The 18 Bulldogs showing up daily for conditioning know the task is daunting.
Such is the way at Kaimuki, where low numbers, big hearts and ultimate resilience have been the norm for years. Coach David Tautofi has lined up scrimmages with Kahuku, Campbell, Kailua and Saint Louis — not exactly an easy route for any program, let alone one in Division II.
Tautofi’s approach has yielded big dividends for the Bulldogs. In 2019, they won the OIA D-II title and finished the season 10-3 despite fielding one of the smallest rosters in the state. The endurance of two-way ironmen was crucial, as it is every season.
What could have been another highly successful season in 2020 was bumped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarterback Jayden Maiava has since departed to Las Vegas, where his family resides. Wide receiver/defensive back Koby Moananu, a recent inductee to the HHHSAA Hawaii Hall of Honor, has graduated and will walk on at Oregon State. Every summer, Tautofi and his staff have a new opportunity to rebuild with new ironmen.
“We’re just doing the best we can given the situation we’ve fallen in, and what the pandemic has done. I simply hope that we can keep our youth the priority,” Tautofi said.
Schools across the state saw a decline in academic performance during the distance-learning format.
“The biggest challenge now is eligibility. I hope we can grant exemptions to help bring relief on most of our kids that are dealing with all they’ve been dealt with in the pandemic. It would go a long way,” Tautofi said. “And it’s definitely needed.”
PREP FOOTBALL 2021
As of Thursday, June 24
Thursday, July 29
5:30 p.m. – Kaimuki, Kahuku at Campbell
6:30 p.m. – Waipahu at Kapolei (JV 4:30 p.m.)
Time TBD – Moanalua at Saint Louis
Time TBD – Aiea, Kaimuki at Waianae (JV/V)
(Note: Damien, Nanakuli at Campbell cancelled)
Friday, July 30
4 p.m. – Moanalua at McKinley
6:30 p.m. – Damien at Farrington
6:30 p.m. – Kahuku at Waipahu (JV 4 p.m.)
Time TBD – Mililani at Waianae (JV/V)
Saturday, July 31
4 p.m. – Kalani at Moanalua
6 p.m. – Pearl City, Kapaa at Waipahu (JV 4 p.m.)
6:30 p.m. – Damien at Waialua
Time TBD – Waianae at ‘Iolani
Time TBD – Kaimuki, Kailua at Saint Louis
Wednesday, Aug. 4
Time TBD – Kaimuki at Mililani
Saturday, Aug. 7
6:30 p.m. – Damien at Radford (JV pending)
Time TBD – Moanalua at Pearl City
Friday, Aug. 13
Time TBD – Saint Louis at Campbell
Friday, Aug. 20
Time TBD – Saint Louis at Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
All dates and times are subject to change.