Supnet signs to play baseball at Whitman College


Photo by Brianne Reformina

Supnet’s baseball team celebrates his signing to college. Five seniors gathered in the Charles Reed Bishop Learning Center to commit to their prospective colleges April 11.

Stepping up to the plate, senior Iokepa Supnet tapped the home base with his bat, eyeing the pitcher. The pitcher wound up and released the baseball at high speed straight to him. In the blink of an eye, Supnet swung his bat around and connected with the ball. The grounder flew past the pitcher and second-baseman toward the outfielder’s glove, but Supnet was already sliding into first base.

Because of his talent and dedication to athletics, Supnet, along with four female seniors, signed his Letter of Intent April 11 in the Charles Reed Bishop Learning Center. Letters of Intent are documents signed by student-athletes committing to attend a certain college.

Senior Kaylee Cambra signed to Tacoma College for basketball; Talia Leauanae to the University of Alaska, Anchorage, for volleyball; Makena Pang to MidAmerica Nazarene University for volleyball; and Analis Nitta to the University of Redlands for track and field.

Supnet committed to Whitman College in Washington to play baseball–the one sport he “would drop anything for.”

Just four years old, Supnet joined the Wailuku Cubs and stuck with the island baseball team until he was 15 years old. With his club, he traveled to the mainland and other islands many times for tournaments, but that wasn’t the only sport he participated in. He also joined cross country, track and field, karate, basketball, and golf, but baseball wasn’t just another sport for him.

“Kepa developed a love and a passion for [baseball], and nobody in our family really played sports, so he was probably the first in our family to play baseball,” said Ms. Kehaulani Cabudol, Supnet’s mother.

Supnet’s big family helps him get through hard times, and they always push him to keep working hard. In addition to his mother, he also has his step-father, Roger Cabudol, to support his baseball career, along with his four younger siblings: Ezekiel, Peyton, Sadie, and Malie.

Although his family plays a big part in his baseball life, Supnet said his biggest influence would be his grandpa from his mother’s side, Papa Miki. Even though his family isn’t known as a “sports family,” Supnet still pushed his hardest to be active thanks to his Papa Miki.

“He always wanted me to be in sports and to be active…[Papa Miki] shaped me not only as an athlete, but as the person I am today,” he said.