Kahuku football coach Lee Leslie had to know that his first season at the school wouldn’t come without a little bit of adversity.
No football team ever goes through an entire campaign without at least one quiet ride home wondering where everything went wrong.
Leslie took his first loss in Hawaii on Friday when his powerful offense gave the ball away seven times in a loss to Kaiser. Add in problems with the clock on the Cougars’ final drive and it was too much for his collection of North Shore talent to overcome.
And now we get to see what kind of coach he really is. He responded well almost immediately, shaking off stories of his team’s fans pelting the Kaiser press box with all matter of debris after the winning touchdown.
Leslie posted on the internet within the hour that he relished the wakeup call his Red Raiders received and vowing that the team would respond.
Kahuku gets its first chance at redemption on Friday, when it hosts Leilehua on homecoming. And for the first time this season, Kahuku will be the underdog.
The Red Raiders dropped from the No. 3 spot in the Star-Advertiser poll all the way to No. 7, getting passed by the likes of Farrington, Saint Louis, Kamehameha and Leilehua.
The Mules made the biggest jump, going from No. 7 to No. 4, Kahuku’s old spot. Farrington moved up two spots to No. 3 and the Crusaders sit at No. 5 after entering Aloha Stadium on Saturday ranked eighth.
Kaiser jumped back into the poll at No. 10, supplanting Hilo. Pearl City received a vote for the last spot, but fellow OIA Division II unbeaten Nanakuli did not. Those two teams tangle on Friday at Nanakuli.
Star-Advertiser football poll
1. Punahou, 3-0
2. Mililani, 6-0
3. Farrington, 5-0
4. Leilehua, 5-0
5. Saint Louis, 3-3
6. Kamehameha, 3-1
7. Kahuku, 4-1
8. Campbell, 4-1
9. Lahainaluna, 5-0
10. Kaiser, 3-2
Also receiving votes: Hilo 17, Waianae 7, Nanakuli 4, Kapolei 3, ‘Iolani 2, Maui 2, Pearl City 1.
The Star-Advertiser’s volleyball poll is still waiting for the shakeup that struck the football poll.
Each of the top eight teams held their spots, with Mililani passing Hawaii Prep for No. 9. Ka Makani suffered a tough loss to Hilo last week, and voters seem to consider it more a case of the ranked team losing than the underdog winning. The Vikings are now 7-1 but received only two votes (The same as Punahou II) this week to HPA’s 16.
The top two teams in the state are scheduled to tangle for the first time on Thursday when Kamehameha visits Punahou. The Warriors took all but one first-place vote in this week’s poll after finishing fifth at the Durango Classic in Las Vegas.
The Warriors were second in the tournament last year, and the bonding they went through on the trip propelled them to a state championship over the Buffanblu.
Poor ‘Iolani is still holding off Moanalua for the third spot in the poll despite being the third-best team in its league. Only two teams from the ILH will make it into the state tournament, meaning the Raiders are going to have to figure out how to get past either Punahou or Kamehameha if they want to make it to the big dance.
1. Kamehameha, 4-0
2. Punahou, 4-0
3. ‘Iolani, 3-2
4. Moanalua, 5-0
5. KS-Hawaii, 8-0
6. Konawaena, 7-0
7. Kahuku, 5-0
8. Seabury Hall, 5-0
9. Mililani, 4-1
10. Hawaii Prep, 6-1
Also receiving votes: University 10, Mid-Pacific 7, Hawaii Baptist 6, Kalaheo 4, Hilo 2, Punahou II 2, King Kekaulike 1.