Kahuku, Saint Louis alone on the big stage

The sea of red is back in the championship again this year. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
The sea of red is back in the championship again this year. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

There are so many reasons to attend the first-ever, and maybe last, Open Championship on Saturday.

The Sea of Red cheering on one of the best defenses ever and the last chance to see Tua Tagovailoa in a real game before he moves on to Alabama are two of them.

But how many people will be there to see it? It certainly has an epic matchup going for it and not being on television except for pay-per-view will help. But it has a few things going against it as well.

For the first time since 2002, when official attendance was a paltry 10,935, the state championship game will stand alone. The Division I and II championships will be held the previous night.

The new Open has had quite a successful start, drawing 5,540 to the first round and 11,872 to the semifinals. Last year’s Division I state championships drew 3,146 in the first round and 11,704 in the semis before getting 19,699 through the gates for Kahuku’s championship win over Saint Louis.

The last time the state title game featured a rematch was 2012 when Kahuku and Punahou fell 3,000 fans short of the previous year.

So take a guess. How many fans do you think will be in attendance on Saturday? Leave predictions in the comments.

Guesses so far: 50,000; 25,000+; 20,000; 19,642; 17,000; 16,500; 13,000; 11,000

State championship attendances (Division II game in parenthesis)
2015: Kahuku 39, Saint Louis 14, Aloha Stadium, 19,699, (Radford 30, Kapaa 16)
2014: Mililani 53, Punahou 45, Aloha Stadium, 19,254 (Iolani 31, Lahainaluna 14)
2013: Punahou 28, Mililani 22, Aloha Stadium, 20,934 (Kaiser 17, Kauai 7)
2012: Kahuku 42, Punahou 20, Aloha Stadium, 17,820 (Iolani 36, Lahainaluna 33)
2011: Kahuku 30, Punahou 24, Aloha Stadium, 20,058 (Iolani 34, Waipahu 0)
2010: Saint Louis 36, Waianae 13, Aloha Stadium, 12,309 (Iolani 49, Kaimuki 14)
2009: Kamehameha 34, Kahuku 21, Aloha Stadium, 21,661 (Iolani 24, Kauai 17)
2008: Punahou 38, Leilehua 7, Aloha Stadium, 25,571 (Iolani 35, Radford 20)
2007: Leilehua 20, Saint Louis 16, Aloha Stadium, 15,583 (Iolani 28, Lahainaluna 21)
2006: Kahuku 7, Saint Louis 6, Aloha Stadium, 18,870 (King Kekaulike 33, Kauai 20)
2005: Kahuku 28, Punahou 21, Aloha Stadium, 24,667 (Iolani 34, Radford 20)
2004: Kamehameha 28, Leilehua 7, Aloha Stadium, 17,757 (Campbell 28, Iolani 7)
2003: Kahuku 27, Saint Louis 26, Aloha Stadium, 15,061 (Aiea 9, Damien 7)
2002: Saint Louis 34, Castle 15, Aloha Stadium, 10,935
2001: Kahuku 21, Saint Louis 14, Aloha Stadium, 24,841
2000: Kahuku 26, Saint Louis 20, Aloha Stadium, 14,267
1999: Saint Louis 19, Kahuku 0, Aloha Stadium, 10,864
Prep Bowls
1998: Saint Louis 28, Kahuku 20, Aloha Stadium, 20,959
1997: Saint Louis 27, Waianae 0, Aloha Stadium, 23,973
1996: Saint Louis 7, Waianae 0, Aloha Stadium, 16,094
1995: Saint Louis 27, Kahuku 26, Aloha Stadium, 29,129
1994: Saint Louis 26, Kahuku 20, Aloha Stadium, 25,838
1993: Saint Louis 37, Kahuku 22, Aloha Stadium, 21,114
1992: Saint Louis 35, Waianae 7, Aloha Stadium, 19,202
1991: Saint Louis 36, Waianae 6, Aloha Stadium, 21,169
1990: Saint Louis 38, Farrington 3, Aloha Stadium, 29,362
1989: Saint Louis 35, Kahuku 18, Aloha Stadium, 22,219
1988: Saint Louis 49, Waianae 7, Aloha Stadium, 18,752
1987: Saint Louis 35, Waianae 0, Aloha Stadium, 17,029
1986: Saint Louis 49, Waianae 6, Aloha Stadium, 15,922
1985: Pac-Five 56, Waianae 7, Aloha Stadium, 16,894
1984: Leilehua 10, Saint Louis 0, Aloha Stadium, 27,449
1983: Saint Louis 15, Nanakuli 12, Aloha Stadium, 27,665
1982: Pac-Five 14, Waianae 7, Aloha Stadium, 24,090
1981: Radford 14, Saint Louis 2, Aloha Stadium, 22,235
1980: Iolani 7, Waianae 7, Aloha Stadium, 31,484
1979: Kaiser 27, Kamehameha 7, Aloha Stadium, 26,619
1978: Waianae 14, Kamehameha 6, Aloha Stadium, 32,812
1977: Waianae 27, Punahou 6, Aloha Stadium, 30,793
1976: Kamehameha 46, Radford 6, Aloha Stadium, 26,666
1975: Kamehameha 20, Waianae 14, Aloha Stadium, 30,201
1974: Kamehameha 20, Leilehua 19, Honolulu Stadium, 11,955
1973: Waianae 6, Saint Louis 0, Honolulu Stadium, 18,717


  1. DaKineStuff November 13, 2016 6:37 pm

    I say Kahuku going bring atleast 7,000…. And St. Louis probably 4,000 & neutral fans maybe 2,000…

  2. Big Red! November 13, 2016 8:08 pm

    25,000 plus,^^^Kahuku alone rolls 12,000 plus killa! Everyone wants to see Tua and Kahukus Defense! And that awesome running attack of Kahuku and the Saints Best Defense in the ILH

  3. anywaaaays!! November 13, 2016 8:24 pm

    IMHO the two real title games (D2 and OPEN) should be Friday night. The consolation D1 title game should be played Monday 11am at Mililani field during recess.

    Since the Open title game is the single feature it will not reach 20,000. Maybe 8,000 from Kahuku and 9,000 from St. Louis. If St. Louis is losing in the 4th quarter expect a mass exodus of 8,900 people.

  4. Manley November 13, 2016 11:34 pm

    I say 16,500 only because of the single game format.

  5. Joe King November 13, 2016 11:45 pm

    All I know is F&@$ Oceanc cable for putting the state game on pay per view. That’s such bullshit how Oceanic is trying to make money off of a high school football game. I don’t care if the schools get part of the profit because the people who get the majority of the profit are oceanic and that’s just wrong. I hope nobody pays for this and Oceanic makes no money. OCEANIC already rips people off everyday by the rates they charge on their Internet and cable bulls. This is gonna be an awesome game. Idk if the saints have what it takes to take down Kahuku. WhIle they have Tua, Kahuku whole secondary will just smother those recovers. But St. Louis does have the better coaching staff by far and that’s obvious because Kahuku only relies on talent and their coaches don’t really coach up the kids. They just rely on their talented kids to win games and they do. And you seen that against Bishop Gorman. When they faced a team with equal or slightly better talent, Kahukus coaches made no adjustments and didn’t do a damn thing. So, if St. Louis can jump out to an early lead they might have a chance because the coaches for Kahuku won’t know what to do

  6. Joe King November 13, 2016 11:50 pm


    QB. X
    WR. X
    RB. X
    O-LINE. X
    D-LINE. X
    LB. X
    DB. X
    S. TEAM. X

  7. Joe King November 13, 2016 11:55 pm

    Oh yeah, I just have one more thing to say. Kapaa sucks and doesn’t deserve to be in the state championship game for d2. Once again the outer island refs prove to give the advantage to the home team which is pathetic. The outer islands obviously can’t win games on their own and they think they deserve to be mentioned with the big oahu teams but they don’t and they never will. Thank God we don’t have the stare championship games on the outer island because every year an outer island team would win. But sorry Kapaa, you guys suck and couldn’t beat Damien heads up. You guys know it and everyone knows the refs helped you win that game. It’s really sad because you guys stole a spot from the damien kids who deserve to be in the title game and Kapaa kids don’t deserve it and I hope they lose and take their losing asses back to kauai.

