On Monday, the HHSAA spring championship season officially kicked off with four first-round Division I boys volleyball matches taking place across the state.
It officially marked the first string of spring state championship competition to occur since 2019, as HHSAA spring championships were canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
No state championships were held during the 2020-2021 academic year. The 2021-2022 year marked the return of sanctioned high school athletic competition across the state, with the spring season capping the year off.
“It’s been a long time,” HHSAA executive director Chris Chun told KHON2. “Thankfully, we got through the fall and the winter, so we’re looking forward to a great spring. These athletes have missed the spring tournament for two years. It’s gonna be awesome because the diamond sports are my favorite sports. I can’t wait for softball and baseball state tournaments to start. I think it’s gonna be super exciting.
“Knock on wood, hopefully we get through it but it’s awesome. Going through that break, everyone goes through a range of emotions, my family included. When we got back and got through football and the other fall sports and spring and all the court sports and stuff, just seeing the kids and seeing how much they missed it and seeing the coaches and the fans, it’s been great. The turnout’s been great, everything’s been great. Hopefully we’ll keep it going and have a strong spring, too.”
Many athletes during spring seasons will be competing in their respective state tournaments for the first time, considering the fact that seniors in the Class of 2022 were just freshmen the last time spring championships were held in 2019.
“I can’t imagine what they had to experience, sitting and watching. For them, I guess the ones that were lucky enough to play as freshman, just being at a state tournament was probably exhilarating and now they’re gonna have the same feeling as a senior and it’s not like they’re gonna be a veteran kind of thing, it’s more like they’re freshman going through it again,” Chun said. “It’s kind of a unique experience because pretty much for the most part, everyone in the spring is gonna be playing in their first spring tournament that they ever played in. It’s gonna be exciting to see how kids react and the joys of winning and I guess the agony of defeat. It’s gonna be neat to see because everyone’s pretty much gonna be experiencing it for the first time.”
For links to results of the HHSAA spring tournaments, click below: