They might not be ready to jump up now, but eventually coach Bryson Carvalho would like to see his Waipahu Marauders move up to the Open Division in football.
The Marauders defeated defending champion Hilo 42-22 on Saturday in the Division I (middle tier) title game of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships at Aloha Stadium. They did it with a roster full of talented athletes who have been winning football games in bunches the last few years.
Carvalho is 29-15 in his four years with the school and he has one OIA D-II crown (2017) to go along with the D-I title the Marauders won this year.
In addition, Waipahu defeated Waianae — an Open Division team — 34-13 in a 2018 season-opening nonleague game.
A few minutes after hoisting the koa trophy on Saturday at Aloha Stadium, Carvalho was asked if going up to the Open is something he thinks about.
“Of course,” he said. “Yes it is (on my mind). We’re the second largest school in the state and our academic accolades are amazing. We graduate a whole bunch of kids with associate’s degrees and high school diplomas. We have lot of different academies. We’re a very good academic school and I want to make sure our athletic department matches that. I’m going to do my part as a football coach to do that.
“Definitely, definitely, that’s the goal is to get up to the Open.”
In the OIA-ILH interleague two-year pilot program, there are nine Open teams, 10 in D-I and 10 in D-II. Teams moving up and down is a possibility, but has not been officially discussed.