  8. AUWE November 14, 2016 12:21 am


  9. Keppppp November 14, 2016 2:25 am

    Sellout 50,000

  10. Outlaw Jose-y November 14, 2016 3:09 am

    I don’t know about attendance due to the costs of tickets. $14 for 2 games is ok but for one game, that’s pricey. Hope they have enough discounted tickets because the bank ran out early last year. PPV and Internet is pricey too, but they say all proceeds go to HHSAA. Hope it’s a great game,

  11. Mahatma Gandhi November 14, 2016 3:19 am

    Best defense ever? This year’s Kahuku defense is not as good as last year. But their offense is better and more diverse. Just look at how many yards Kahuku’s D gave up to Kapolei. 330.
    The best Defense I ever saw in the OIA was Waianae’s 1979 D. Max Maneafaiga. Fred Toilolo. Watson Mahaulu. Jerry Faagai. Bob Sylva. Elgin Awong.
    I remember how the Waianae vs Kaiser OIA championship games in the late 1970s would draw 28,000 fans to the game. But those games meant a lot more back then as only the OIA champion advanced to the championship game.

  12. Red Raider 4 Life November 14, 2016 4:26 am

    I see that back in the day they drew large crowds, maybe because it wasn’t on TV? That would be my guess.
    Anyways, this is going to be a great game. Good luck to both teams and hope no one gets hurt, but….
    RR4L c/o87

  13. Chloropicrin November 14, 2016 5:16 am

    All proceeds go to HHSAA and TV revenue to OC, what does the schools get in return? Mainly the public schools? One kid from each school gets $1000 scholarship I bet. The rest is to fill the pockets. These two orgs are making money off of these kids backs / games like the NCAA, but only on a smaller level.

    I’ve been saying it all year, OC is great and I do appreciate their services, but they do take away revenue at the schools when there are broadcasting the game. I mean look at the sparse crowds at the schools when OC and Xcast broadcast games.

  14. Red Raider 4 Life November 14, 2016 5:39 am

    Anyone know how to see the game for us that live on the mainland? Is OC going to give us that option to pay per view it up here?

  15. ??? November 14, 2016 6:16 am

    Kahuku wins: 42-14.
    Attendance: 20,500

  16. LohuiLani November 14, 2016 7:42 am


  17. Mainislander November 14, 2016 8:58 am

    Red Raider 4 Life, I saw last weeks game via UStream. A Kahuku fan was streaming the game. If your okay with the side commentary from the streamer, besides the actual game commentators, then that would be the way to go unless you only want to listen to the game on the internet.

  18. Simple Simon November 14, 2016 10:08 am

    A defense back in 1979 when all they had were 5 plays? LoL #getouttahhea

  19. Rough Rider November 14, 2016 10:33 am

    Kahuku coaching does a wonderful job, If you follow Kahuku (Tata) he got a plan for every team, now you need to understand his theory. Kapolei game plan from my point, now remember I’ve been watching Kahuku for a while and Tata too. Leave room for the QB to pass but only room for short pass run long, let the DBs do the work, So what Kapolei did was prepare Kahuku for Saint Louis. Good Plan, Got their the running game going, little passing and great defense. The people in the stand was yelling get the QB, but if they understood Tata it was a good game prep. Both Kahuku and Saint Louis got a chance. that’s why they both CHAMPS. GO BIG RED : you need to see them live, it worth the price.

  20. YNAE November 14, 2016 11:26 am

    If anyone wants to beat Kahuku they have to get by Kahuku Defense the only way St. Louis will win if they run pic plays but guest what the guy who said that Kahuku don’t know how to make adjustment try again I know St. Louis can’t stop the run and Kahuku can defend the pass

  21. NoCry November 14, 2016 12:40 pm

    Mahatma – Kaiser beat Waianae for the OIA champuionship in 1979. Then they beat Kamehameha for the prep bowl. Kaiser had the best Defense back in that day. Sorry!

