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Monday, May 27, 2024 76° Today's Paper


3 prep football games off

Paul Honda

They’re dropping out, but just for this week.


Three games on the nonconference slate have been canceled this weekend. The latest is Nanakuli’s decision to pull out of a home game against rival Waianae.

"I don’t know what happened at Nanakuli," Waianae coach Danny Matsumoto said.

The Seariders have played in two scrimmages, but will enter next week’s interleague game against Saint Louis without the benefit of real game experience.

"We still have to evaluate some players in a game situation," Matsumoto added.

Recently, Maui canceled a game against Waiakea, citing academic issues.

The same reason was given by Kalaheo, spoiling Lahainaluna’s grand opening of a new artificial turf field.

"I guess, academically, they didn’t have enough," Lunas co-head coach Bobby Watson said. "It’s hard to point fingers. Some kids don’t look at this as a big problem. Today, the philosophy has changed. Values have changed."

Numbers are another factor. While almost every public school football program faces significant losses due to academics, teams with smaller rosters like Kalaheo don’t have much room to give.

"If you have a big turnout, you have leeway," Watson noted.

With the gap in the schedule, Lahainaluna planned its preseason conditioning accordingly. Still, with school back in session, teams don’t have the kind of preparation time like they did in years past.

"Everybody statewide, fundamentally, you’re not ready, especially without two-a-days," Watson said. "The mental part comes in slowly."

The Lunas will still have a game on Saturday, though, when its junior varsity squad hosts King Kekaulike in an exhibition. The hard surface of the old field in boiling-hot Lahaina is a distant memory now.

"We’re hoping every year there’s something to add on," said Watson, noting that there are no new, big bleachers yet. If we can get lights, then we can play at night. Otherwise, the heat is unbearable."


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