High school sports: Kamehameha seniors secure futures

Kamehameha held a national letter-of-intent signing day on Friday for Kobi Candaroma, Kekaulike Alameda, Kaiulani Ahuna and Emmett Enriques that was both memorable and meaningful.

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Kamehameha held a national letter-of-intent signing day on Friday for Kobi Candaroma, Kekaulike Alameda, Kaiulani Ahuna and Emmett Enriques that was both memorable and meaningful.

The common thread that connected the four seniors was their hard work, both on and off the field, their passion for their respective sport, and their determination to land a college scholarship.

It was the first time Kamehameha held a scholarship signing inside the school’s aesthetic library, as opposed to a conference room, and invited family and friends for the ceremony and a light luncheon.

After brief acknowledgments, each Warrior signed: Candaroma to play baseball at the University of Hawaii, Alameda with Barton College for volleyball, Ahuna with Eastern Washington for volleyball, and Enriques with Cal Baptist for volleyball.

Candaroma, a 5-foot-9 ½-inch center fielder, has a 3.0 grade-point average and plans to major in fire science at UH, where he’ll have an opportunity to start in 2016 as a freshman with the graduation of Kaeo Aliviado.

Among Candaroma’s supporters were Kaha Wong and sons Kolten and Kean Wong. Candaroma has been a longtime student at Kaha Wong’s hitting school, and is the latest in the pipeline to UH.

Kolten Wong played three years for the Rainbow Warriors, and 2013 Hilo High graduate and redshirt freshman Chayce Kaaua is expected to start at catcher when the season kicks off in February.

Also on the UH roster are sophomore pitcher Quintin Torres-Costa (Waiakea, 2012), who went 3-3 with a 7.17 ERA in 21 1/3 innings last season, and redshirt freshman infielder JJ Kitaoka (Konawaena, 2013).

Alameda, a 5-7 libero, has a 2.7 GPA and plans to major in psychology and hopes to become a psychologist like his dad, Kimo Alameda.

Barton College is a Division II school in Wilson, N.C., about 40 miles from the University of Mount Olive where Ryan Thomas (Kamehameha, 2012) is a junior libero. Both are in the same league, Conference Carolinas.

Ahuna has a 3.6 GPA and plans to major in exercise science and hopes to become a physical therapist.

She is a Division I rarity, signing as a 5-8 ½-inch outside hitter. Most Division I outside hitters are 5-10 or much taller. However, she compensates with a vertical of 31 ½ inches, built with Brandon Kotake’s help.

The Eagles are in the Big Sky Conference, and on the roster there will be one Hawaii player in Ashlee Vaoifi, a libero from Oahu’s Mililani High.

Enriques, a 6-1 outside hitter, has a 3.7 GPA and plans to major in business administration.

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The Lancers are a Division II school, but men’s volleyball plays in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the most competitive conference in Division I.

MPSF conference foes include UH and Stanford, where his brother Evan Enriques (Kamehameha, 2014) is a libero/outside hitter. When Emmett is a freshman in 2016, Cal Baptist will play at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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