  22. rrforlifebaby November 14, 2016 1:09 pm

    I will say about 21,000

    Should be an entertaining game…if you’re a Big Red fan…lol.

    Tua man is a talented kid(and good luck to him at the next level), and he will make some plays, but not enough. Big Red wins going away.


  23. ILH November 15, 2016 12:41 am

    The open division Championship Game should have the referees from the outer islands, and the referees here should referee the outer island teams, If Marshall and Victor are part of the Referees in the Kahuku-Saint Louis game, Saint Louis could be in trouble if the game is close,

  24. TooMeke November 15, 2016 6:46 am

    @ILH – the score won’t be close enough to blame the refs.

    go spread your conspiracy theories elsewhere… the only conspiracy was this new state format between ILH and HHSAA…

    and ILH going Oh-fer again…


  25. Education First November 15, 2016 9:00 am

    Kahuku – 35
    STL – 14

  26. Lala November 15, 2016 9:04 am

    IRT ILH…guess you want the great officials from Kauai to call the game, because they truly suck, then almost guarantee St. Louis will win.

  27. TheHeartlessPrick November 15, 2016 12:42 pm

    Will be the last great State Championship in a long time. I don’t see anything impressive in the near future.

  28. Searider86 November 15, 2016 1:36 pm

    I’m guessing 20,000…should be a good one! HEAWEKO BOYZ!!

  29. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate November 15, 2016 3:03 pm

    hhsaa doing what they do best. manipulate!

    $14 adult ticket at gate
    $6 child ticket at gate

    $10 adult ticket at 1stHawaiian bank
    $10 child ticket at 1stHawaiian bank

    if u buy at the bank u save on adult ticket but ur kids tickets are more expensive. this is not about high school sports anymore its about the hhsaa adults in power manipulating for greed. shame shame shame

  30. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate November 15, 2016 4:23 pm

    oh yeah the haka will b in full effect at the coin toss an no matter what rules the hhsaa put on kahuku no players will b penalized for it. smh. #kahukurules #killinme #kaipahuakura #kahukus.haka

  31. Paper Crane November 16, 2016 3:26 pm

    Let’s “Make Kahuku Greater” then, like no need to even vote with our varsity in smash mouth power overdrive like katoosh’n assignment only putting the scoreboard on mercy rule; a reminder for those who always leave early whereas Red Raiders are still 2015 defending champion for the State of Hawaii High School Football until prove otherwise by all local on comers like nothing to figure out whereas final numbers;

    Kahuku Red Raiders 52 and St Louis Crusaders 16

  32. Unko Alvin November 16, 2016 8:44 pm

    As always for the State of Hawaii number one football championship game we always fail to give points accordingly and we always leave out the 3rd party unreliable and the go easy written rules whereas:

    Kahuku Red Raiders 48 (61) , St Louis Crusaders 19, Mercy Rules 13, and not to leave out especially the HHSFAA Officiating Referees 8; cannot wait like only 3 more wakeups and then it’s celebrating the loud and happy victory bus ride homeward;…GO BIG RED and like be happy and don’t worry; just saying and so enjoy Hawaii Nei. RR4L

  33. atbbatman November 16, 2016 9:39 pm

    Hey everyone out there…
    the kids at kahuku today said that the HHSAA is telling the Kahuku coaches and AD that if they do the Haka on Saturday against St. Louis they would be disqualified and lose the title.
    my kids told me this today and the students are not happy.
    so is it TRUE or just a Rumor?
    Confused about it.

