Boys Varsity Basketball Fights To The Finish

In a tough, ILH division II  season, our boys varsity basketball team finished 4th with a record of 6-6. Although it did not clinch them a state berth, the Saints still have a chance to play their way into the ILH playoffs.

This has been a learning year for the Saints, adapting to a new coach and many new faces. Junior Isaac Crichton, a first year varsity player explained, “In the beginning there was no connection between the players; there was a lot of individual actions.” Crichton also added,  “It’s been very fun and a good way to spend high school.”  Sophomore Noah Kurosawa said, “It’s been fun. It was frustrating at times, but it was still fun.”

Reflecting on  the ILH tournament, Crichton said, “I feel like we are in a very good position to win a spot in states. We have been working very hard as a team.  During the season, we have learned how to work together and buy into our coaches’ system . We are confident in each other and the team is our number one priority .”

The Saints won the first round game in the ILH playoffs against Christian Academy 62-52.  They play Hanalani, who had the first round bye, tonight at 5 pm at Hanalani. Let’s support our boys as they continue to fight for the last spot in the state tournament.


Sweet Treats Recipes (Valentine’s Day Edition)

On Valentine’s Day and the few weeks preceding it, love is predominant. Stores sell roses, balloons, heart-shaped objects, and sweets, ranging from lollipops to chocolates.

Here are two treats that can be given to loved ones or friends to let them know just how sweet they are:

Chocolate Nutella Hearts


1 tub (16 oz) chocolate frosting

1 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread

2-1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 lb chocolate-flavored candy coating

Sprinkles or other decorations, as desired


Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 60-70 hearts



  1. Place the chocolate frosting and the Nutella in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until combined.
  2. Stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Then, turn the mixer to low. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. After mixing, you should have a candy that is soft enough to shape, but firm enough to hold its body–similar in texture to Play-Doh. If it seems too soft, you can add additional powdered sugar.  If it is too stiff, you can knead in an extra spoonful or two of Nutella.
  4. If you don’t have a small heart cookie cutter, you can form the hearts by hand, although this method is more time-consuming. If you do have a small cookie cutter, roll the candy out between two sheets of waxed paper until it is about 1/2-inch thick or a little thicker.
  5. Use the cutter to cut out as many small hearts as you can fit. You can knead the candy scraps back together and roll it out again to cut more hearts.
  6. Once you have your hearts cut out, melt the chocolate candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until the coating is smooth and free of lumps.
  7. Use a fork or dipping tools to dip a heart into the melted candy coating. Remove it from the coating and scrape the bottom against the lip of the bowl to remove excess coating. Place the dipped heart on a foil-covered baking sheet and repeat with remaining hearts and coating.
  8. If desired, decorate with sprinkles while wet, or drizzle the hearts with white or red candy coating. Chocolate Nutella Hearts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature for up to two weeks.

Conversation Hearts Treat


6 oz large marshmallows (about 25)

2 tbsp butter

3 cups crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup conversation hearts, coarsely chopped



  1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the marshmallows and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time. Continue to microwave and stir until the marshmallows liquefy and you have a sticky mixture.
  3. Add the crispy rice cereal and the chopped conversation hearts and stir until they are well-distributed and evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.
  4. Scrape the candy into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer. Allow to cool at room temperature.
  5. Once cool, cut the treats into small squares, or use a cookie cutter to cut shapes from the treats. You can also melt some chocolate chips or white chocolate to drizzle on top.
  6. Conversation Heart Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

To find these recipe and many others, go to:

Picture Credit: ( (c) Elizabeth LaBau)

Under the Hood: An Insider’s Perspective on the Holiday Hoops Classic

During the week before winter break, Coach Tavita walked up to me and asked if I could announce the play-by-play for the Holiday Hoops Classic on Dec. 26, Dec. 27, Dec. 29, and Dec. 30. Being the happy person I was, I accepted, with the first game beginning at 10:00 a.m. every day of the tournament.

I walked in the day after Christmas on a cold morning. The sun was beginning to burn through the early freeze. This would be my first gig at testing my skills. Now, everyone knows that I am an extraordinary stats keeper and broadcaster in my head, and I was excited, but also darn near nervous as well. My hands were literally sweating as I held the microphone to the P.A. system in my hands, while Coach Tavita calmly mounted his headset. The first quarterfinal of the day paired the Assets Admirals against the only Canadian team in the tourney, the Chestermere Lakers. From the first tip-off, I slowly gained my confidence and soon hit my stride.

