A receiver was coming down with all the balls thrown to him — the ones right at him, the high ones, the low ones.
It didn’t matter who was throwing it, either. Waialua’s Hunter Apau caught nine passes for 98 yards in a 47-7 season-ending loss to Roosevelt at Tosh Nakasone Field on Friday night. Four came from starting quarterback Justyce Lacar and five were from backup QB Kyler Dicion.
Those three players represent the future of the Bulldogs’ offense. Two are freshmen and one is a sophomore.
Waialua coach Lincoln Barit and senior two-way lineman Matthan Hatchie let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, about Apau, who is only a freshman.
“Throughout the rest of his career, he’s going to be dominant, so people better watch out for him,” said Hatchie, who has an offer from the University of Hawaii and who caught a touchdown pass as a tight end in his last high school game for the Bulldogs’ only score of the night. “Mostly he has good character, doesn’t lose his cool, calm and collected.”
Barit went a bit further.
“To me, he’s going to be a (college) D-I player coming up,” the coach said about Apau. “For him, it’s all natural. It’s something that we just fine tune. We don’t need to teach him.
“And Justyce is only a freshman, too, and Dicion is just a sophomore.”
Lacar went 7-for-11 in the early going, but he wound up throwing five interceptions, including four that were returned for touchdowns.
Dicion was the one who threw the 18-yard TD to Hatchie to put the Bulldogs (0-8, 0-7 OIA Division II) on he board.
“That play was designed for (Hatchie),” Barit said. “We put him in at tight end sometimes, but we need him more at offensive tackle. We were going to throw it to him for the 2 points, but my coaches yelled at me and said, ‘Hey let’s let Trace Pule kick it.’ He’s a senior, so we kicked it.”
Senior quarterback Tevesi Toia, who has been out with a knee injury, suited up for the game but did not play. If Barit had the chance, he was going to put Toia in for a kneel-down play at the end of the game, a way to symbolize his value to the team in his final game. Barit said Toia will be having knee surgery.
Offensively against Roosevelt, Waialua held its own with 214 net scrimmage yards — 215 through the air and minus-1 on the ground. Roosevelt rushed for 225 yards and did not complete any of its three passes.
It was a long way down the hill for the Bulldogs this season after they won the OIA D-II championship and played in the state tournament last year.
But Barit is still smiling.
“I’m looking forward to next year already,” he said. “We’re gonna start ’em early.”