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  • Writer's pictureNoah Nikolai

Parker Kicks Off the Fall Sports Season: 8/28-9/9 Sports Recap

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

High school athletics are underway at Parker! After training through much of the summer and most of August, the fall sports season is finally getting underway. This year the Bulls will be represented by a junior varsity and varsity volleyball team, and boys and girls cross country. With fall sports wrapping up in late October or early November (depending on results) there are plenty of opportunities for all the teams to produce plenty of memorable moments, and for everyone to go check out some Parker Bulls athletics events.

8/30: Varsity Girls Volleyball @ Christian Liberty

After seeing this game being pushed back, and the location flipped from Waimea to Kea’au, the Bulls opened up their season with a three set sweep of the CLA Canefire, 25-22, 25-19, 25-17. Snagging their first win against CLA in three years, Parker made the long drive out to the East side of the island well worth it, outscoring their opponents 75-58 over the course of the three sets. This match also saw the varsity debut for setter Danica Petrowski and outside hitter Briley Ballard. That win gave the Bulls a 1-0 record heading into their next match, at St. Joseph’s.

Standout Performer: Briley Ballard

In her Parker debut, junior Briley Ballard led Parker’s attack in her first match. Through her first three games she leads the team with a .489 hitting percentage (kills per kill attempt), 7 aces, and 18 digs, making it clear she’s had an immediate impact on the team.

9/1: Boys Cross Country @ HPA

Parker’s boys cross country team consisted of seven runners at the opening meet of the season, a significant jump from the two runners who comprised the team last year. It also meant that the Bulls had a chance to score and compete for the team competition, an opportunity they took full advantage of. Led by their captain, Takumi Wetherell, the Bulls claimed three of the top 20 positions and four of the top 30 in a field of 166 competitors. This, combined with a 43rd place finish from returning team member Kai Garcia-Tobar, clinched the team 2nd place in the meet, coming only behind Waiakea. With the BIIF championships being held in late October on the same course, the Bulls may have a chance at contending for the BIIF D-II title later in the season.

Standout Performer: Takumi Wetherell

The recently elected captain of the boys team started the season with a career-best 4th place finish, completing HPA’s notoriously difficult course in just 20:20.18. This was good enough for the best time of any D-II runner and helped the team edge out Hilo by 4 points for second place in the team standings.

9/1: Girls Cross Country @ HPA

With only three runners competing at this race, the girls team was unable to score in the team competition, but they still made their mark in the competition. Kaya Long and Isabel Camp were both running in their first ever high school cross country meet, but were still both able to finish in the top half of the 86 competitors (40th and 19th respectively). Team captain Isabella Russo also managed a sub-35 minute time despite the difficult course. With their opening race down, the team could now look forward to a more forgiving course at Kamehameha the next Saturday.

Standout Performer: Isabel Camp

In her first ever high school cross country race, this sophomore got a time of 27:34.77 to come in 19th place. With 46 BIIF qualification spots for the state meet, a similar performance at the BIIF championship would clinch her a spot at the state race.

9/5: Varsity Girls Volleyball @ St. Joseph

Taking another road trip to the East side of the island, the varsity girls team claimed another victory on Tuesday at the St. Joseph Cardinals. The Bulls won again in only three sets (25-17, 25-16, 25-22), meaning they have yet to drop a set through their first six. Now at 2-0, the Bulls set their sights on cross-town rivals HPA, who on the same night claimed their second victory of the season, meaning their Thursday match would determine who sat atop the BIIF D-II standings heading into the weekend.

Standout Performer: Sophia Scholz

After being one of the leading members of the JV team last year, as a sophomore Sophia has stepped up to varsity and straight into the starting lineup. Playing in every point, she produced a stellar all-around performance that helped the Bulls to the second straight win. Through three matches, she is also tied for the team lead in aces, with 7 across the three matches.

9/7: Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball @ HPA

The JV team’s first game of the year finally came as they took to the court to open the night against HPA. With plenty of new and returning players, they were not lacking for depth in players or ability and quickly took control of the match by winning the first set. As the second set rolled on, the crowd started to fill in and were quickly drawn in by the electrifying match. After staying neck-and neck with HPA for most of the second set, the Bulls finally pulled away down the stretch and put the game to bed to the tune of raucous applause from Parker’s fans.