For those that don’t know, I was a cross between the exuberance of Jay Onrait with a touch of dry, color commentary from Dan O’Toole (my two broadcasting idols). I worked the first day from 10 a.m. to the end of the 1:30 p.m. game. I finished the early session of games, excited to come back and work the next day. On Saturday, I returned knowing that I would see the Saints play Radford for the spot in the championship bracket (the loser going to the playoff bracket for fifth place).  Unfortunately, the Saints came up short against the Rams despite a spirited effort.

On Monday and Tuesday, my parents had bought tickets for us to see the UH basketball team play. There was one problem, though. Coach Tavita had come down with the flu. I was beginning to come down with a cold and sinus infection myself.  Yet, I took the mic and worked solo, keeping my exuberance down in case the referees told me to dial it back (On the first day, I was told I was a little too exuberant.). I had a plan. I would work until the end of the 4:30 p.m. game and then take the short walk to Stan Sheriff Center to the UH game.

Looking back, I saw this tournament as a great opportunity to showcase my skills. I ended up thrilling everyone and impressing them with my talent. I got compliments from many, including Sr. Joan of Arc and Sr. Barbara Jean. I hope to do the same next December, and I hope that Saint Francis takes the title!


Smells Like Christmas Spirit

First semester is coming to an end, and you know what that means! It’s almost time for Christmas break! What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to listen and sing along to Christmas carols played, sung, and even performed by our very own Saint Francis students?!

Our middle school band, high school band, choir, and even our little elementary students will be performing in our annual Christmas Concert tonight, Friday, December 14 at 6 p.m. Thanks to our coordinators, Ms. Tabali and Ms. Capino, the concert will be held at our Saint Francis gym.

Be there for fun and an entertaining show to get your Christmas season going! 


Battle of the Classes

Here at Saint Francis, we hold pep rallies at the beginning of every season. We use these rallies to recognize the athletes that represent us at every game, race, or meet that they compete in for the upcoming season. The sports teams that we recognized for the Winter season were basketball, paddling, wrestling, soccer, and golf.

What made this pep rally different from the rest was each class competed against each other in short, 5-minute basketball games.

The sophomores were victorious in the first game against the freshmen. In the second game between the juniors and seniors, the juniors were unable to keep up with the seniors, losing 10-0. That left the third game to be between the sophomores and the seniors. The seniors were just no match, losing 10-0.

The champions of the high school, the sophomores, were faced with one more challenge, the faculty. The game between the faculty and sophomores featured an incredible competition. The game even went into double overtime, with the faculty finally winning on a last second shot 10-9!

The competition between classes made the winter pep rally a great one. Some even say that it was the “funnest and peppiest” pep rally yet!


Lady Saints Finish Strong

The Lady Saints volleyball team had a victorious season with eight wins and only two losses. In the ILH playoffs, the Lady Saints played Damien Memorial and University Lab School.  After winning in three sets against  Damien and four sets against UH Lab, our girls challenged La Pietra. Unfortunately, our Saints were defeated by the Lady Panthers of La Pietra in four competitive sets. However, that was not the end for our volleyball team.

In the state championships, on Wednesday, November 5, the Lady Saints beat Kauai High School.  On Thursday, the Lady Saints lost to Kalaheo in four long sets. The next day, the Lady Saints redeemed themselves winning against La Pietra in two sets. Unfortunately, their season ended with a loss on Saturday against Kailua High School, placing 6th in the state.

Congratulations to our Lady Saints volleyball team on a great season!


Aiming for the Top: Isabel Villanueva

Senior Isabel Villanueva excels in and out of class. She is enrolled in AP classes and participates on the Saint Francis Air Rifle Varsity team.
Isabel has been participating in air riflery since her freshman year. She got her start while looking through the list of sports offered at Saint Francis. Isabel was intrigued by the sport because she had never heard of it before and wanted to try it. She was also interested because her father was in the military and she knew he was a pretty good ‘shot’.
After three years of air riflery, it has become more than just a sport to Isabel. Every person has their own way of relieving stress. For Isabel, it became shooting. Villanueva said, “Air riflery has definitely made a huge impact in my life.” Through shooting, Isabel has learned the importance of learning from mistakes and how to move past them.  This is evident in the way she practices and when she shoots during matches.
After she graduates from high school, Isabel wants to continue shooting. Happily, she says, “I would love to shoot in college. I would either like to go to Nevada Reno or Texas Christian University.”
Isabel has appreciated the continuous support of her parents during air riflery.  Her most prized memory remains beating the JV record for precision air rifle. Good luck to all of the air rifle team as they continue to represent Saint Francis well.

