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Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Girls water polo season underway

Na Hoku Staff
Lila Butcher looks downfield to pass the ball to a teammate. Moanalua lost to Kapolei 13-4.

Imagine playing soccer with just one leg or basketball with one arm. Now try to imagine doing that in the deep end of a pool. Water polo is not for the faint of heart or weak of lung.

After a few rough years after the Covid shutdown in 2020, the Moanalua High School water polo team is getting back in the pool and is trying to regain the momentum they had previously, which saw an appearance in the state tournament.

“We missed the first year back to sports after Covid restrictions and lack of interest,” Head Coach Mark Mikami said.

Mikami was able to pull a small team together last year, but the starters were mostly seniors, who he lost to graduation. Still, the returnees and new players are laying the foundation for the future.

Sophomore and current team scoring leader Ellie Dallas was on the team last year and felt this year would see improvement.

“About half the team returned,” she said. “but half the team is new, so we are building the fundamentals.”

“The team is still young with only first and second year players,” Mikami reiterated. “There is a huge gap in experience compared to other schools in the league. I feel that in a couple of years we should be competitive again.”

Though the season is only three games in, Moanalua (0-3) has already come face-to-face with some tough squads.

“Our first three games were against tough schools,” Dallas said. “But the next games will be more evenly matched, and we should be able to do better.”

Dallas said it is expensive to join outside clubs for swim and water polo, which puts some of the girls on the team at a disadvantage.

Moanalua is fortunate to even have a team this year. Interest and access across the island are down, with several schools combining players in order to create one team called OIA West Combined.
In addition to inexperience, Mikami said facility access is also an issue, making practicing difficult. The team can only practice at the Salt Lake District Park pool twice a week. In the past, the team also practiced at Aiea Recreation Center, but that facility remains closed for repair.
“We have also been having difficulties securing pool time due to lack of lifeguards at the city and county facilities,” Mikami said. “It’s has been challenging with only two practices a week, but we are making it work.”
“I am just glad that we are able to field a team this year.” Mikani said. . Hopefully the girls will create great memories from their time with the water polo team.


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