Oregon QB Dillon Gabriel gives back to community with ‘I’m Inspired’ event

Oregon QB Dillon Gabriel gives back to community with ‘I’m Inspired’ event

Oregon QB Dillon Gabriel gives back to community with ‘I’m Inspired’ event

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MAY 4, 2024

MILILANI — Giving back to his community has always been on Dillon Gabriel’s heart.

The Oregon quarterback and former Mililani Trojan was back home Friday night as he helped present new home and away uniforms for his alma mater’s football team in his “I’m Inspired” event, which was free for the public.

Gabriel, who also played at University of Central Florida and Oklahoma before his transfer to the Ducks, has been donating to Mililani’s athletic teams for the past couple of years now using earnings earned profiting off his own name, image and likeness (NIL).

“I just wanted to inspire others and push the culture and challenge others to keep providing the best resources for our young athletes,” said Gabriel.

“They deserve it, they work hard, just excited for them. Nothing beats a smile on their face and the confidence they’ll have when they go play.”

Brands like Nike, Guardian Caps, Raising Cane’s, Riddell, EvoShield, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union and Hawaii Pacific Health, among others, have contributed to the event.

In addition to the football uniforms being branded by Nike, VICIS also played a role as a primary sponsor with its donations of ZERO2 helmets to outfit the team. VICIS sister brand Schutt also contributed new XV series shoulder pads.

“It’s great, a lot of work got put into it,” Gabriel said of the new football uniforms, which are back in Mililani’s traditional Brown and Gold colors.

“A lot of people touched this project. I can’t take everyone enough for just the accessories, the helmets, the shoulder pads, the uniform, all of it coming together to show you the product that they came out in. I’m super grateful.”

Among those in attendance was one of Gabriel’s former high school teammate Darius Muasau, who was recently drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round after a collegiate career at UCLA and Hawai’i.

“It’s a great feeling being in Mililani right now, having this whole function thrown by Dillon, grateful for that guy,” said Muasau. 

“This is what it’s all about right here, giving back to the community, being with the future generation right here. It’s nice to give back and seeing everybody happy and all the smiles across everybody’s face.”

The event was emceed by Hawaii News Now’s Steve Uyehara and had a concert by Nesian N.I.N.E after the uniforms were unveiled. There were also games, food and activities in the free event for the public.

Moanalua still reigns in OIA boys volleyball after five-set win over Mililani

Moanalua still reigns in OIA boys volleyball after five-set win over Mililani

Moanalua still reigns in OIA boys volleyball after five-set win over Mililani

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MAY 2, 2024

Moanalua is still king in OIA boys volleyball.

Na Menehune held off a late comeback by Mililani in five sets to win their fifth straight league crown Wednesday night at Radford’s Jim Alegre Gymnasium.

Set scores were 25-19, 25-15, 27-29, 23-25 and 15-10.

A year after winning title No. 11 in school history with a trio of Hawai’i-bound signees, Moanalua (14-0) did it with mainly new faces.

“There were big expectations for the seniors that are coming in because of the star-studded senior group that we had last year and so they came into their own and they earned this as a team and they figured it out as a team in the end,” said Moanalua coach Alan Cabanting, who has led Na Menehune to 10 of their 12 total league titles.

Ezekiel Sablan was one of those new faces as he put down 20 kills and was one of three players to record double-digit kills for the victors.

“It feels great to be a part of this team and to help them with another OIA winning streak and it feels great just to be here right now,” Sablan said.

Jaycen Bush was also key with 14 kills and eight digs and D’Angelo Ross had 13 kills and hit .440 for the match.

On the other side of the net Tyler Duranceau had a double-double of 20 kills and 14 digs and Aris Mateo had 18 kills to lead the Trojans (12-1) in the loss.

Mililani was seeking its first league crown since 2017.

Waialua makes history; wins first-ever OIA boys volleyball championship

Waialua makes history; wins first-ever OIA boys volleyball championship

Waialua makes history; wins first-ever OIA boys volleyball championship

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MAY 2, 2024

History was made Wednesday night.

Waialua captured the program’s first-ever OIA boys volleyball championship in reverse sweep-fashion over Kailua in the league’s Division II title match at Radford’s Jim Alegre Gymnasium.

Set scores were 21-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 15-10.

It was a total team effort for the Bulldogs, who won their sixth straight contest to finish OIA play with a 9-3 record.

Jaris Ablao had a double-double of 13 kills and 10 digs, Keoni Nahoopii put down 12 kills, Shane Kelly had 11 kills and Dayton Quick registered nine kills and seven blocks. Setter Cyres Lacar was also solid with 39 assists, 17 digs and five kills.

“I wanted that banner,” said Quick. “Individual success is awesome, but this is a team sport and I came here for that banner be hung up in my gym with my teammates and our year on it.”

Waialua adjusted its lineup after the second set and made adjustments that saw the Bulldogs take a commanding 19-11 lead in the third set and start the fourth set on a 9-0 run. The Bulldogs also hit .147 and .125 in the first two sets but hit .321 in the third set.

“When you have a big lead like that, you have to keep it up,” said Quick. “Volleyball is a game of momentum and my coaches say ‘first team to grab onto the momentum and hold on, almost always comes out on top.’”

The Bulldogs won two of their three matches that went to five sets this season while the Surfriders (7-6) are 0-3.

Kaleb Cui had a match-high 22 kills in the loss to lead Kailua, who was seeking its first OIA title since 2014.

