Nothing stays on TV for 25 years without a little star power, and OC 16 has had more than enough to keep it going.
The cable station, which began as KBLE-17, will begin its 25th year of broadcasting high school sports on Thursday when Punahou visits Mililani. Nobody knows which names will be remembered 25 years from now, just as nobody knew that one of the most recognizable names from that first game was Aiea’s little quarterback.
Current Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda led Na Alii with 54 yards passing at Aloha Stadium that September night at Aloha Stadium, but his Aiea squad got thumped by his future employer 23-7. Running back Calvin Melvin led the way with 140 yards rushing for the Mules. Both teams entered the stadium undefeated at 3-0.
Tokuda is still amazed at how far it has come.
“Being the first televised game was pretty exciting,” he said. “I never thought it would come full circle. I’m very blessed and grateful to have an opportunity to make a positive impact in young people’s lives.”
The first broadcast was a doubleheader, with Kahuku and Roosevelt playing the second game, and that is where the future stars shone brightest. The Rough Riders held Mark Atuaia to just 51 yards on the ground, but couldn’t contain quarterback Daryl Stant and his favorite receiver. Stant threw for 203 yards, 174 of them to future NFL tight end Itula Mili. Kahuku won 20-13.
Mili’s effort remains the fourth-highest output for the school in the Prep Bowl and State Championship eras, and has been bettered only twice since. At the time, Stant became only the second Kahuku quarterback to throw for more than 200 yards in a game, but that list has grown to eight since.
The station will broadcast games Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week and has a full slate planned for its anniversary season after airing Judo, Track & field and wrestling for the first time last year. Sand volleyball and cheerleading are in the plans for the fall season.
The full season schedule can be found at: