New baseball coach hired during pandemic

Have you ever imagined what being a new coach during a global pandemic is like? Josh Halemanu, the school’s new baseball coach, is doing exactly that. A Kaiser graduate, Halemanu was previously a baseball coach at Saint Francis, where he coached for six years. Last year, Halemanu guided his team to a Division Two state tournament. Halemanu has a little bit of experience himself; he played in the minor league for the Houston Astros, an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. 

Because of coronavirus restrictions, it’s hard to be a coach or a mentor, even more so for a physical activity that requires people to be together. Connecting to his players is difficult for Halemanu, as he has yet to meet his players in person. “It’s got to be the hardest situation,” he said. “I mean, you want to get on the field and you want to meet everybody…and we don’t even know if we’re even going to have an opportunity.” Halemanu is trying to make the best out of this situation that him and his team— along with many others—are stuck in. Even with all the setbacks, nothing is stopping Halemanu from having faith. “All we can do is just sit back and see what the governor and the mayor is deciding that hopefully they think about the kids,” he said. “Not only baseball, but also this group in the spring—to have them play in their junior and possibly their senior year.”

COVID-19 has taken away a lot of things from not just students, but coaches and teaching staff as well. But despite all the restrictions, Halemanu plans to make full use of all that he was allowed to do, and has been meeting with the returning players on Zoom. Halemanu wants “to give them something, you know, because their season just ended roughly and their coach just stepped away. There has been a lot of unknown for them,” he said. 

As of late, cancellations of events have been unpredictable, so there’s not much that Halemanu and his team can do. All they can do is continue to have faith and hope for the best. 

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