Kodey Shojinaga on the Hawaii Elite road


Hawaii Elite parent

Senior 22’ Kodey Shojinaga as ump/catcher in his Hawaii Elite game.

Kodey Shojinaga, a player of Hawaii Elite Baseball Club and a senior at Mid-Pacific, has committed to play baseball for Kansas University. Kansas University also participates in the Big 12 Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Division I.

Shojinaga started playing baseball when he was four years old and has been playing for Hawaii Elite for three years now. He is a catcher, plays in-field and pitches.

“Hawaii Elite, to me, is a second family and a culture. I went with them this summer to play baseball and we’re the first Hawaii team with all Hawaii players to travel together,” Shojinaga said.

Hawaii Elite coaching staff selects the best players to play on their travel team. Shojinaga said he is appreciative of the opportunities Hawaii Elite has given him.

Shojinaga’s team is the first team with all Hawaii players to compete in and win the WWBA Perfect Game Kernels Foundation Championship in the 19 years the tournament has been held. Shojinaga is one of the few players to be selected on the team, and the only one from Mid-Pacific who played for the winning Hawaii Elite team this year.

“Hawaii Elite brings that winning culture. Playing with them has given me the opportunity to play in Jupiter, Florida, which was a once in a lifetime experience,” he said.

The Perfect Game Jupiter Tournament invites the best teams in the nation. At the tournament, golf carts are filled with college scouts on every foul line and around each backstop. The competition is between the top baseball players in the nation.

“It was really cool to see the amount of scouts at one game. I also got to showcase my talent in the mainland, and get the college offers that I have. Not many people get a chance to play in this and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Shojinaga.

Sophomore Noah Kubo, member of Hawaii Elite and student of Mid-Pacific, said that he agrees with Shojinaga about how Hawaii Elite is like a family. Everyone is very close with each other, the coaches, staff, players, and their families.

The coaches in Hawaii Elite care for the players and teach them proper etiquette on and off the field. For example, the coaches take care of each player such as getting them food and providing transportation, and also teaching them real-world lessons and skills.

“With Hawaii Elite, we have strong bonds and it brings everyone together. I have gotten the chance to get closer to Kodey and learn from him through his work ethic,” said Kubo.

Shojinaga puts in extra work time, practicing and training daily in an effort to achieve his goal: playing for the MLB.

“I’m a workaholic. I’m always doing baseball everyday of the week whether it’s hitting, lifting or just working out,” said Shojinaga.

Not only does Shojinaga work hard, but his parents, coaches and teammates who have supported him throughout his journey made a big influence and impact on him.

“My parents are my biggest supporters because they support me financially throughout all of this and it’s not easy traveling to the mainland all the time. My coaches also play a big role because they help me get the exposure I need to play in college. And also, my teammates who support me in the game, and have my back no matter what,” said Shojinaga.

Teammates look up to him as he is a role model to athletes at Mid-Pacific and outside of school. He strives to leave behind a legacy at school that is an inspiration for others to represent.

“My coaches and the people I play with always push me to be my best, and to just keep working,” said sophomore Chandler Murray, also a member of Hawaii Elite.

Murray explained how everyone encourages each other during practices and games, which brings them closer together.

“Being a teammate of Kodey, I have seen him grow as a person and as a player. Kodey is one of the most hardworking people I’ve met, whether he’s weightlifting, hitting, fielding or catching. He works hard at whatever he does, and I hope to grow to be at the same level he is on,” said Murray.

Teammates, coaches and peers have taken notice of his hard work and determination. His attitude and the way he channels his positivity is evident to the people around him.

“Kodey inspires me to be the best teammate and be the best baseball player I can be. He’s also a really great friend, so I take that trait from him to be a good teammate and also a great friend to my peers and teammates,” said Kubo.

Shojinaga wants to motivate and encourage other kids in the future to be the best that they can be and to give them opportunities to play in college.

“I hope to inspire the baseball community, and to expand Hawaii baseball, not just here at Mid-Pacific, but across the state,” said Shojinaga.

Shojinaga said that with Hawaii Elite, everyone is united. He said when his team plays together and has fun, they cohesively do that much better.

“No matter how good or how bad you do, the game has a way of humbling you. Having fun in what you do is the biggest takeaway because when you have fun in what you do, then you succeed the most out of it,” said Shojinaga.