Volcanoes Watching recently sat down with Volcanoes player Kaohi Downing; the team-first, versatile, humble player talked about the 2011 season so far and some keys for the team’s second half turn-around.
Volcanoes Watching: Kaohi, after 18 games it would have been so easy for the Volcanoes to pack it in; what made this team decide to turn the season around and now have won 18 of 24?
Kaohi Downing: We knew we had it in us to be the best team in the NWL. Having nothing but success in our extended spring season, we were confident that it would carry over into the start of our season here. Unfortunately we weren’t firing on all cylinders as our pitching, defense, and hitting never seemed to all show up on the same day. It was tough to keep our heads held high through our first 18 games as nothing seemed to be going our way. With the help of our upbeat and positive coaching staff who kept on reassuring us everyday that we were right there, it helped keep the team sane.
Volcanoes Watching: What is the key for the Volcanoes having a strong second-half of the season above .500?
Kaohi Downing: the key for us having a strong second half is to keep pitching well, to keep playing solid defense, and to keep having timely hitting. If we are able to have these three factors show up every night for us, I see no reason why we can’t win the whole thing.
Volcanoes Watching: How has the coaching staff helped the team stay together during the tough start and now handle the success the team is experiencing?
Kaohi Downing: Our coaching staff has been nothing but positive throughout our rough start. They managed to put our woes and failures into perspective making them seem as though we were close to turning it all around. They are always willing to come early and stay late to help us with your game giving us the best possible scenario to succeed.
Volcanoes Watching: You are batting a strong .333 after nearly 100 at-bats. What are your personal goals this season?
Kaohi Downing: My goals personal goals are to hit .350 – 5 HR – 30 RBI – 20 SB
Volcanoes Watching: Outside of the baseball - what are your hobbies / interests?
Kaohi Downing: When I am home for the off season, I like to spend as much time as I can at the beach with my family and friends either surfing or just having fun in the shore break. I love catching up with my grandparents when I’m home, answering the hundreds of questions they have for me about the intricacies of the season. I also try to spend time with my two little cousins as they are just starting to love the game of baseball. Most of all I just like to relax, listen to music, and enjoy the local food I missed after the baseball season.
Interview by Justin Lacche, Volcanoes Director of Business Development