Roosevelt was a quick one yesterday. Fifteen minutes and outta there. Roosevelt had a scrimmage with ‘Iolani coming right up. Below, a photo of Roosevelt’s manager crew.
On Monday, it was Damien. Great to hear about their plan to build a legit football field, even if it takes four years. Some fans may not think much of Damien football, but there aren’t a lot of high schools that have turned out as many college student-athletes (ratio wise). Six D-I football players in Kealoha Pilares’ graduating class? Superb.
Wednesday, it was a pleasant, as always, stop at Moanalua. Word is synthetic turf on the field is become a strong possibility. They already have a cool weight room (behind the mauka goalposts) and the snazziest gym (resort-level restrooms) among all public schools. It is a almost, my opinion, a private school in public-school garb.
Also got to talk story with Clemson prospect Scott Pagano. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive lineman worked his okole off all offseason. No breaks. His sweat equity paid off with 54 scholarship offers before he committed to Clemson, and it isn’t quite over. Competing schools haven’t stopped chasing him just yet.
Here’s Moanalua’s manager crew.
Before I stop in at Kaimuki this afternoon for more photos and video, I have to be properly hydrated and fueled. Maybe a pit stop at Sekiya’s. The mochi soup (ozoni) is pretty tasty. Then again, I could swing around the block and head to Rainbow Drive-In. Been awhile since I had my favorite chili plate on earth. Plus a (small) slush float. There’s also the mochiko chicken curry plate at Sumo Ramen, which, like Sekiya’s, is across the street from Dawgville.
Then it’s Waianae on Sunday (and a trip to Waianae Store, home of custom-made poke!). On Monday, it’s a return visit to Anuenue, which is always cool. I really like their campus, with the stream in the back and taro patch. On Thursday, Waialua and Kahuku have simultaneous photo shoots. Why would they do this? I don’t know. If it was more like Waialua at 3:30 and Kahuku at 5:30, I could stop in at Waialua and snack at all the cool places. I could even go early and try and find a farmers’ market. But no. I have to pick one and Kahuku is the one.
Farrington’s photo shoot is on Thursday. Then it’s five teams with photo shoots on Saturday. I cannot humanly be at all five. It’s been this clogged ever since the school year moved earlier, creeping into mid-August, then early August, and now late July. It’s so … wrong. Instead of spreading the photo tour slate out, teams dressing up on weekday mornings and early afternoons, it’s all mashed together after school and on Saturdays.
I’m already looking forward to the end of next week, the opening chapter of nonconference/preseason football games starting Friday, Aug. 10. This would be next-next weekend. (Yes, I know, Friday is technically not part of a “weekend.” Please forgive.) The doubleheader at Hugh Yoshida Stadium will be excellent. A look at Punahou and Leilehua. Last year, an Alaskan team wound up leading Leilehua before the Mules rallied for a 34-all tie. Yes, Alaska plays some good football.
I remember seeing East High School from Anchorage come to the Big Island and beat perennial BIIF champ Konawaena back in the 1990s. Eye-opening to say the least.
For now, though, it’s time to do some phone tag with coaches. While Jerry Campany, Billy “Bonecrusher” Hull and Jason Kaneshiro crank out more and more gems on the Prep Football Preseason Top 10 Countdown, I’ve got some hunting to do. Hunting for the top players in the state, position by position. I don’t want to miss anyone who may be elite level/potential, but hidden out at a program that’s under the radar.
Feel free to add your input here or by e-mail me at email@example.com. Or reach me on Facebook. What I’d really like is everyone’s opinionated (of course) individual category ratings — NCAA Football 13 style — of every player in the state. Realistically, getting everyone’s thoughts on the state’s best players would suffice. We’ll see.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser