Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

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Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian

Student Voice of Kalaepōhaku

The Collegian


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Race for the Koa Trophy


The Saint Louis Crusaders hit the diamond in the race to compete for the “Koa Trophy” in this year’s State Champion. The Crusaders traveled to Maui for the Baldwin Preseason Tournament. 

Shannon Fee, the Junior starting pitcher for the Baldwin Preseason Tournament opening game for the Crusaders against Baldwin High School. Fee pitched six innings and gave up three hits without allowing any runners to cross the plate.  “I took a slightly odd approach to getting mentally prepared for the game during the Baldwin tournament,” said Fee. “I took it easy and didn’t worry about the game until a couple of hours before the game. That’s when I stayed calm but tried to get fired up and win.”

Fee is feeling optimistic and prepared for the upcoming season, thanks to the trust in the team’s pitching staff and the guidance of Coach Cody Paiva. 

With a strong sense of confidence, the Crusaders’ bullpen is ready to face any challenge that comes their way in their upcoming season. “Our pitching coach has total control of the staff,” explains Fee. “I believe there isn’t another pitching coach in the state that is better. I would have to say that although on paper we’re not the most talented pitching staff as other teams but, I believe that when we put it all together and pitch well, we can’t be beat.”  

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Although Fee had a good outing to set the tone for the pitching staff in the Baldwin Preseason Tournament, Fee still feels that there is more room for improvement this season. “ A key lesson would be that I have to put trust in my pitching coach,” says Fee. “When I listen and do what he says, I perform better and am more confident. I struggled with that last year because I didn’t put enough trust in his abilities. Communication is important and we will be just fine if we successfully communicate.”

Hoko Gaspar is the senior starting catcher for the Baldwin Preseason tournament. Gaspar feels that the tournament was a good learning experience for the squad. “Bunt coverages, coming close as a team bonding more. And I just say hitting-wise to put the ball in play, but you just need to find some shots, and put more timely hits in,” shares Gaspar. “ Working on that for the past three games, so I think Maui has prepared us for better pitching and competition like that for states.”

The deep connections and shared experiences formed during the team’s trip will provide an incredibly strong and motivating foundation that will propel them towards success in the upcoming season.“It was a good chemistry bonding,” says Gasper. “We had conversations, talking about how our day was, doing our homework together, eating together, sleeping in the same room just brought us closer as if we were actual brothers.” 

Gasper’s unwavering belief in the importance of team bonding is truly inspiring and a powerful reminder of the impact a united team can have on achieving success. “This will help us to stay together as a team, even though we lost a couple of games, but later on down the road, getting into the ILH tournament, it makes us stronger and more bonded, so we get each other’s back, even though if one falls down we pick each other up.”

Jadon Murakami, a senior player, is the starting second baseman for the Crusaders. During the Baldwin preseason tournament, Murakami and his team performed commendably. Despite this, they are taking away some valuable learning factors from the experience to improve their game further.  “Our team performed well. We stayed humble from our wins and learned from our losses,” shares Murakami. “Following the pre-season tournaments, I believe we need to work on staying focused and learn not how to keep our heads up when we’re down.”

Many teams have their sights set on the Crusaders, eagerly marking their calendars for the upcoming season. The Crusaders’ impressive track record and exceptional performance have made them a target for their competitors. Yet, despite the challenges posed by their rivals, the Crusaders remain focused and determined to maintain their dominance in the league. “ I believe this pressure is making us grow as a team right now,” Murakami expresses. “Having a target on our back this season gives us the drive and motivation to win it all this year.”

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About the Contributor
Bunche Lemau
Bunche Lemau, Staff Writer
“A North shore boy, from a small town, Waialau.” Bunche Lemau is a staff writer for The Collegian this year. Lemau has been at Saint Louis School since the eighth grade and is currently a right fielder for the varsity Crusader Baseball team. When not in school, he loves to spend his time bodyboarding.  “I like to “Spunj,” or bodyboard, and go to the beach.Lemau, is also a person who describes himself as “compassionate, humble, and very loved” by his Crusader friends and family. 

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