  34. Tutu Kane Ale November 16, 2016 10:53 pm

    @atbbatman;..BIG RED being doing the Haka for quite sometime now and even the UH Warriors do it; just anything to make HHSAA not great again and lets hope it’s just a rumor; now did St Louis High request this and if it’s true then HHSAA better solidify this rumor like quick cause it’s only dingle berry unhealthy and if it is so then HPD need to plan for backup Saturday night like bring on the weekend Army National Guard aka Weekend Warriors; eh what next huh freaking unreal this rumor or HHSAA. Mahalo for sharing whether true or just a wild sss rumor. RR4LE

  35. Alpha November 16, 2016 11:49 pm

    Disqualified? As in the game will not be played after tickets and ppv have been sold? I think it’s just a Rumor, but if you want answers then push the issue. The haka, ha’a, sipi tau, siva tau, cibi have been done way before Hawaii was the 50th state of America. What’s the problem with these polynisian kids wanting to pay homage to their ancestors by coming together and doing a pregame Maori war dance. If they say there’s a time and place, then ask why the I.O.C didn’t step in when it was done at the Olympic before basketball and rugby games, or why schools around the country can do it pregame and/or postgame. The haka is not a big deal, but if this rumor is true it goes to show how petty things can get over a football game.

  36. Paper Crane November 17, 2016 12:14 am

    @atbbatman; tell you what “YOUR RUMOR” is not funny especially when “Confused about it” is your last sentence whereas rumors are not confusing more so they can cause damage and sometime injury or even life threatening or death; so wherever you got your “Confused about it” rumor is almost the same as the empty puka in your head whereas it’s zero empty like the same go into your unhealthy “Confused about it” rumor; just saying by reading in between your comments whereas it’s not smarter then a 4th Grader;…got you like nice try instigator with puka head.

  37. atbbatman November 17, 2016 1:53 am

    I did get a response from someone from another sports site,
    if they do the Haka before the game they will get a unsportsmanlike penalty for who ever does it, and the coach would be ejected.
    now this is what was said to me , so don’t get all high and mighty, all you so smart people out there just chill out, don’t shoot the messenger.

  38. Tutu Kane Ale November 17, 2016 2:55 am

    No one is shooting the rumor messenger; my advice is if you got nothing valid or legit please don’t expose it cause you shoot yourself in the foot; first we have “Confused about it” together with “disqualified and lose the title” and now it’s “unsportsmanlike penalty and the coach will get ejected”; eh, young rumor messenger, if you haven’t got it from a reliable source meaning the AD or Coach Tata then you better start chilling out and hold off anymore rumors before all the daytime commenteers join in and go Red Hot ballistic;…please hold off and hopefully some reliable source will shed light on these rumors in compromise and very soon out of control; please, lets give it until Friday COB…mahalo. RR4LE

  39. Unko Alvin November 17, 2016 3:14 am

    Geeee, some people’s children just don’t get it; eh Bro, RUMORS are almost the same as cyberspaced out peeps who accuse, abuse, and misused them command: ENTER, EXIT, DELETE, then ESCAPE; bottom line invalid entry or invalid source of information is zero truth.

  40. O November 17, 2016 5:59 pm

    Bring on the Haka bring on the red stuff, bring on the north shore…..i hope you guys come with everything on Saturday. Do the Haka. It don’t matter, this year is St. Louis’ year. We gonna punch right back. Don’t expect an easy game like last year.

  41. Pa'a ka waha November 17, 2016 6:42 pm

    O November 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm
    Bring on the Haka bring on the red stuff, bring on the north shore…..i hope you guys come with everything on Saturday. Do the Haka. It don’t matter, this year is St. Louis’ year. We gonna punch right back. Don’t expect an easy game like last year.

    Hahahaha…you make it seem like St. Louis is REALLY that good. Tua is good….receivers are ok….Oline is blah….defense is blah…starting to sound like Kapolei fans…bwahahaha….everybody looks good until they play Kahuku!!! #puncheminthemouth

  42. O November 17, 2016 8:57 pm

    @paaaakaawaaaaa’aa…..is that it? Sorry the name is too long. How long have u been a Kahuku can for may I ask?

