Hawaii’s best teams looking for a challenge

Saint Louis linebacker Isaiah Feary (9) and defensive back Kai Kaneshiro (3) made it tough on Waianae in a 49-7 season-opening win. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The top three teams in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 are also in the MaxPreps national Top 150 after the latest rankings were released Monday.

All three — Saint Louis (No. 21), Punahou (No. 68) and Kahuku (No. 136) have a chance to rise — especially since they are all playing national competition this year. Kapolei is just outside of the MaxPreps Top 150, at No. 153.

The Crusaders host Narbonne (No. 67) of Los Angeles at Aloha Stadium on Sept. 23.

The Buffanblu (1-0) play Torrey Pines (No. 532) of San Diego at Aloha Stadium on Aug. 25, and then they visit Junipero Serra (No. 16) of Gardena, Calif., in San Diego on Sept 2.

The Red Raiders play Bingham (No. 43) of South Jordan, Utah, on Sept. 9 in the second game of the Polynesian Football Classic doubleheader.

Saint Louis coach Cal Lee nearly lined up games against two other mainland teams, including one national powerhouse — Junipero Serra (No. 241) of San Mateo, Calif. — but both fell through.

In addition, Mililani visits Clayton Valley Charter (No. 662) of Concord, Calif., on Sept. 1.

It appears that every year, there are more and more games involving Hawaii teams against some of the mainland’s top programs.

Hawaii top teams against mainland top programs

>> At Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 35, Kahuku 7 (Bishop Gorman’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 5)

>> Saint Louis 43, Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 16, at Aloha Stadium (Liberty’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 49)
>> Punahou 22, at Del Oro (Loomis, Calif.) 15 (Del Oro’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 323)
>> At Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 76, Mililani 53 (Liberty’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 49)

>> St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 63, Saint Louis 14, at Aloha Stadium (St. John Bosco’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 2)

>> Punahou 10, at Helix (La Mesa, Calf.) 6 (Helix’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 102)
>> At East (Salt Lake City) 38, Kahuku 15 (East’s 2017 MaxPreps ranking: No. 6)


  1. Gregory Nozoe August 7, 2017 9:39 pm

    What about when Long Beach Poly vs Kahunku @Aloha Stadium?

  2. anywaaaays!! August 7, 2017 10:12 pm

    Kahuku does not do well on the mainland, Hope that changes against Bingham this year. Punahou won all their games which is awesome.

    I still think Hawaii should create a super team to compete with the Bishop Gormans of this world. A Hawaii super team would be ranked in the top 10 nation wide every year. It seems that football is going the same way as AAU basketball where an elite league of a chosen few teams through out the country participate. Hawaii has so much talent but its scattered through the OIA and ILH systems which prevents Hawaii from having that ONE SUPERTEAM.

    1 – I think STL has the resources to be that school to congregate all of Hawaiis top athletes
    2 – but I think that STL would have to withdraw from the HHSAA tourney to show good faith to the rest of Hawaii schools that they are not trying to be the big fish in a little pond (you know how prideful the OIA is)
    3 – They should go independent and I think there will be no harm for an OIA or ILH team to want to play this superteam in a non-conference battle that wouldnt count against their regular season records.
    4 – The winner of the HHSAA state tourney could claim to be state champs and then go on to play one last game against this superteam in a bowl game
    5 – Kahuku has a pipeline of polynesians from new zealand, tonga, samoa and Utah – In order to get the Kahuku crowd on board at St. Louis, the entire school would have to convert and get baptized to mormon and probably change their name from St. Louis to St. Joseph Smith.
    6 – STL would also have to lower their admission standards just a little bit, oh wait what?!

  3. TOP OF THE HILL IN KAIMUKI August 7, 2017 10:53 pm


  4. anywaaaays!! August 7, 2017 11:06 pm

    In 2016 – Ron Lee after they beat Kahuku was quoted as saying “the competition in the OIA is weaker and we knew it would come back to bite Kahuku…we dont have a soft schedule we play Punahou and Kam so we were prepared for them”

    It sounds like playing in the ILH prepares you guys for a title run, and the soft OIA schedule is a disadvantage for Kahuku.

