Prep Sports Website Makes A Hit
It is the hot topic of the fall high school sports season and, no, it isn’t a pass-happy quarterback, a high-flying outside hitter or a fleet-footed cross country runner.
It’s a website.
It’s hawaiiprepworld.com and it has fans, parents, athletes – both current and from the past – flocking to it. Since its relaunch in August, the high school sports website run by the sports staff of the Star-Advertiser has taken off.
“We’re getting a lot of feedback. The response has been great and people are really excited about it,” says Adam Sparks, the SA staffer credited with upgrading the web design of an old site and who now helps maintain it. “A lot of people have contributed. Everybody here has had a hand in it.”
The site features current video highlights, blogs, statistics and game stories, and some in sports that don’t get as much play in the newspaper. But one of the most talked about parts of the website is its historical archives that have started with football.
You want to find out which Kamehameha player rushed for the most yards in a game? The website has the answer (Chad Mahoe, 265 yards in 1998.) You want to know which Kahuku quarterback passed for the most yards in a game? The website has that answer, too. (Walter Santiago, 325 yards in 1987.)
“Two years ago, Jerry (Campany) and I noticed that there really were no record books that went way back,” says Billy Hull, a SA sports writer who grew up in the Islands and graduated a dozen years ago from Iolani. “We didn’t realize it would take so many hours to compile, but it’s been exciting.”
“I’m kind of crazy with spreadsheets. Sometimes, I think the secret of life started with a spreadsheet,” says Campany, a sports writer who grew up in upstate New York and has been with the Star-Bulletin/Star-Advertiser about 15 years. “In any case, I showed Billy where the state library was – he had never been there before – and he got so excited about all the information on microfilm there, that he was there practically every day. We went back to 1973, compiling information and stats. We said, ‘We’ve got all this stuff, why don’t we put it on a website?'”
The pair contacted Sparks, an Oregon native with web-design experience, and it grew from there.
“We have about six or seven regular contributors,” says Hull. “It allows people to really do their own thing, and that’s the neat part. Paul (Honda) loves video stuff and so he gets into that; Jerry loves covering the under-covered sports; I’ve always been a numbers guy; we’ve got Jason Kaneshiro and Brian McInnis and others blogging. It’s been great putting it all together.”
“We’re getting updated information all the time,” says Campany. “That’s the coolest part. I didn’t grow up here, so I’m finding out stuff all the time. I was like, ‘Holy moley, Blane Gaison was a great quarterback back in the day!’ We’re getting all these old guys calling us up to give us things that we might have been missing. I just heard from somebody who played years ago at Leilehua who sent me stuff. We’re getting updated information all the time and now we’ve got somewhere to (showcase) it.”
The great part of the website is that its still growing and there’s so much more information in many sports still to compile. The SA sports staff would love to hear from you. Check out hawaiiprepworld.com.