Mililani softball hammers Kapolei, 13-2, to claim 12th OIA championship

Mililani softball hammers Kapolei, 13-2, to claim 12th OIA championship

Mililani softball hammers Kapolei, 13-2, to claim 12th OIA championship

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 28, 2024

HONOLULU — Trojan town is title town once again.

Mililani captured its first OIA softball title since 2017 with a 13-2 drubbing of Kapolei in the league’s Division I championship game at McKinley’s Tiger Softball Stadium Saturday night.

It was the Trojans’ 12th championship in school history as they scored 13 unanswered runs that was fueled by Makayla Pagampao’s three home runs.

Pagampao, who was selected as the ‘Yeah U Player of the Game,’ drove in six total runs in the win as the Trojans (14-1) won their 10th straight game since their lone loss to Campbell on March 16.

“I’m so happy for her,” pitcher Hinano Bautista said of Pagampao. “I’m just happy I got to have this opportunity, but just for her, hitting all of these home runs, that’s what made us pumped up to score those extra runs we got.”

The Hurricanes (9-7) took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of solo homers in the top of the first, but Pagampao’s three-run bomb in the bottom of the third gave Mililani the lead for good.

Pagampao’s second and third homers of the night were part of an eight-run bottom of the fifth inning. Her final long ball of the night ended the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

“I’m pretty confident in my hitting and I know I work hard at it and go to all the lessons I can and just practice as much as I can, so I just saw the ball really well tonight — extra well,” said Pagampao, who will play for Hawai’i Pacific University next year.

Kaui Garcia and Sunni Kahanu also hit a home run for the Trojans in a game where there were seven total long balls.

But it was Mililani’s defense that kept the Trojans in the game after giving up two homers in the top of the first.

“After those two home runs we started playing defense,” said Mililani coach Rose Antonio. “Throughout the game we made the plays and the first couple innings we left runners on base and we didn’t press. We just had to be patient and disciplined and look for our pitch to hit and then manufacture runs and they saw the ball good tonight, a bunch of them.”

It was the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with the trojans outscoring the Hurricanes 46 to 4.

Kapolei was seeking its second league title in three years and fifth overall.

‘Aiea tops Radford, 7-1, to win third OIA Division II softball title 

‘Aiea tops Radford, 7-1, to win third OIA Division II softball title 

‘Aiea tops Radford, 7-1, to win third OIA Division II softball title 

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 28, 2024

HONOLULU — Another crown come homes to ‘Aiea.

Na Ali’i jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they pulled away from Radford, 7-1, to win the OIA Division II softball championship Saturday night at McKinley’s Tiger Softball Stadium.

It was ‘Aiea’s third league title in school history and its first since 2017 as Na Ali’i (15-1) ended league play with a 13-game winning streak.

“It’s amazing, it’s truly an honor to be a part of this team,” said pitcher Taja Souza, who was named the ‘Yeah U Player of the Game.’

Souza went the full seven innings in the win and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out three. She improved to 10-0 in the circle and also batted 2-for-3 for a solid all-around performance.

“Her pitches were crisp, she was hitting her spots, making the pitches we called. It was awesome,” said ‘Aiea coach Alan Higuchi.

I think the last couple games she picked up the pace. It was something that was consistent throughout the year. Her last two or three starts, she started showing signs of that.”

Sisters CJ Peneueta and Nylove Peneueta led the way at the plate with five total hits and five RBIs.

‘Aiea’s lone loss of the season came against the Rams (13-3) on March 5.

“The first time we challenged them, it was a mental battle and I feel like we let them get to us,” said CJ Peneueta.

“Now we had more practice and more chemistry as a team and I feel this time around, we had more confidence and more trust in our teammates and ourselves.”

Radford was seeking its first-ever OIA title in school history.

Kailua Surfriders claim 15th OIA baseball title with 8-1 win over ‘Aiea Na Ali’i

Kailua Surfriders claim 15th OIA baseball title with 8-1 win over ‘Aiea Na Ali’i

Kailua Surfriders claim 15th OIA baseball title with 8-1 win over ‘Aiea Na Ali’i

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED APRIL 27, 2024

HONOLULU — Kailua is back on top.

The Surfriders capitalized on ‘Aiea’s miscues to win the OIA Division I baseball championship, 8-1, at Les Murakami Stadium Friday night.

It was the 15th overall title in program history, the ninth under longtime coach Corey Ishigo.

“It’s the toughest one, the ninth one, for us,” said Ishigo.

Ishigo was emotional after the game and was swarmed by his players on multiple occasions.

“That’s my family,” he said. “I treat them like family and they’re all my kids.

“This team, we have great people on this team. I think it’s different than others, where they all have good grades — this is the first year nobody is on academic probation — and they’re great people too, off the field.”

Na Ali’i jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first after a run scored on an error, but it was all Kailua (13-2) from that point forward.

After the Surfriders tied it in the bottom of the second, they used a five-run rally in the third inning to take full control of the game. An interference call extended the inning for Kailua before Masao Minami hit a double to make it a 3-1 game. An ‘Aiea error and balk also led to runs for Kailua in the inning.

Jayden Hunt earned the win in relief of Kaalekahi Kuhaulua and was named the ‘Yeah U Player of the Game.’

“It feels amazing,” said Hunt, who improved to 6-0 on the year with an ERA of 0.77.

“This team is good. We got defense, you know, we work on everything. We work hard, practice doesn’t make perfect, but hey, it works.”

Kaimana Burgo and Minami each had two hits as the Surfriders tallied nine in the contest.

‘Aiea (12-3) was limited to just three hits in the loss.