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Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Baseball, softball field renovations completed

First game on the new turf scheduled for Dec. 27
Jadin Washington
School logos have been added to the home plate area of the baseball diamond and in the outfield of the softball field. This photo was taken October 20.

After months of construction work, the school’s baseball and softball field is ready for action. Assuming the weather cooperates, its first game will see the Moanalua High JV baseball team facing Kailua on December 27 at 3:00 p.m.

The new upgrades, which cost just more than $2 million, include new turf, a softball dugout with storage, two visitor dugouts and a softball bullpen. Work began soon after the Performing Arts Center opened in March of 2021.

“The project was finished on time, so rather than wait until February, we wanted to use it now,” Moanalua High School Athletic Director Joel Kawachi said. 

The JV team has so far played all of its games at other fields. They will play the remainder of their season at home, he said. 

Former varsity baseball coach Scott Yamada said the turf will make it safer for the athletes.

“Turf is a lot more forgiving on the body,” he said. “The kids hit the ground hard [during practice and games], so this is better for them.”

Kawachi said this project is just part one of two he wants to see for the lower fields.

“We’ve always worked on improvements for the baseball and softball fields,” Kawachi said. “Before the current project, we did a Title IX project for the softball field, where we added batting cages, dugouts and seating, which was 10 years ago.” 

Title IX is part of the 1972 Education Amendments law that prohibits agencies that receive federal funds to discriminate based on gender. Often called gender equity laws, Title IX has been used to expand girls’ access to educational, athletic, and work opportunities.

The current project that the athletic department is doing for the baseball and softball field began in earnest once the Performing Arts opened to the public in March 2021. The project as a whole, however, was being planned before that. 

“There’s [only] so much [state] money available to do projects at schools, so what we do is we prioritize [the project] and secure our finances,” he said.  This requires the school to request money from the state legislature each year and hope some of it comes the school’s way.

“We have plans for our facilities, because we have to keep upgrading, not only for the new [projects], but we have to keep upgrading our existing facilities.”

Kawachi said the softball project is part of a larger Title IX project that has been in the planning stages for the past 10 years. With phase I completed, Kawachi can now look ahead at phase II, which will include batting cages for both genders and other improvements. 

“The baseball and softball field is a carry over of the Title IX project that’s been going on for years,” Kawachi said. “ There’s [only] so much money that you can acquire from the legislature,” he said, but noted that they continue to work on obtaining funds to improve the football and soccer field.  

“The football and soccer field is still a priority and has always been a priority for us,” he said.

While the turf is a welcome addition to the athletic facilities at Moanalua, Yamada remained a bit wistful.

“When we had [natural] grass, the kids and I would come to school early to cut the grass and paint the lines,” he said. “We had a good time working together to make the field nice as well as learn how to measure accurately. The students picked up some good life skills in the process.”

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Jadin Washington
Junior Jadin Washington is a first year staff writer who enjoys performing arts such as dancing and being in the schools marching band. He later hopes to become a professional choreographer and continue to perform in front of others.

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