Standout Performer: Ava Harris

Starting at middle for the second season in a row on JV, this sophomore had the most kill attempts in the match for Parker and played a crucial role in the win. This match represents a massive leap forward for Ava from last year and a massive boost to the team all-around.

9/7: Varsity Girls Volleyball @ HPA

Following up the JV match both schools’ varsity sides took to the court in front of a packed crowd. As the teams warmed up, and the stands continued filling up, the energy built to the start of the match. When the match started the Bulls had trouble early dealing with HPA’s serves and lost the first set 25-6. Despite finding some more consistency later in the match, Parker was unable to keep pace and lost the final two sets 25-9 and 25-13. The result of the game didn’t hamper the crowd’s energy though, as the Bulls managed to fill up the visitor’s side of HPA’s gym and kept the energy up and volume high throughout the entire match, celebrating every point won by Parker and supporting their team even when they were down. Still with a winning record at 2-1, Parker’s first home game of the season is this Thursday against Kanu.

Standout Performer: Nora Goldsmith

One of Parker’s bright spots in their loss was Nora’s aces, as she made good use of her services, repeatedly sending HPA’s defense scrambling. She also contributed to the team defensively, extending rallies throughout the match, something not unique to this match, as she is 2nd on the team with 17 digs so far this season.

9/9: Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball @ Kohala

Coming off their thrilling win against HPA two days prior, the JV team looked to keep rolling in an early morning match against Kohala. They won the game’s first set to, once again, give them the lead heading into the second set, but this time they weren’t able to seal it in two, narrowly losing 21-25, forcing a third set tiebreaker. In spite of their best efforts, the team was affected by the pressure of the deciding set, and ended up coming just short, losing 11-15. This loss drops the team to 1-1 as they look to their next game on Saturday the 16th.

Standout Performer: Ava Harris

Once again leading the team offensively, Ava produced another performance that showed her growth over the last year. Serving as a strong presence at the net, and a reliable outlet for hitting, she once again played an integral role in the team’s success.

9/9: Boys Cross Country @ Kamehameha

Following the excitement of Fall Barbeque, the cross-country team had an early morning on Saturday, driving all the way to Kea’au for the second race of the season at the site of last year’s BIIF championships. Despite the heat, times fell across the board almost the entire team set PR’s at this race. Not only was the course fast, but the finishes were as well, with many sprint finishes to decide finishing positions, most memorably involving Mattew Shemwell, who managed to capture 21st by a margin of 0.02 seconds. When all the dust settled, Parker was once again sitting at 2nd in the boys team standings, and 1st place amongst D-II schools. Additionally, by completing their second race of the season Tobias Gordon, Takumi Wetherell, Matthew Shemwell, Noah Nikolai, and Kai Gracia-Tobar all qualified for the BIIF championship meet on October 28th.

Standout Performer: Tobias Gordon

Two races into his high school career, this sophomore has already managed a sub-20 minute (19: time and a top 10 finish, both of which he accomplished in this race. Finishing just ahead of team captain Takumi Wetherell, he completed a very well run race in 8th place out of a field of more than 150 runners.

9/9: Girls Cross Country @ Kamehameha

While many runners were concerned about the heat for this race, with the girls race happening slightly later in the morning than the boys event, some cloud cover eased the temperature and conditions were near-ideal when the starting gun sounded. With sophomore Georgia Kasameyer running her first race of the season, Parker had four runners on the course in the field of 84. Like the boys race, many positions were decided within the last stretch throughout the field as the relatively flat course allowed for more runners to attempt a final kick home to make last minute passes. Most importantly, Kaya Long, Isabel Camp, and Isabella Russo all punched their tickets to the BIIF championship meet by finishing their second race.

Standout Performer: Kaya Long

After going out a bit too fast the previous week at HPA, this senior was able to learn from that race and vastly improved her time to a personal record 27:08.99. She also managed an overtake in the final stage of the race, passing an HPA runner in the last quarter-mile to move up to 21st, 19 places improved from her previous race.

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