Like it or not, transfers are and have been a big part of Hawaii high school football for a long time.
Many observers feel that Farrington was fortunate to pick up quarterback Justin Uahinui from Kaiser last week, and that may prove to be true.
But Farrington, it turns out, lost at least five starters to other schools over the summer, including four that went to Silverado in Las Vegas where former Philadelphia Eagles star Randall Cunningham is the head coach.
One of the departures to Nevada was highly recruited linebacker Jeremiah Pritchard, who received scholarship offers from Hawaii, Colorado and UNLV after his stellar junior season with the Governors. The others are defensive back Keiki Misipeka, linebacker Pekelo Solomon and tight end C.J. Liana.
In addition, Farrington lost Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State second-team kicker Kekoa Sasaoka to Kakuku. Another starter from last season, left tackle Sheldon Poutoa, did not come out for football this season, according to head coach Randall Okimoto.
Okimoto said three coaches from last year’s staff are gone, including Keiki Misipeka Sr., a defensive assistant who moved with his son to Las Vegas. The two others, Govs defensive coordinator Gary Graham and special teams and defensive line coach coach Sean Pacheco, are now Saint Louis assistants, according to Okimoto.
On the bright side, Okimoto said about 50 players are on the varsity roster.
“We have a lot of adversity to overcome,” the coach said before Tuesday’s practice. “But with all those players out for varsity football, it’s a good sign. We usually only have about 40 or about 45 at the most,” he said.
Okimoto spoke about one more hardship, the fact that his team is practicing at Kalakaua Middle School, which is about half-mile down Kalihi St. from the Farrington campus. It’s a mostly dirt field and the players get there by jogging together.
Farrington, which played relatively evenly against Kamehameha in a Thursday scrimmage at Kunuiakea Stadium, placed third in the Oahu Interscholastic Association a year ago and wound up losing to Mililani 17-14 in the state semifinals.
The Govs meet Punahou for a 9:30 a.m. scrimmage Saturday and have a bye on the following weekend before opening against Waipahu on Aug. 15 at Aloha Stadium.