Kaua‘i Represented At Hall of Honor

Pierce Murphy and his family

They have both shown they are more than capable of going the distance.

That’s one of the main reasons why Island School’s Pierce Murphy (track, cross-country) and Kaua’i High School’s Shea Shimabukuro (baseball, football) earned a spot on the 2011 Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Honor.

The Kaua’i athletes were recognized at a special banquet June 5 at the Sheraton Waikiki.

“I didn’t know it was such a big thing,” Murphy tells MidWeek Kaua’i. “Someone told me I was in it and I was like, ‘What is that?'”

But now that he’s part of this elite group of athletes, he considers it his greatest achievement thus far.

“My coach Basil Scott really helped me get there,” Murphy says. “If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would’ve gotten here.”

Murphy says once he met all of the other 11 athletes at the awards ceremony, he felt like he belonged.

“Those are all of the best athletes in the state and it was great to meet all of them,” he says. “I’m really grateful and proud to be a part of this group.”

As the first-ever Hall of Honor recipient from Island School, the Kilauea native literally ran away with record after record during his prep career. Murphy tallied multiple gold medals and set Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation records in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meter runs. But it was his state records that set him apart from the rest. In his senior season at states, Murphy set two new meet records in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.

On top of all that constant running, he manages to kick a soccer ball around once in awhile. He also finds time to coach HYSA teams and even make it into the water by volunteering in the Junior Lifeguard program in Hanalei.

Shea Shimabukuro and his family. Photos courtesy HHSAA

Mix all of that up and add in a GPA of well over 3.5 and voila – a perfect blueprint for a Hall of Honor inductee.

Murphy is headed off to the University of Colorado in August. Right now, he’s planning to walk on the track and cross-country teams in hope of earning a scholarship. He’s also not losing hope of competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

For Shimabukuro, the Olympics may not be one of his goals, but he now feels a connection to the games. A past Hall of Honor winner was an Olympic gold medalist.

“Looking at all the past winners, like Bryan Clay (1998) and Shane Victorino (1999), it’s just a really cool experience, almost unbelievable and a great honor, especially to represent Kaua’i,” Shimabukuro tells

MidWeek Kaua’i.

The hall also includes Super Bowl participant Aaron Francisco (2001).

The Kalaheo native quarterbacked the Red Raiders to an eighth straight KIF title. He also manned the kicking duties, earning all-league honors and booting the longest field goal in the state this past season (53 yards).

On the diamond, the all-league performer saved his best performance for last, as he pitched a complete-game win in the D-II state title game against Pac-Five.

As good as he is as an athlete, he’s just as good or maybe even better in the classroom, where he carried a GPA that hovered just below 3.9.

Up next for Shimabukuro is a trip to Omaha, Neb., where he’ll attend Creighton University in the fall. He plans on becoming a dentist, just like his dad.

Shimabukuro doesn’t feel athletics are behind him just yet. He says if an opportunity arises, he may attempt to play baseball for the Bluejays.

Both he and Murphy are about to embark on a new adventure after this summer. As they both leave Kaua’i for college on their different paths, they’ll always be connected and known as part of the 2011 Hall of Honor class representing the Garden Isle.

The Hawaii High School Hall of Honor was established in 1982 by Nissan Motor Corp. in Hawaii Ltd. to recognize athletic excellence and accomplishments of Hawaii’s high school athletes. Since 2004, the program has been run by the HHSAA.

An independent selection committee picks 12 student athletes annually for recognition. Along with induction into the Hall of Honor, each student athlete selected receives a $1,000 college scholarship, which can be used to offset college education expenses.

The other inductees this year were Micah Christenson of Punahou, Molokai’s Kalei Adolpho, Punahou’s Chrissy Chow, Kamehameha’s Caprice

Dydasco, Kamehameha’s Koa Kaai, Castle’s Leisha Liilii, Saint Louis’ Marcus Mariota, Kahuku’s Zhane Santiago, Seabury Hall’s Kailea Tracy-Visintainer and Lahainaluna’s Maiki Viela.