The 2016-17 Pac-5 baseball program started off this season with a new coaching staff, changing the attitude of the entire program.
On the junior varsity team, coaches and players had the opportunity to come together as a team and follow the new motto: Be Relentless. For the team, this meant that no matter what, “everyone keeps pushing through, everyone keeps getting better and everyone stands up to challenges in their path.”
Freshman pitcher Lance Tasaka explained how the Wolfpac junior varsity team united together during the season this way: “As the season went along, we figured out that we were pretty good. But the only thing that we were lacking was that synergy that we needed to all connect and work together well. We all had good individual talent but we just needed to play together by continuing to practice well and to get a good coach.”
During the regular season, the team did well with surprise wins against a few top schools. Freshman designated hitter Timothy Dixon said, “Our team has been doing very well this season and I think it’s the best turnout in all of the seasons that I played with Pac-5. I believe that we have been receiving very good coaching and we just keep getting better and better.” Dixon has been playing baseball for Pac-5 since he was in seventh grade. He added, “Under a new coach, I usually don’t expect the team to do as well but this season it’s actually way better than I expected it to be.”
One of the most memorable games they played was against Punahou a little past the midpoint in the season. Punahou was the top team in the league, with only a couple losses. At their first meeting of the season, the Wolfpac suffered a 12-1 loss at Punahou’s home field. But the next time around, the tables were turned as Pac-5 upset the number one team 3-0 at Central Oahu Regional Park.
Recalling the game, freshmen outfielder Hunter Yokoyama said, “It was very intense and very exciting…we beat the best team in the league, and we weren’t even close to being in first place. That day I felt that we were playing for this very moment in the season and it really did kill me that we beat the team that ended up winning everything.” Punahou’s JV baseball team eventually took home the ILH Division I JV Championship title in the post-season playoffs, defeating Mid-Pac 6-5.
It was very intense and very exciting…we beat the best team in the league, and we weren’t even close to being in first place. That day I felt that we were playing for this very moment in the season
Even though, the Wolfpac did not advance past the first round of the playoffs after losing to Iolani, many players were proud of what the team was able to accomplish together under a new coach. Freshman outfielder Isaiah Salado said, “I thought this season was very good because [people] thought that we were going to be the underdogs. But we worked our butts off and came in to beat almost every team. Now that the season is over, I’m sad because I will miss my second family, the Wolfpac team.”
The junior varsity team had an overall record of 8-7 with a total of 13 games played.