Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Canoe Paddling Icon inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

John Kekua, Jr.

John Clifford Kekua, Jr. inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

John Kekua, Jr. passed away on September 1, 2010 at the age of 62.

Kekua was an icon and great role model in the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Paddling Community for more than 30 years. 

According to his daughter, Joy Kekua, canoe paddling has been passed down from generation to generation with the Kekua family.

Kekua was always athletic, being a member of the Hilo High football team he also threw shot put for the Vikings.

But Kekua made his mark in the world of canoe paddling as he worked to reorganize the Kamehameha Canoe Club in 1975.  Totally dedicated to canoe paddling Kekua worked tirelessly to preserve and perpetuate the sport until his passing.

Over the past 30 years Kekua has held numerous positions such as president of the Kamehameha Canoe Club, head coach of the same club, president of Moku O Hawaii Racing Association, president of Hawaiian Canoe Racing……….the list goes on and on.

For his numerous contributions to Hawai’i Island’s canoe paddling community and for his unselfish years of service the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame has inducted him, along with six others.

The BISHF will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame at the Prince Kuhio Mall on August 21 at 10 am.

“We will introduce the seven and display their photos to the wall,” Chairman Derek Shigematsu said.  “We are hoping past inductees and the general public will come out to support the newly inducted honorees.”

Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.

For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.  Seating is limited.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.

The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.


July 29, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HHSAA Boys Volleyball – KS Hawai’i beats Baldwin in day 2

Volleyball Box Score    KS Hawai’i 3 – Baldwin 1

 KS-Hawaii vs #4 Baldwin (May 12, 2011 at Keaau High School)    KS-Hawaii   |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN ## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE ———————7  Enriques,Evan…….  4| 20   4  37  .432|  1|  1   1|  0|  5| 0  0  0|  0 8  Aina,Daniel Jr……  4|  9   4  20  .250| 24|  4   3|  1|  9| 0  0  0|  1 10 Haasenritter,Kawika.  3|  8   4  18  .222|  0|  0   1|  0|  0| 0  0  2|  0 16 Kaaa,Kaehu……….  4| 11   5  25  .240| 24|  2   0|  0| 11| 1  0  0|  2 17 Grant-Johnson,DJ….  4|  0   0   1  .000|  1|  1   1|  0|  2| 0  0  0|  0 32 Woolsey,Kaipo…….  4|  6   3  14  .214|  0|  1   0|  0|  3| 1  1  0|  1 4  Kanakaole,Shannon…  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0 5  Uyetake,Logan…….  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  1|  0| 0  0  0|  0 9  Thomas,Ryan………  4|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  1   0|  0| 13| 0  0  0|  0 12 Meyers,Brandon……  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  1   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0 20 Hulse,Cooper……..  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  1 21 O’Connor,James……  1|  0   1   3 -.333|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  1 23 Gabriel-Pana,Kaleo..  2|  1   0   1 1.000|  2|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0 24 Trusdell,Israel…..  3|  1   1   6  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0 26 Kubera,Koa……….  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0 28 Anastacio,Quenten…  1|  0   1   2 -.500|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0 33 Alapai,Kaeo………  2|  0   1   3 -.333|  1|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  1  1|  0 —————————————————————————–    Totals…………..  4| 56  24 130  .246| 54| 11   6|  2| 45| 2  2  3|  6 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 3.0 Game  K  E  TA   Pct    1  15  2  25  .520   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  4  TEAM RECORDS    2  12  8  31  .129   KS-Hawaii……….. (3) 25 19 25 25  14-4, 2-0 HHSAA    3  13  4  29  .310   Baldwin…………. (1) 15 25 13 23  13-3, 0-1 HHSAA    4  16 10  45  .133    Baldwin                |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN ## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE —————————————————————————– 2  Carvalho,Mark…….  4|  5   2  11  .273|  0|  0   0|  2| 13| 1  2  2|  0 3  Pang,Timothy……..  4| 11   5  31  .194|  1|  1   1|  1|  6| 0  0  0|  0 5  Pacheco,Kealii……  4| 10   5  35  .143|  2|  0   0|  1|  5| 0  0  0|  0 6  Kuhaulua-Feiteira,J.  4|  4   1   9  .333| 15|  0   2|  0|  8| 0  2  0|  1 10 Sarmiento,Kona……  4|  3   1  14  .143| 12|  1   3|  2|  7| 1  1  0|  0 16 Tasin,Pasoni……..  4|  4   2   9  .222|  1|  0   1|  0|  1| 0  1  1|  0 1  Patao-Torres,Mathew.  3|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  1|  2| 0  0  0|  0 12 Kaiama,Kyson-Lee….  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  3|  2| 0  0  0|  0    Team…………….   |                 |   |       |  1|   |        | —————————————————————————–    Totals…………..  4| 37  16 109  .193| 32|  2   7| 11| 44| 2  6  3|  1

