Mililani Senior Credits Attitude For Team’s Success In OIA

Team unity on and off the field went a long way for Mililani in the team’s postseason baseball run last year, according to senior infielder Justice Nakagawa. And as the 2015 season proceeds, cohesiveness remains a strength.

“We have good chemistry,” said Nakagawa, who helped lead Mililani to a state runner-up finish in 2014. “We had to bond a lot, and that’s helped to get us to where we are. I think we’re even closer this year. We’ve been doing pretty good, but I think we can do way better.”

The Trojans entered last weekend as the last remaining undefeated team in the OIA West at 8-0. This week, they host Waianae at 3 p.m. today (Wednesday) before visiting Pearl City at 3 p.m. Saturday. The outcome of both games could go a long way in determining the West champion.

As the race heats up, Nakagawa recently took time to visit with MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? I was part of the Little League World Series in 2010 with my Waipio team, which included (Mililani teammates) Ty Di Sa, Brysen Yoshii and Keolu Ramos. We got to go to Williamsport, Pa., to play, which was a fun experience.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My dad (Charles). In the beginning, he taught me how to play baseball, and he’s always encouraged me to get better and to have the right mentality.

What area of your game did you focus on during the off-season? My defense. Last year, I’d had, like, seven errors, and I wanted to cut that down. I worked on my footwork, my hand-eye coordination and getting a better read on the hops (of the ball).

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through baseball? There’s always someone better than you, and you can always get better.

Which teammate is ready for a breakout performance during the second half of the OIA season? Our right fielder, Kaimana Souza-Paaluhi. He’s been playing really good. He was one of our best players last year, and he’s going to be one of our best players this year, too.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? I go on ScoringLive a lot to check out the (high school baseball) scores and to see how people are doing.

What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning up after the pets.

What movie could you watch over and over? Warrior.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Eminem, Bob Marley and Jayco.

How do you like to spend your free time? I like to watch highlights of baseball players in MLB.

What is your dream destination? Japan. I haven’t been there before, but I’ve always wanted to go there.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Kalua pork. I love kalua pork.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would be your choice for a prom date? Ariana Grande.