upon the life lessons baseball has bestowed him: “Baseball has been an important part of my Maryknoll life by being able to represent our great school, teaching me teamwork skills, and most importantly teaching me to be a respectful and humble young man.” the Dreams “We want our student-athletes to go out there and compete at their highest level,” says Mr. Valle. “We expect no less.” As for our professional player, Jordan says, “My future goals are to continue to work as hard as I can to develop my game mentally and physically. It is a long road ahead, but baseball is what I love. I hope to pitch in the big leagues one day.”

Profile for Maryknoll School

Knoller Fall 2016  

Knoller Fall 2016