    Yet in 2015 – after Kahuku beat STL, Cal Lee says ……”it would be nice to play them in the regular season so we can get used to their smash mouth style”.

    So whats your story? Is Kahuku at a disadvantage or advantage in the weak OIA? ..or do you guys just make excuses?

  5. Hyn August 8, 2017 1:29 am

    Like they say the better the competition the better your gonna get. It brings the best out of you to compete against better teams. I would rather compete against a better team then smash weaker teams.

  6. Krazyfaka August 8, 2017 3:09 am

    Funny that no mainland team dares comes to kahuku to play.

  7. TooMeke August 8, 2017 4:36 am

    All you guys get a room.

    I’m gonna watch a great season.


  8. Coach C August 8, 2017 8:42 am

    Not Kahuku”s fault they playing weaker OIA teams. It’s part of the scheduling. Again put the six top OIA teams in one league
    (Kahuku,Kapolei,Mililani,Farrington,Waianae Campbell). Then split the rest into 2 leagues. The ILH did this several years ago to save the Damiens and Iolani from thrashing.
    Kaiser with Miano, then Radford with Salanoa didn’t do the teams good when the program left. The following years they get stuck in D1 and is fodder for the animals. The uproar in Hawaii Kai against Miano (alumni) and Chad Ikeda sealed the deal. To bad. The carnival for fund raising was scrapped. Too bad most if the complains came from people that never utilized public schools. It was a success but it crashed and burned. NO SUPPORT. While the ILH make’s sure they give 200% to all programs. That’s the difference folks.

  9. phILHarmonic August 8, 2017 12:03 pm

    So, it would look like this?

    Div 1
    Div 2

    I thought this was on the table at some point?
    Allows for easier transition into State format.
    Allows developing programs to not get mercilessly killed every week.
    Allows for fairer equitable competition.

    Sounds like a great idea lets do it!!

  10. ToppDogg August 8, 2017 12:29 pm

    Cake walks are easier then putting on your big boy pants.

  11. Vierra Ohana August 8, 2017 12:43 pm

    To all the rocket scientist making their comments about the OIA, wake up, why all the bashing? Your comments are so petty and childish (obviously lacking educational skills) It has been a known fact that for decades that the ILH schools recruit recruit recruit, if you cant field a solid team with the CREAM OF THE CROP and resources then something is terribly wrong. The OIA is what it is, it is a STATE RUN System, and if you may not be aware doesn’t even have enough funds to repair classrooms and football fields. I do have a question do you think many of the young men going to all of the so called top 3 ILH schools would be there if they had to cover the full cost, no tuition assistance, no housing allowance, you tell me how many families would be able to afford that. The OIA has its ups and downs but please do not disrespect and discredit the young men who show up each day to strap it up and compete. They have feelings, they have families, and schools that care. All of your negative comments makes an embarrassing statement about yourselves, your ohana, community and schools. #shameshameshame #KIDSfirst

  12. stacey August 8, 2017 1:30 pm

    why not just put the red raiders, buff and blue and crusaders in one league with the next best 3 or 4 teams and call it a day. love the red raiders but pls tell them that speed kills and you cant come to the mainland and expect to just run over teams. work that passing games in those blowouts

  13. hwnstyl August 8, 2017 1:38 pm

    The only people that want to hide from the ILH is the AD’s and not the coaches or players. The D.O.E. paid AD’s are to blame.
    Out of 20 something teams only 4 get to go to the playoffs this year, one less than the ILH.
    Dont blame anybody but the OIA AD’s.
    Maui 2 teams, Big I 2 teams.
    As for ILH kids, first off these kids should be commended and not ridiculed for accepting a more stringent education.
    Second, the idea that most are on scholarship is just untrue.
    The major reason players got back to Public is the cost, that’s because they are not on scholarship.
    If my son wanted to be recruited to play college ball, who would u want to show tape against Kalani or St louis? Kahuku,Millilani, Waianae, Kapolei,Wailua,Kailua, farrington, Maui High, all have kids with multiple scholarship offers including the Pac 12,SEC, and Big 10. so lets not get it messed up with the have and the have nots, Public schools have talent, they just need AD’s support to prove it week in and week out.

