Other noteworthy sports events .......
PPV state football: The first pay-per-view telecasts of the state high school football championships proved to be a huge success, drawing thousands of viewers and generating more than $50,000 for the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association. The only other PPV telecast of a prep football title game came in the 1998 O'ahu Prep Bowl, which involved only O'ahu league champions.
State football: Kamehameha beat Kahuku, 34-21, to win its first Division I title since 2004. 'Iolani beat Kaua'i, 24-17, to take its third consecutive DII title. Kamehameha's only loss of the season came to 'Iolani.
Some Moore: Punahou senior Carissa Moore beat the world's best — including Australia's world champion Stephanie Gilmore — in winning the prestigious Gidget Pro women's surfing contest at Sunset in November. "Her ability level can only be compared to Kelly Slater, and I don't know if he was doing what she was at 17," said Pancho Sullivan, with whom Moore trained in preparation for the North Shore season.
Model victory: Kaua'i's Alana Blanchard, 19, a rising star in surfing and modeling, won the Triple Crown's Vans Hawaiian Pro in November. The field included defending world champion Stephanie Gilmore. "It means a lot to me because I'm from Hawai'i and ever since I was little I wanted to do the Triple Crown," Blanchard said.
Home advantage: Joel Centeio won the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the first event in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, in his own "backyard" — Hale'iwa — in November. Centeio was the only Hawai'i surfer to win a Triple Crown contest in '09.
Top rookies: Kekoa Bacalso of Mililani and Coco Ho of Sunset Beach won the respective ASP Rookie of the Year awards for the men's and women's surfing tours. Bacalso finished 2009 ranked No. 18; Ho was No. 4.
Amemiya signing off: Keith Amemiya, who brought vision, classification and increased participation in high school sports, announced he will step down as executive director of the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association, a position he held since 1998.
Drive for five: Kamehameha's girls, with three sophomores and two juniors in the starting lineup, beat Punahou in five sets to pull off an improbable victory for their fifth consecutive state volleyball championship Oct. 31.
Paddling powers: Tahiti's Shell Va'a won the Moloka'i Hoe for the fourth time in a row in October. Team Bradley, which featured a mix of elite paddlers from O'ahu, Kaua'i, Maui, the Big Island and Australia, won the Na Wahine O Ke Kai Moloka'i-to-O'ahu race for the fifth year in a row in September.
A rising star: Amber Kaufman soared to a bronze medal in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championships at Fayetteville, Ark., in June, becoming the first from UH to win a medal in 25 years. A star volleyball player, Kaufman overcame an injured back to earn the first medal by a Rainbow Wahine since Gwen Loud won the long jump in 1984. The winner was another volleyball player, Texas All-American Destinee Hooker.
Passing the torch: Charlie Wade, a former Rainbow Wahine associate coach, was named head coach of the UH men's volleyball team in May, replacing retired Mike Wilton.
No longer bridesmaids: Mililani, which lost the previous three title games, beat Roosevelt to win the state softball title in May.
Baseball dynasty: Punahou's baseball team, which lost seven starters, including several to Division I college programs, and needed to win a playoff just to gain entry into the state tournament, captured its sixth consecutive title with a 3-2 win over Kailua in May.
Volleyball dynasty: Punahou's boys swept Kamehameha to win their fourth state volleyball title in five seasons.
10 is enough: Saint Louis, with only a 10-player squad, won its first boys state track and field title by a half point. Punahou's girls won just two events but placed in 10 of 16 events to dethrone Kamehameha for the state title.
Heptathlon history: University of Hawai'i's Annett Wichmann made heptathlon history in May by becoming the Western Athletic Conference's first four-time champion. The Jena, Germany native ran away with her seventh WAC multi-event title at the WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Logan, Utah. She also won UH's Jack Bonham Award.
Hoop coach retires: 'Iolani basketball coach Mark Mugiishi, Hawai'i's most successful high school boys basketball coach, retired in April. Mugiishi won a record seven state titles over a 20-year span.
Hoop dreams: Led by senior Pi'i Minns and sophomore Micah Christenson, Kamehameha defeated Kahuku, 47-45, in March to win its first state boys basketball title since 1992.
A month earlier, the Konawaena girls, with three freshmen and a sophomore in their starting lineup, beat Punahou in two overtimes, 54-50, to win their third state basketball title in six years.
Buffanblu breakthrough: Punahou's girls won their first state wrestling (February) and judo (May) titles while the boys captured their third state wrestling title in a row and their second judo title in four years.
Super matchup: Former Kahuku teammates Chris Kemoeatu (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Aaron Francisco (Arizona Cardinals), as well as former Hawai'i player Travis Laboy (Cardinals), played in Super Bowl XLIII. Francisco will forever be in still photos and replays as he tried to defend the game-winning touchdown catch by Steeler receiver Santonio Holmes.
Reign goes away: Punahou's girls soccer team ended Kamehameha's three-year reign with a 1-0 win in the state title game in February. Meanwhile, 'Iolani, which has played in five of the last six finals, beat Mililani, 5-2, for its first state boys title since 2000.
Aloha, bowl: Hawai'i said aloha to the Pro Bowl, temporarily ending a 30-year run at Aloha Stadium. The NFC beat the AFC, just as it did in the inaugural game in 1980. The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played in Miami in the week preceding the Super Bowl. The game hopes to return to Hawai'i in 2011.