Student Voice of McKinley High School

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Petition for football stadium

Senior strives for a change

Avian Madriaga, guest writer

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Former athletic director Neal Takamori has been working for the last 20 to 30 years to help McKinley High School construct an athletic stadium. He has been working with the legislature, attending meetings with members of the senate, spoken with many governors, and the business and community leaders. He has faced many obstacles and trials but he has persevered. At this time, I am jumping in to this effort and bringing the student voice to make this happen. My name is Avian Madriaga. I am a senior and a student-athlete here at MHS. I have been aided by Principal Ron Okamura, student activities coordinator April Nakamura, as well as Takamori.

Throughout my years at MHS, it was a routine to catch the bus to school. If I got lucky, the bus would stop right in front of my first period class on King Street. On the days I got unlucky, I would have to stop at Kapiolani Blvd. and walk that big empty field.

I would often wonder why a lot so big was not being utilized to it’s advantage. I head that years before, MHS held yearly carnival events and farm fairs in that field.  Today, a new softball field with bleachers was just dedicated.

The students, which included one of my cousins, said having their own field with families watching from the bleachers had increased the softball teams motivation.  The remaining part of the field is still huge. Before I leave MHS, I would like to leave a legacy behind. My actions today will benefit the future generations of McKinley High School. This is why I am petitioning for a football field for McKinley High School. MHS has stood in the heart of Honolulu for 150 years. 150 years, and MHS has never had its own athletic complex.

As a cheerleader, going to other schools other than our own to play is a different feeling. Although we appreciate Roosevelt’s field, it takes 4 to 5 school buses to rent and transport students back and forth to the venue. Having an athletic stadium in that big open lot would meet the needs of MHS. The field would not only benefit the football team. It would also be of a benefit for those involved in track and field, cross country, soccer and many more. Perhaps one day, the greatest athlete might come from MHS. The field can also be used and rented out to other school events. Having our own field may increase the number of students to the athletic department, and an increase in student involvement and as a result, better behavior. This would bring in good morals because student can feel a sense of ownership to the stadium. Just imagine playing in your “own” home school in future homecoming games, that indescribable feeling of pride and joy for being a part of MHS. The stadium could also be used for assemblies and other events that build community– something we need being the most urban school in the state of Hawaii.

Before the first quarter ended, I attended a faculty meeting announcing the petition and getting the teachers to buy into the project. As of the end of November, the petition has 729 signatures. I am hoping for continued support as I seek more petitioners among student, faculty, staff, families and those within the community.

The field would not only benefit the football team, it would also be  a greater benefit for those involved in track and field, cross country, soccer and many more.  The field can also be used and charged out to other school events. Having our own field may increase the number of students to the athletic department. This would bring in good morals because students can feel a sense of ownership to the field.  Just imagine playing at your own home school in the future homecoming games, that indescribable feeling of such pride and joy for being apart of McKinley.  Perhaps one day, the greatest athlete might just come from McKinley.

I currently have 331 petitioners since September 25.  I am hoping for the continued support as I seek for more petitioners among students, faculty, staff, families and those within the community. By signing this petition, we are one step closer with fulfilling the needs of a football stadium.

1 Comment

One Response to “Petition for football stadium”

  1. jamie dela cruz on December 4th, 2015 9:46 pm

    In the need to have a football field would mean a lot to McKinley high school. As of what I read the story of Avian Madriaga’s , I kind of do understand what she means to have an actual football field. It won’t be fair if other schools did have one, but we didn’t. Avian is a cheerleader, and without a football field of our own, where would she show pride and tradition with her fellow cheerleaders to support our football boys? I’m in JROTC and where would the sabers present their honor, and colors to homecoming assembly? I mean sure all of this could still happen at other high school football fields, but maybe if we get lucky, we can show pride and tradition at our home field too. I don’t know if you’re still doing this petition signing Avian, but if you are, I’ll be happy to sign for you as one of your 332 supporters.

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Petition for football stadium