SB FILE / 2006
Quarterback Michael Hoke is one of the returnees for Kamehameha this year. The Warriors open Aug. 24 at Castle. CLICK FOR LARGE
Kamehameha off and running under new coach Stant
Last year's conflicts on the Interscholastic League of Honolulu football field had more to do with matchups than anything else.
While Kamehameha and 2005 league champ Punahou split their series, Saint Louis got the best of the Warriors twice -- 10-3 and 17-14 -- to capture the league's Division I title and lone state berth.
Kamehameha, for much of the season, ranked among the top three statewide. Once again, coaches and media in the Star-Bulletin Football Preseason Top 10 voted the Warriors No. 3 in the state.
In Kanani Souza's final season at the helm, Kamehameha roared to nonconference wins over Nanakuli and Aiea, and then edged Farrington 7-6. It was the first of eight consecutive games of stellar defensive play for the Warriors, who did not allow more than 17 points in a game during that stretch.
After the Farrington win, Kamehameha edged a tough Redlands East Valley (Calif.) squad 9-7 and improved to 4-0. However, the first two weeks of the ILH season set the Warriors behind, and they never caught Saint Louis.
A 10-3 loss to the Crusaders was followed by a 14-13 heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Punahou. Though the Warriors won four of their last five games to finish 4-3 in league play (8-3 overall), it was another solid season without a state tournament berth.
NO. 3 KAMEHAMEHA WARRIORS
Here's a look at Kamehameha's results from the 2006 football season and its schedule this season:
Nanakuli W 27-12
Aiea W 35-20
Farrington W 7-6
Redlands (Calif.) W 9-7
Saint Louis L 10-3
Punahou L 14-13
Damien W 31-15
Pac-Five W 28-15
Saint Louis L 17-14
Iolani W 23-0
Punahou W 27-20
Aug. 24 at Castle
Sept. 1 Campbell
Sept. 14 Punahou
Sept. 29 Saint Louis
Oct. 6 Damien
Oct. 13 Pac-Five
Oct. 20 Punahou
Oct. 26 Iolani
Nov. 3 Saint Louis
Since 1999, Kamehameha has a record of 71-17-2, a .790 winning percentage. But ask any Warrior fan, and you'll likely hear a litany of frustration regarding "only" one state championship, which came in 2004.
Souza has since retired and is now an athletic director at the school. David Stant, a former University of Hawaii defensive lineman, is the Warriors' new coach. Stant coached in Japan for several years before returning to the islands.
The new will blend with the old, but the Warriors may still miss graduates like All-State first-team cornerback Brandon Hardin, who is now at Oregon State.
The losses on defense don't end with Hardin. Tackles Vaughn Meatoga and Joshua Manupuna, as well as cornerback Andrew Godinet and safety Rykin Enos -- all All-State second-team selections -- also graduated.
Last year's outstanding defense must replace defensive end Taylor Gibbs, an All-State honorable-mention pick.
Offensively, the Warriors are minus All-State first-team tight end Kaneakua Friel, now at BYU. Through the three key games against ILH Division I foes last season, Kamehameha managed only 30 points, something the Warriors need to improve on this season if they want to compete with the state's best.
Quarterback Michael Hoke and running back Truman Chun, who had four 100-yard games in 2006, return for their senior campaigns.
The Warriors begin nonconference play at Castle on Aug. 24 before hosting Campbell on Sept. 1.
Their ILH season opener will be against Punahou on Sept. 14 at Aloha Stadium.