Kailua is on to something special this season, starting off 5-0 after suffering through a winless campaign last year in coach Joe Wong’s first season.
He knew things would get brighter after closing last year’s campaign with a one-point loss to Moanalua, his charges never got a win but got better every week. And then they made the jump over the summer. The Surfriders have won each of their games this year by more than a touchdown, but face Farrington next.
Win or lose, the Surfriders have already had a successful season. Only four coaches in the Prep Bowl and State Championship eras have won more games after a winless season than Kailua has this year and the Surfriders still have three regular-season contests left.
Only five Oahu teams in the Prep Bowl and State Championship eras followed a winless season with a campaign over .500. Here is one of them, we will post the other four this week:
2000 Campbell, from 0-9 to 8-2
Everything went wrong for Darren Hernandez in his final year at Campbell, platooning basketball star Eddie Tangjian and Armand Kalani at quarterback until Vincent Lemau, the starter the previous year, took over for the last three games.
Still, the Sabers scored only 8.1 points per game and allowed 24.9 and the winless campaign moved the Sabers from the grueling OIA Red to the more manageable OIA White. Tumoana Kennessey took over as coach, and the Sabers took off with a full season out of Lemau.
Kennessey urged 30.4 points per game from his offense and allowed only 18.9 on the way to a 7-1 conference record and a share of the division title with Castle and McKinley. Unfortunately, Kennessey lost a coin toss and Castle earned the top seed for the playoffs and beat Kailua.
Campbell drew Red power Waianae and saw its season end in a 35-0 shutout with Lemau throwing four interceptions and Wallace Simanu adding another. The Sabers also lost four fumbles to the unbeaten Seariders, who were paced on offense by 179 rushing yards from Lono Manners.
Campbell moved up to the Red after than and had winning seasons the next three years. In additon to Lemau’s leadership, the 2000 Campbell squad was led by running back Jamison Rabaino with three games over 100 yards including a 209-yard effort against Castle. Andrew Napihaa, Justin Pantohan, Shaun Arnold and Randy Saramosing were Lemau’s top targets.
The Sabers didn’t have anyone selected to the first team of either newspaper’s All-State team but Napihaa was first team OIA White along with offensive linemen Kaeo Lealao and Derek Faaui. The defense was led by Kalani at defensive back and Justin Torralva on the defensive line. Chris Faumuina was the top linebacker on the turnaround team.
Here is a roster of the 2000 Campbell team from the season yearbook: sabers