  14. bandits1 August 8, 2017 1:49 pm

    One good thing about playing in the OIA D1 and 2, you have to face all kinds of different offenses and defenses. Like anywaaaays!! quoted Cal Lee saying how they couldn’t prepare for Kahuku’s run-heavy offense because none of the other ILH teams can replicate it. The OIA teams have to prepare for and play running teams like Kahuku and Waianae and in D2, Waialua, and passing teams like Mililani and Leilehua and in D2, Waipahu and Pearl City.

  15. anywaaaays!! August 8, 2017 2:49 pm

    bandits1 – What are you talking about? In 2015 Cal Lee brought in T.Nichols (6’5″ 280lbs) Dline from Maui, they also recruited 1st team all state linebackers in J.Iosefa from Waipahu (now at USC) and Slade-Mataita from Kaiser (now at Oregon). Kahuku ran the wildcat the entire game, no tricks or whistles just straight up the A/B gap for 4 quarters. Its just an excuse of bad coaching to say “we are not used to the smash mouth”. He should have just admitted “they over powered us and there was nothing we could do”. But you know he was so salty that he didnt even stay to accept the 2nd place trophy.

  16. anywaaaays!! August 8, 2017 3:13 pm

    Dont forget that STL back in the early 2000’s was also playing weaker teams like Damien/Iolani/Pac5 but Damien got sick of STLs excessive recruiting that they protested by forfeiting against STL. Thats when the ILH split into D1 and D2. So basically STL lost friends in the ILH by getting too greedy on their path to obtain football dominance.

    Now 15yrs later as the ILH D1 is so boring because only 3 teams are in it, they realize that its bad for their programs to have repititive games against the same teams (STL/PUN/Kam). Some of the elite kids left STL and PUN to play on the mainland where more exposure and variety can be had. The ILH realized it was a threat so in order to improve their situation they needed the OIA to merge with them to diversify their schedule. NOPE! said the OIA. The ILH offered the OIA 3million$ to merge and the OIA still said NOPE!

    So a few months later the ILH strong armed their 2nd ILH team into the state tourney and thats why 2 ILH teams were in the tourney last year. This year the OIA fired back and said, screw you ILH none of our OIA teams are gonna play in the Open div. we are only going in the D1 and D2. Now the ILH got scared and pulled their 2nd ILH team out and now the Open division is back to normal.

    The ILH schools operate as a private business and is driven by money so they do not care if they run over each other or their friends to protect their bottom line. Than you OIA admins and ADs for putting your foot down just like Damien and telling the ILH elite to screw off!

  17. Slippery August 8, 2017 3:32 pm

    I think the ILH teams should play by district kids from out of the school district cannot play than we see how the standings would be.

  18. Coach K August 8, 2017 3:55 pm

    Keep the ILH out of the States, That would be the best thing for High school football in the States…More of the kids would play for the home schools…Its a fact now, that you don’t need to go to a private powerhouse school to get a Big School scholarship… With football camps and the internet everyone gets noticed…Parity in the public schools would be amazing…

  19. Telling it like it is!! August 8, 2017 4:02 pm

    It a different feel this year with Kahuku, they’re missing something. …. hopefully they can put it together! Tata did bring that Champion feeling and you KNOW when a Champion walks on the field!!! This year will be a work in progress, with both the Coaches and players. Good luck to all the teams. RRFL

  20. Hyn August 8, 2017 5:29 pm

    It’s so funny how you guys automatically say the kid was recruited if he’s good and going to a private school. Did you ever think the parents wanted to send him there and it turns out he’s also athletic. It’s a 2 way street people on here always bashing St. Louis for recruiting but yet they couldn’t keep there all state 1st team LB. hmmmm I wonder why because of no money. Like I said before and I’ll say it again St. Louis is not like the old days when they recruited. There just being labeled because of what they did in the past. unless you guys have the facts about this years kids stop bringing up the past.

  21. Coach C August 8, 2017 5:58 pm

    Phil harmic, Oia one D1 league, D2 with 2 leagues. No Open. The OIA cannot gauge the level of all 23 teams year to year for a 3 tier program.