May 12, 2011 Posted by | volleyball | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waiakea Athletic Awards Presented for 2009-2010

Waiakea's Kamie Imai is named female athlete of the year

* Boys air riflery: Aaron Sewake             * Girls air riflery: Carissa Pajo.

* Girls volleyball: Chelsey Buyuan.             * Boys volleyball: Clayton Morante, Jr.

* Boys bowling: Dean Hosaka, Kelson Kaua.  * Girls bowling: Christinay Watkins, Kaleen Yoneda

* Boys cross country: Kaimi Scott.   * Girls cross country: Kelsie Kobayashi.

* Cheerleading: Cheyla Kaeo.

* Football: Kristoffer Daquep (defense); Dyan Bolos (offense).

* Boy soccer: Kalan Murata.    * Girls soccer: Christa Lum.

* Boys canoe paddling: Aaron Pakani.  * Girls canoe paddling: Brandi Winchester.

* Boys swimming: Frank Chi.   * Girls swimming: Rachel Shimizu.

* Boys wrestling: Tyler Yonemori.  * Girls wrestling: Tracy Poch.

* Boys basketball: Matthew Libao.  * Girls basketball: Kamie Imai.

* Boys golf: Dalen Yamauchi.   * Girls golf: Nani Yanagi.

* Boys tennis: Kallen Mizuguchi, Kaito Mizutani.   * Girls tennis: Ceara Sumida.

* Water polo: Nicole Paulachak.    * Judo: Tyler Yonemori.

* Baseball: Matthew Loeffler.   * Softball: Sloane Thomas/Tiffany Anzai.

* Boys track and field: Kaimi Scott.   * Girls track and field: Teisha Nacis.

* Carling Nabarro Service Award: Dr. Peter Matsuura.

* Coach of the Year: Lodi Switzer, Wayne Joseph, Ecko Osorio.

* Most Inspirational: Cheyla Kaeo (female), Clayton Morante (Male).

* Female Athlete of the Year: Kamie Imai.  * Male Athlete of the Year: Tyler Yonemori.

* Francis Yap Award: Chelsey Buyuan (female), Aaron Sewake (male).

BIIF titles

During the 2009-10 school year, the Warriors claimed championships in the following sports: Boys and girls air riflery, girls volleyball, cheerleading, boys swimming, boys and girls golf, softball and girls tennis.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Cop Stays Healthy through Surfing

Police Capt and Surfer, James O'Conner

Police Capt and Surfer, James O'Conner

Sgt. Rollin Rabarra, Lt. Sam Kawamoto and Sgt. Walter Ah Mow of Kona PD

Sgt. Rollin Rabarra, Lt. Sam Kawamoto and Sgt. Walter Ah Mow of Kona PD

     Labor Day weekend is rapidly approaching and with it comes, for most of us, three days of family fun which includes camping and picnics.

    If you’re headed out to do some grocery shopping at any of the islands Safeway Stores be sure to look to the roof tops as you’ll see some of the Big Island’s finest soliciting donations for Special Olympics.

    The “Cop On Top” event will be taking place and one of those cops will be Captain James O’Connor.  “All the participating Hawaii County Police officers in Hilo and Kona have a great time and one important aspect is that we get to interact with the community in a fun and positive way,” he said.

