A new tradition begins at the annual Merv Lopes Holiday Classic

Hosted at it’s new location, Manoa Recreation Center, the annual Merv Lopes Holiday Classic has become yet another successful basketball tournament.

Not only did this tournament consist of a boys tournament, but this year Saint Francis added a girls tournament to this annual classic.

Coordinator and Coach, Sol Batoon said, “This year was very successful.  There was a high attendance, good competition, and we hosted the top four teams in the state which made it a better quality tournament.,” when asked about his thoughts of this year’s tournament.

Featured in the boy’s tournament were the top four teams in boys varsity basketball, consisting of Farrington, Punahou, Leilehua, and Kamehameha Big Island. The girls tournament also had two of the top teams for the girls varsity; Mid-Pacific Institute and Maryknoll High School.

To widen the competition, Saint Francis hosted teams not from the island of Oahu. Kamehameha Big Island’s boys and girls varsity teams were welcomed to the tournament as well as Mount Douglas Secondary School (Canada), and Houston High School (Alaska). Other than these outer island teams, the tournament consisted of teams from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the Oahu Interscholastic Association.

History was made for Saint Francis School as the Merv Lopes classic named the second team all-tournament teams, as well as the champions for the three-point shooting contest. After putting up a season high of 26 points during one of the Saints’ games, sophomore Keoni Tom-Millare made second team all-tournament; being the first boy representing Saint Francis to be named second team. Hitting three three-pointers as well as the extra 3 point money shot during the three-point shooting contest, junior Jasmine Soon was announced the first girls three-point shooting competition winner.

Sophomore Keoni Tom-Millare smiles with Sister Joan, Coach Keoni Batoon, and Coach Merv Lopes upon being selected for the Second Team All-Tournament team

Aside from the exciting games that were played and aside from an amusing three-point competition, the real reason as to why these teams are joined here is no surprise.

Many people contemplate the reason as to why Saint Francis hosts a tournament for Merv Lopes and many people who haven’t read his story in the Classic program wonder who Merv Lopes really is.

“Coach Merv Lopes is an icon for basketball in Hawaii,” praises Coach Sol Batoon. Leading the Chaminade basketball team to one of ESPN’s top 20 upsets in college basketball by defeating the number one ranked Virginia Cavaliers in 1982, Coach Merv Lopes has become a basketball legend.

Alumni of Iolani School as well as San Jose State, Coach Merv coached at Kailua High School as well as Kalaheo High School before coaching at Chaminade University. He currently resides on the Big Island, and has been the camp coordinator for the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in Las Vegas and Honolulu for the past ten years. He coached the Western Samoa National basketball team and it is currently his seventh season helping to coach the CBA team in Hangzhou, China.

Coach Merv has truly been a profound and inspiring person and coach throughout his life.

Next year’s tournament look’s very promising, with more good competition for both the boys and girls.

Saint Francis Students are Truly “Inspired in Hawaii” for the T.C. Ching Contests

It was recently announced that cinematography students Peyton Coronas, Tiffany Trantham, Kelsea Gines, and Kelcee Santos’ video made it to the finals for the T.C. Ching Video competition, “Inspired in Hawaii”. The goal of the competition was to make their community aware of problem issues Hawaii deals with. Their video, “Kids and Drugs,” shows how drugs not only affects the person taking the them, but also friends, family, and classmates.  The cast consists of students from the St. Francis Elementary, ages ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. Narrated by Trey Thiessen, an elementary student at St. Francis, he lists the statistics of the terrible effects drugs has had on Hawaii’s youth, and how it can lead to the demise of loved ones. The background music for the video was performed by eleventh grader Erin Tanaka. It was a very moving video and it is no surprise this video was nominated for the finals. The T.C. Ching Foundation also had an essay and poster contest for all grade levels. Representing the sixth grade, Skylar Lotomau’s essay entitled “Bullying”; and kindergartener Gabriela Byrne ‘s poster “Happy Hawaii” are also finalists from Saint Francis School.

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Belongings Closer

Theft happens everywhere, making no exception for the small community here at Saint Francis School. Although there is only a small percentage of the general population that does steal, students must not be naïve to the fact theft can occur anywhere, including school, and they must take precautions to prevent it from happening to them.

It is sad when students cannot trust their own classmates because they know that there is a thief among them. Stealing is already bad as it is, but when it is from people who you are supposed to be able to trust, it makes you feel violated. Not knowing who the culprit is makes you look at everyone as a potential suspect. It is also hard for students to believe that their peers would steal from them because Saint Francis is such a small school that everyone is more like a family.

Everything that people have was bought by someone, whether it is by themselves, their parents, a relative, or a friend. When someone steals another’s possessions, they are stealing someone else’s hard work. Someone had to work to get the money to buy the phone, iPod, or textbook that is now stolen. Regardless of what the situation is, stealing is unacceptable. If you want something so bad, work for it, don’t steal it.

Students cannot be ignorant to the fact that theft does go on at school. When students are naïve about it, they only become more prone to being the next victims. Students must take precautions to prevent this from happening.

Students must be conscious of what they carry with them. Instead of carrying $100 in your bag, carry just enough for lunch and the bus and keep it safe in your wallet, in your bag. Although it is best not to bring valuables to school, if you do need them, keep them in your bag and make sure you know where it is at all times. Every time you take your phone or your iPod out, be sure to put it back in the same pocket so you won’t be searching for it, thinking you lost it. If you need to bring your laptop to school, make sure you don’t forget it anywhere, and keep it close to you at all times. Also, don’t leave anything plugged in and unattended because it is a perfect opportunity for someone to pass by and take it.

Not only do students have to be aware of what they bring to school, but they should also be mindful of where they put it. Leaving your bag filled with money, your phone, iPod, and laptop unattended is not the smartest idea. Ask someone you can trust to watch your belongings when you go to the bathroom or heat up your lunch, and although you can’t always depend on someone else when it comes to your personal items, it is still better than leaving it unattended. To prevent stolen textbooks, keep your locker combinations to yourself and don’t keep your locks open. It may be tempting to give someone your combination because you don’t want to walk all the way to your locker, but it still is the safest option. Students should also be conscious of what they leave on their lockers. Leaving sports gear, gym bags, and other books on top of the lockers may be convenient, but it could also result in it getting stolen. Students should instead find a classroom to store their possessions in until the end of the day, if it is approved by the teacher.

Students need to be aware that theft happens everywhere. Keep your belongings close, and be conscious of what you carry. Remember that you are responsible for your belongings. Never leave your items unattended, and at all costs try to keep valuables at home. If something of yours has been stolen or you know someone that is stealing, report it, or this problem will only get worse.

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