and Pearl City grab
spotlight in OIA
Not too long ago, the Kapolei, Nanakuli and Pearl City football teams didn't put upcoming opponents into a state of fear.
But times are changing in the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
Two weeks into the 2003 season, all three teams are undefeated at 2-0 overall, and two of them -- the Hurricanes and Chargers -- are unscored upon.
Many eyes are on Kapolei, which is in its second year as a varsity squad and is looking like a strong contender for the OIA White Conference championship as well as the inaugural Division II title.
"They're everything people are saying about them," said Kalani coach Greg Taguchi, whose team lost to the Hurricanes 60-0 last Friday. "It would be nice to see them compete and watch how they'd do against the (upper) OIA Red, but they're certainly one of the top teams in the White."
The Falcons (0-1) have a chance to break their 21-game losing streak Saturday against Radford at Kaiser Stadium.
"The kids are working hard toward it (winning a game)," Taguchi said. "At (Monday's) practice, they worked pretty well. As always, I tell them that winning takes care of itself if you have focus and the right attitude and work ethic."
Nanakuli and Pearl City are making great strides since moving up to the Red after successful White campaigns a year ago.
The Golden Hawks roughed up the Rough Riders from Roosevelt 27-6 last Friday.
"Nanakuli is a legitimate Red West team with skilled kids and good size. They're somebody to contend with, and I know Kapolei is just as good," Roosevelt coach Les Parilla said.
"Defensively, we did a good job, but our offense left them on the field too long. We gave up a long pass and a long run and that's 14 points right there."
Parilla knows it's going to be tough for Roosevelt in the Red East.
"We've got the Kailuas, the Kahukus, the Castles and the McKinleys over here," he said. "It's a little nicer in the West, not much, so I wish them (the Golden Hawks) luck because they've got a really good team."
The Rough Riders (1-1, 0-1 Red East) play against their first Red East opponent on Friday at Kahuku.
One of Parilla's main goals is to help student-athletes in all sports move on to play in college, and he's had some success doing that. Five former Rough Riders are playing at the University of Hawaii this year -- linebackers Chad Kalilimoku and Laiana Wong, defensive back Chad Kapanui and wide receivers Chad Owens and Blake Harano.
Pearl City is proving to be another team to watch out for in the Red West. The Chargers are coming off a 48-0 rout of Kaimuki (0-2, 0-1 Red East) and are preparing to find out where they stand out West. Over the next three weeks, they'll take on conference foes Campbell, Mililani and Nanakuli.
No patsies allowed: Hawaii Prep football coach Tom Goodspeed obviously didn't want any pretenders on the team's preseason schedule.
In the last two weeks, Ka Makani has lost to Iolani (41-7) and Waimea (26-19) -- teams that many consider to be top contenders for the state Division II crown.
"Both teams have good running backs (Jordon Dizon of Waimea and Raynold Stowers of Iolani)," Goodspeed said. "Iolani is more of a finesse team with a passing game and a spread offense.
"Waimea is much more straight ahead, at least that's what they were against us. They'll do anything to get the ball to the running back (Dizon) -- screens, quick passes and runs."
Goodspeed was disappointed that both the Menehunes and the Raiders returned punts for touchdowns against his team.
"We played well against Waimea, but I think we made Iolani look really good," he said. "We didn't play that good and that's not to take anything away from Iolani."
Ka Makani qualified for the all-class state tournament a year ago and lost in the first round to eventual state runner-up Castle.
"Everybody's excited about the new Division II tournament, and having looked at two contenders, we feel we know what we've got to do to get there."
Hawaii Prep's top players include lineman Max Unger, linebacker/fullback Leighton Hind, linebacker/kicker Michael Kopra and quarterback/cornerback Mau'ae Purdy.
Saint Louis ranked: The Crusaders (1-0), who open their Interscholastic League of Honolulu season Sept. 13 at Aloha Stadium against rival Kamehameha, is No. 6 in the West Region of the National High School Tony Football Poll.
The West Region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
Coach wanted: Maryknoll is looking for a sailing coach. Resumes can be by sent by Sept. 15 to email@example.com or mailed to Maryknoll School Athletic Department, 1526 Alexander St., Honolulu, HI 96822.