  22. NoMakeSense August 9, 2017 6:17 am

    Hyn, and yet no one mentions the transfers that Kahuku gets from other schools, Polynesia or from schools on the mainland. Let’s see how many kids on Kahuku’s team are district exempted. But mention St. Louis and “recruit, recruit, recruit”. I guess many public school parents don’t realize that private school parents might send their children to their alma mater, just because. Many kids in private schools are there because of “legacies”, I should know, I was a third generation private school student. It’s not the kids, parents or schools fault that the kid ends up have great athletic ability while in that school.

  23. Knation August 9, 2017 8:17 am

    @make no sense exactly parents Will send there kids to their alma mater. Now when you think about those transfers at Kahuku and where there parents alma mater is at.

  24. Education First August 9, 2017 12:52 pm

    The phony Ed 1st is stealing anywaaays!! screen name as well as posting under BG Grad. His attempts are clumsy and so transparent. The guy should go back on his imaginary vacation. LOL. BTW, couldn’t catch the StL – Waianae game in person. Too far a drive for my mom. Caught it on O1012.

    GPA >TDs!!! I’m the One that all try to be!!

  25. Education First August 9, 2017 1:56 pm

    Education First August 9, 2017 12:52 pm
    The phony Ed 1st is stealing anywaaays!! screen name as well as posting under BG Grad. His attempts are clumsy and so transparent. The guy should go back on his imaginary vacation. LOL. BTW, couldn’t catch the StL – Waianae game in person. Too far a drive for my mom. Caught it on O1012.

    GPA >TDs!!! I’m the One that all try to be!!
    WOW, my shadow is back again trying to be me. Hello shadow! I missed you. I am just curious. why you want to be me so badly. Some think it’s cool. I think it’s pretty pathetic that you cannot be yourself. But, whateve floats your boat.


  26. Coach K August 9, 2017 3:59 pm

    It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it is what it is…If St.Louis don’t recruit their just another team…Thats the truth…Of course you going be good when go to the Big Boy leagues and look for the athletes that fit your Offense and Defense…Thats a HUGE advantage….The OIA teams don’t gave this luxury….

  27. Hyn August 9, 2017 11:05 pm

    Coach k- almost all the good division 1 oia teams do have there own big boy teams. Like you said it is a hard pill to swallow that St. Louis don’t recruit like the old days . But if you know anyone there they will be the first to tell you that those days are over. It’s a sad thing that the LB transferred to kapolei but it’s a good example that these kids at St. Louis actually pay there way to go school.

  28. Choloropicrin August 10, 2017 12:08 am

    whats the birthday cutoff for a kid to be held back to the next school year? July or June? August?

    I’ve been looking at some of the college rosters and I see a few Hawaii kids with birthdays that made them 18 when they played ball in high school.

    The law changed sometime in 2010…where if your birthday was after August you start school (Kinder) the next year. Prior to that if it was before August you enroll with your normal class.

    I ask because there are a few Hawaii players that was 18 when they played ball in high school.

  29. Hyn August 10, 2017 7:33 am

    I think most kids are either 18 or turn 18 during their senior year. Unless you are late born and never got held back. The rule now for public school is if your late born you can’t start school till the year after.

  30. Choloropicrin August 10, 2017 10:01 am

    So if you’re 18 prior to the football season (their senior year) that’s ok?

    They would have gotten held back or flunked down to the next grade. I guess it also depends on what state / country they started school too, that would be a factor. Some Hawaii kids birthdays showed that they were 18 years old when they played their senior year.

    Im unsure and I thought that there was a rule against that.

  31. Hyn August 10, 2017 10:19 am

    Well if you think about it why would make a difference if a kid turns 18 in September and 18 in January. It’s only a 4 month difference. That’s why there’s no even line with late and early born. No matter which way you look at it someone is always going to be older by months with this new rule.

  32. Mike Yoshida August 11, 2017 10:12 am

    Coach C : Yes it’s too bad in the end only the kids loose opportunities to move up in next level.
    Looking at today’s game schedule Kaiser forfit? What a shame. Mililani gets to play no one to improve
    Sad indeed and shame on Hawaii Kai Community for no supporters.
    Kaiser kids should move to Kalani and build them a new football stadium.

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