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Trending: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

According to the ALS association, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord through their nerve cells. Motor neurons connect the brain to the spinal cord to every muscle throughout the entire body. These motor neurons deteriorate and eventually die. The death of the neurons lead to the brain’s inability to control the muscles in the patient’s body. Some patients become completely paralyzed and eventually die.

Until this summer, not many people were aware of this terrible disease until a challenge was issued: the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Whoever was challenged or “nominated” was to pour a bucket of ice water on their head. Many just decided to do the challenge and help spread awareness. Everyone who did it recorded themselves doing the challenge, sharing it on the internet with the hashtag #ASLIceBucketChallenge The intent is to spread awareness and to raise money for the ALS association.  Of course, a fun part has become challenging friends to do it, too!

One thing that no one expected to get out of this challenge was to see a nun get ice water poured on her.  We are not talking about just any nun either. We’re talking about our very own Sister Joan of Arc Souza. On Tuesday, September 23, Saint Francis football players will be doing the honor of pouring the water on our Head of School. This will be an event for the whole school to watch at 9:15 a.m. in the upper courtyard.

The main purpose of the ALS challenge is to help spread awareness and to raise money to help researchers find a cure. You can donate any amount of money to the association. All you need to do is go to our school website ( and click the “DONATE” button under the information about Sister Joan’s challenge.  Let’s support Sister Joan and a cure for ALS!

Acai Bowl

Jess Da Best Acai Bowls

When you think of Acai bowls, you probably do not think of cookie dough or stuffed strawberries. But for Jess Da Best Acai Bowls, that is nothing out of the ordinary.

Based in Kapolei, Jess Da Best Acai Bowls is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Wednesdays and Sundays. When you make your bowl, you have the choice of acai or pitaya and a variety of add-ons. Just like any other acai bowl, it comes with fruit, honey, and granola. What makes this place unique is that its add-ons include almond butter, condensed milk, cookie dough, cookie butter, carob chips, chocolate chips, li hing mui, and vanilla chips.

One dish they specialize in is pitaya bowls.  It may sound unusual, but it is just dragon fruit instead of acai.  Jess Da Best Acai Bowls is so popular that people are willing to wait in line for over half an hour. I suggest you buy two bowls for yourself,  taking one with you to freeze and save for later.  They are just that good!

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Under the Hood: #IBelieve-The Chant that United a School

It started on May 27, 2014.  ESPN released a special FIFA World Cup commercial flashing signs of the likes of Ronaldo, Ghana, Germany, and the U.S. Men’s National Team in the “Group of Death.” It was based on a chant called “I Believe.” The chant soon went viral across the United States, soccer and non-soccer fans, drawing more than a million views in just two days. It made its way into football stadiums and now it has reached Saint Francis School. It was made famous, of course, by myself, former writer and this year’s special contributor, Alexander Tumalip. The idea behind it originated from watching previous years of Saint Francis football.

Tired of seeing hard-fought losses, I decided it was time for a change. I found the commercial on YouTube and sent it to Ms. Tabali the Tuesday before the homecoming game vs. Pac-Five. I pitched the idea to the band before we left in the sweltering heat for Aloha Stadium. Sporting Carolina blue and holding musical instruments, we trudged into Section M and took our seats. Suddenly, something snapped, and the chant took off. The fans suddenly heard:

“I!” (Repeat: “I!”) “I believe!” (Repeat) “I believe that!” (Repeat) “I believe that we!” (Repeat) “I believe that we will win!” (Repeated) The chant caught in the section like wildfire.  Soon, all the students and some of the teachers that made it to the game emphatically joined in. The chant stunned the Pac-Five fans in Aloha Stadium.

Even though the Saints lost 26-21, Ms. Won, the Student Organization president, came to me and said that it was the best support that the football team had ever received. It also reminded me of what former Saint Francis student Ace Diego said two years ago, “If you believe, you can achieve.”

The chant will march to every game this season.  The next opportunity to voice your support for our Saints is Saturday, September 13 versus Punahou. Tell me Saint Francis, “DO YOU BELIEVE?”

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