But as the eagle leaves its nest, it’s not so far to go. — Led Zeppelin “Ten Years Gone”
Four Hawaii athletes ended their high school journeys at the top of their class — in hockey circles.
The four — Jaden Nahoi-Baricar, Kaena Humber, Austin Harder and Adam Harder — are recent high school graduates who are now in their freshman years of college.
At Kapolei Inline Hockey Arenas, they all pretty much made it through from the Mites (ages 10-and-under) to Midgets (16-and-under) and beyond (adult leagues). A KIHA-planned ceremony for them (along with a few other players who recently graduated) in the spring was called off due to COVID-19.
Nahoi-Baricar, Humber and the Harder twins also join the long list of youth hockey alumni who played a good number of years at the facility since its opening in 2010 and, for some of them, before that in outdoor leagues in Mililani and Hawaii Kai.
Maybe in the future, we’ll be honoring players graduating high school who played at the varsity level in hockey. Eh, but for now that is but a dream. A big push would need to come from high school administrators and the hockey community to make that happen. One thing, though, that there is little doubt of: the fact that here have been some top-notch, talented inline hockey players developed here since the early 1990s.
And now, on to the four.
>> Age: 18
>> High school: Kapolei
>> College: Arizona State University
>> Major: Electrical systems engineering
>> Career goal: Electrical engineering
Another goaltender, Kaena Humber showed that he could compete with the big guns at KIHA.
COVID-19 put a little bit of a wrench into his plans. He was going to attend Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. Instead, he will attend the University of Hawaii for a year before transferring to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst next year.
Humber played varsity soccer for four years at Damien and was a captain and left halfback as a senior.
His top moment at KIHA was being in the
nets for the D-I Sunday morning practices, and his funniest moment is “messing around with Jaden all the time.”
Humber was all set to play for Endicott’s inline team before making the decision to stay in Hawaii.
Kaena Humber shows nice form in going to the butterfly and making a blocker save. (Photo courtesy of Scott Humber).
“I plan to eventually play for UMass-Amherst’s D-2 program,” he said. “I got in contact with all the players at Endicott and they were super welcoming and very nice to me. I have not gotten to know the UMass coaches, but I will be reaching out to them soon.”
>> Age: 18
>> High school: Hanalani
>> College: Humboldt State University (Arcata, Calif.)
>> Major: Forestry
>> Career goal: Environmental water testing
During his four years of high school, Adam Harder was one of the top distance runners in the state in cross country and track and it earned him a college scholarship in both sports.
His biggest accomplishment was winning the state cross country championship as a junior.
“I plan to run four years in cross country and track at Humboldt State,” he said. “The program that has been built (by coach Jamie ) is extraordinary. The people are kind and will help each other out no matter what. HSU is surrounded by great people in a beautiful area.”
Harder’s goal is to make the NCAA championships.
“I want to make my parents proud, make my team proud and all the people that supported me throughout my high school running years,” he added.
Like his brother Austin, Adam’s biggest hockey accomplishment was beating an undefeated Canada team for the gold medal at the AAU tournament.
In the future, he will probably lace up the skates to play hockey (at his customary forward position) for fun or to just shoot around.
The other players who did not play hockey for a while but who came back to work at KIHA are Josh Eichner (home school graduate) and Adam Gooden (Kapolei). Gooden is also back in the sport, competing at the adult D-3 level.
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Below is a partial list of high school graduates in recent years who played inline hockey in Hawaii from Mites to Midgets. (Note: Email Nick Abramo at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of a graduate who should be added to the list.)
RECENT KIHA youth alumni/high school graduates
>> Tyler Igarashi (Mililani)
>> Preston Suekawa (Mililani)
>> Allen Donathan
>> Ethan Matsuoka (Roosevelt)
>> Anthony Baron
>> Attila Gooden (Kapolei)
>> E.J. Abramo (Mililani)
>> Lance Hamilton (Roosevelt)
>> Travis Eichner (Home schooled)
>> Caleb Senn
>> Braden Betz (Mililani)
>> David Riccuobuono (Hanalani)
>> Ethan Oshiro (Kamehameha)
>> Thomas McNorton
>> Donovan Warren
>> Shaun Apiki (Damien)
>> Travis Kilcommons
>> Joseph Lyons (Saint Louis)
>> Kaz White
Class of 2020
>> Adam Harder (Hanalani)
>> Austin Harder (Hanalani)
>> Jaden Nahoi-Baricar (Kapolei)
>> Kaena Humber (Damien)
ALSO AT NICKABRAMO.COM: Io Keehu — from Mililani inline hockey to UNLV to the Honolulu Police Department