   O’Connor is one heck of an athlete himself, growing up in Lake Worth, Florida, O’Connor was indoctrinated into baseball at an early age by his father.

   “My dad was a fireman and he started playing catch and doing batting practice with me since I was in kindergarten,” O’Connor said.

   “With my dad it was all about baseball.  He was an assistant coach on most, if not all, the teams I played on.”

   O’Connor went on to play baseball and, because of his size, basketball in high school that eventually led to him receiving a basketball scholarship to play for Eckerd College in St. Petersberg, Florida.

   After one year at Eckerd, O’Connor decided to move to Hilo and become a walk on for Bob Wilson and the Vulcans.

  “I came to Hilo in 1987 after playing a year at Eckerd College.  I was surfing since the age of 14 and thought it would be great to go to college in Hawaii and surf too.  I saw a picture of Hapuna Beach on the UH-Hilo brochure and it looked good to me.  I found out later that Hapuna is over 60 miles away,” O’Connor said.

    O’Connor had planned to attend either UH Manoa or a California school after graduating from Hilo with an economics degree.   “My goal was to become an Economics Professor, but while attending Hilo I met and later married my wife (1993). She pretty much refused to leave the Big Island.  So I joined the police department and never looked back,” he said.

   Today O’Connor continues to stay in great physical shape by doing a variety of activities which include running, weight lifting, basketball, stand up paddle boarding, cycling, canoe paddling and surfing.

    O’Connor will leave his home every morning at 4:45 to stretch with Sodie Kabalis.  After that, on mostly Mondays and Thursdays, he will go for a two and a half mile run with retired assistant Police Chief Elroy Osorio, Jr.  Other days he will go for a run with Kabalis or surf, depending on how the waves are.

   “I meet up with Sodie four or five times a week to get in a good stretch and if Honoli’i or Bay Front is breaking, I’ll surf before I head off to work.  On the weekends, I’ll do a five mile run with Sodie, if he is available.”

   Besides surfing with Kabalis, O’Connor will meet up at sunrise with other surfers, Sonny Hong, Adam Kay, Lester Bondallian and Jerry Bell.  “Other current and retired policemen like Mitch Kanehailua, Charlie Chai, and Ben Bolos are regulars.  And, of course, we’re sometimes joined by the Mayor himself, Billy Kenoi.”

      Over his 16 year career with the County Police Department, O’Connor has worked in Waimea, Hilo, Honokaa, Kona and Ka’u.  He has worked his way up the ranks from a patrol officer and sergeant, a detective in Internal Affairs, a lieutenant in Hilo patrol and the department’s Record and ID section, was the tactical commander of the Special Response Team, captain of the Ka’u District and currently is head of the Criminal Intelligence and Internal Affairs units.

   A few years ago O’Connor was selected to represent the department at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia for a rigorous three month academic and physical training.

Cop on Top at all Safeway Stores Labor Day Weekend
Cop on Top at all Safeway Stores Labor Day Weekend

O’Connor also returned to school to complete a degree in Administration of Justice at UHH and serves as a leading role model for the department and the community at large.

  Even with his busy life O’Connor finds the time for his wife and children.  “Jim is a very supportive dad to both of our kids and keeps them on track with their paddling, volleyball, school activities as well as yard work at home,” said wife, Desiree Cruz O’Connor.

  “He is a big, strong, smart guy who is incredibly patient, fun and loving with his children and me,” she said.

   O’Connor’s father died when he was just ten years old, but remains as his biggest hero and inspiration.  “Part of my husband’s drive to be fit and strong comes from his great loss,” Desiree said.

   So, this weekend, if you’re in the neighborhood of a Safeway, be sure to look to the roof and say thank you to the men and women in blue that serve and protect our county.  And if you have a few dollars to spare remember to give to a great cause, Hawaii’s Special Olympics.

   “The Cop on Top event is in its sixth year and we all look forward to participating.  Over the years I really cherish the time I get to spend with the athletes, their families and various community groups that assist in collecting the donations on the ground level.  And of course to spend some time out of the water with fellow surfer Lebert Pascua and his son Jason, who just so happens to be featured on the Special Olympics poster this year,” O’Connor said.

