SOTR McKinley: Neal Takamori - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

SOTR McKinley: Neal Takamori

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)

You want to talk about the history of McKinley high school, Neal Takamori is the guy to talk to, a Hall of Honor inductee, former athletic director, former vice principal. Thanks for joining us.

First let's start with the beginning. McKinley high school wasn't even the first name for this institution.

No it was Honolulu High School and then something Day school way back in the days when we were in the area of Ft. Street Mall and downtown. Just before they settled on this campus they were on Victoria Street where the academy, the Art Academy is now. It's been a growth.

Another interesting part of history, during World War II the students stepped in and they helped...actually I'll let you tell the story.

This is the time that Governor Ariyoshi was at this school. To help the war effort they raised money to buy a bomber. Go figure, ay? It's something...students getting involved.

You weren't just an athletic director, you played football for McKinley high school. There's this famous story about the poi pounder rivalry. It's you guys and St. Louis and unfortunately when that rivalry ends, St. Louis got the better of you, right?

I later coached with Herb Moriyama and captains have to go, we have assemblies where the school that last has the poi pounder has to present it to the other school. And unfortunately before we broke from the ILH to join the OIA, we had to travel up to St. Louis and turn over the poi pounder to them. Who would've figured I would end up coaching with Herb Moriyama at McKinley?

How painful was that?

Well it's still at St. Louis because we were not in the ILH anymore.

Can take it out talks about rivalries.

How about this though, as you look around the campus and you're still here on a volunteer basis, what do you envision for the future here at McKinley High School?

I think there's going to be a lot of growth as curriculum changes. Facility wise, it'll pretty much be the same except we're trying to do a lot for the athletic complexes which is, boys' locker room is the same since I was here and before I was here. We're trying to do good things for students coming up to McKinley and have a stadium with the track and field getting renovated right now, a new gym to house a lot of the state tournaments and benefit the McKinley students.

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