  43. O November 17, 2016 8:58 pm


  44. Kahuku90 November 17, 2016 9:41 pm

    O November 17, 2016 at 8:57 pm
    @paaaakaawaaaaa’aa…..is that it? Sorry the name is too long. How long have u been a Kahuku can for may I ask?
    Pa’a ka waha…don’t disrespect the Hawaiian language! Punk.
    It means SHUT YOUR MOUTH…all you’re doing is running your mouth with jibberish. Name too long? Shoot you cant even spell “fan” or “can” or whatever crap comes out of your waha. Brah I am an alumnus of Kahuku. We’ll see how good the Brotherhood is come Saturday. IMHO not very. You’ll have to wait a while longer to #restoreorder….lmao

  45. Tutu Kane Ale November 18, 2016 12:08 am

    @O, just hoping that you not PTSD to Education First (grader); don’t know who let you in but I notice EF is silent these days; anyway St Louis star QB Tua may not play the entire game but if he does, Red Raiders Defense will do him a painful night to remember whereas his plan to make his early presence at Alabama may be delayed; just like Milton he didn’t play but only minutes of his last two games whereas he was pulled out for good the rest of the entire time whereas Coach York wisely kept him in healthy preservation yet if Tua’s self traumatic motivation pushes him in playing the entire game like graciously the many Big Red Smash Mouth specialist will be more then honored to do him over, under, and out of the game; eh, the heat is on like Tua is the man yet for RED RAIDERS DEFENSE their assignment is to bring the man down and the finale is to do a DL compromise to the man Tua and definitely half time mercy rule will transpire; NOW JUST SAYING,… RR4LE

  46. KRRNS November 18, 2016 5:24 am

    No haka is not a rumor-
    After what happened at last year’s championship coin toss, HHSAA has said that any player that participates in any ‘pre-game celebration event’ on the field (so it doesn’t look like they are singling out the haka) they will be disqualified from the game.
    Call it the Kahuku rule
    I think any coach that doesn’t accept a trophy to celebrate the efforts of his team at the end of the year and leaves players behind at AlohaStadium should not be able to coach in the playoffs the following year
    Call it the Call Lee rule

  47. Unko Alvin November 18, 2016 12:22 pm

    Auwe, I dreamt a nightmare like I had no voice and my feet hurt from stumping the floor yet it ended up with loud cheering and yelling on the school bus homeward and when I woke up it was final whereas:

    Kahuku Red Raiders 52,………St Louis Crusaders 19

    Uncanny that my RIP folks were on the bus too; no rumor but only some strong message on the bus? RR4L

  48. USMC November 18, 2016 12:37 pm

    On the drive home last night I heard on ESPN’s “Sports Animals” broadcast that they could do a pre-game Haka, with the following exceptions:

    -It could not be directed at the opponents (must face the home crowd)
    -If flagged for facing the opponents, the players would receive an unsportsmanlike penalty and the head coach would be ejected.

    Feel free to call the radio station to confirm/not confirm. I just know that was exactly what I heard Hart and Dickman being told by the broadcaster who did the play-by-play last year and is supposedly doing it again this year. I’m not talking about Felipe (OC16), but the radio play-by-play guy (I can’t remember his name, I’m too old to remember everything). However, he did drop a hint that though the PLAYERS couldn’t do the Haka facing the opponents, there was no rule that the FANS couldn’t. Can you imagine? 10,000+ Kahuka fans doing the Haka? (Better have cameras rolling)

    I don’t have any skin in the game for either team, but it should be a memorable first (and probable last) “Open” Championship. I think they will go back to the “D” format, but realign D-I, D-II, and make a D-III, but that is a completely different topic. Best of luck to the remaining six teams. It should be very exciting for all players, coaches, and fans.

  49. Paper Crane November 18, 2016 12:53 pm

    @ USMC (aka Jerry?), mahalo for sharing like 10,000 fans doing the HAKA surely warrants the need to bring on the Guinness World Book Certifiers; gotta call them ASAP1?!?

  50. USMC November 18, 2016 1:12 pm

    Paper Crane November 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    @ Paper Crane
    No, Jerry is much more skilled at the keyboard than I could ever be. I am just a fan of Hawaii High School sports. But, Kahuku fans could blow up YouTube if that were indeed to come to fruition….the entire stadium would be shuddering. Again, best of luck to all teams this weekend, especially the seniors, as it will be the last time they ever represent their school (as a football team).

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