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Garnett finds time to Exercise

Robert Garnett, Jr. staying healthy

Robert Garnett, Jr. staying healthy

    Not being able to fit exercise into the day is the number one excuse used by those that claim “they just don’t have the time.”

    Yet, people that really care about their health somehow find the time to go for a walk, jog, swim or cycle, even if it means working out at 4 in the morning or 8 in the evening.

   For Robert Garnett, Jr. it’s all about making time fit into his busy work and family schedule.  Garnett, a single parent of five and works at two jobs, exercising to maintain his weight has become a top priority. 

   Garnett first got interested in sports at a young age, and then went on to play football, baseball and track & field in high school to become a “tri-athlete” of sorts.

    Growing up in Norco, Southern California Garnett and his family moved to the Big Island eleven years ago where he now resides in Leilani Estates, Pahoa.

    “My families health issues brought us here,” he said.  “The air quality in Southern California was too dirty and caused my son and wife to get constant sinus infections.  We decided that Hawaii was the best place for my wife and my son to live because the air is clean.”

    Garnett’s wife also suffers from multiple sclerosis and after traveling around the U.S. decided that Hawaii made her feel the best physically.  

    Garnett is employed by Hawaii Community College and is an instructor at Waiakea High School where he teaches drafting, blueprint reading, and building construction one and two.

   “I work for the Construction Academy at Waiakea and I also work at the Home Depot, part time,” he said.  “I really enjoy my job because I can give back to the students by sharing my experiences with them.”

    “Exercise is important to me because it helps me stay balanced, focused on my goals, and it is relaxing,” he said.

    Twelve months ago Garnett, who stands 5’ 6.5” tipped the scales at 200 pounds and realized it was time to do something about it.

    “My average weight for the last 20 years had always been around 160 to 185,” he said.  “I have always done physical activity, but as I got older the weight started to pile on.”

    Part of Garnett’s motivation to lose weight came from his desire to participate in the Senior Olympics.   “I was eating too much high fat foods, like junk food and fast food,” he said.  “Over a period of time this just built up and I gained weight.”   

    After losing the weight Garnett went to Oahu this past November to compete in 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints, along with the shot put, long jump and pole vault events as part of the Senior Olympics.  “I qualified for the nationals in California in August, but I won’t be able to go due to my family situation,” he said.

  Garnett’s action to lose and maintain his current weight was to cut portion sizes and improve on the foods that he consumed.  “I now eat a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal everyday with one banana for breakfast.  For lunch I bring a sandwich from home and for dinner I either eat out or make dinner for the kids that always have lots of fruits and vegetables with the meals,” he said.

    Of course Garnett also compliments his well balanced diet with regular exercise.  Each day, during lunch hour, Garnett can be found walking laps around the Waiakea track.  “Before school I walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then walk again during my lunch period,” he said.

   “I also swim five days a week at Kawamoto swimming pool for 30 minutes each day, and I do a lot of stretching and isometrics with 15 pound barbells,” he said.

   As a result of Garnett’s exercise and improved diet he has lost 55 pounds in a six month period and is down to his high school weight of 145 pounds.

   Garnett doesn’t drink or smoke and at age 57 is well on his way to a healthier, more productive body that will continue to reap benefits as he ages.

   “As I get older I realize that it’s more and more important to keep my body in good condition,” he said.

    Garnett’s goals are to maintain his body weight, increase his flexibility, and to improve on his diet.  “I want to lead by example for my family,” he said.  “I also want to help people to lose weight and thus, feel better.”

   “It’s no big secret in losing weight,” Garnett said.  “Just limit your intake of food and use high quality foods and exercise daily, you’ll see the weight melt away and you’ll find that you will have more energy and feel so much better.”

    “If people are interested they can email me at rgarnett@hawaii.edu,” he said.  “I know how hard it is for people to get started and I’d be willing to help them take their first step.”

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Profiles | , , | Leave a comment