Kalaheo’s varsity football team is forfeiting Saturday’s Oahu Interscholastic Association regular-season opening game against Waipahu.
Harold Tanaka, the OIA football coordinator, called Hawaii Prep World on Thursday to say that Kalaheo suffered some injuries in practice Thursday and it brought the total amount of players on the roster below a safe level.
Kalaheo coach Darrell Poole confirmed the forfeit, but believes the team will be fine to play the rest of its games.
“We had injuries today and injuries from the other day and from our game on Maui, and it put us in jeopardy to play the game,” Poole said Thursday via cell phone. “If we didn’t have those injuries, it would not have affected the game. We had to make a decision. It’s not the decision I wanted to make, but in the long run, it’s about the safety of the kids.”
Eight recent injuries brought down the total of Kalaheo players ready to play from 21 to 13. The eight players are expected back next week.
“I think we’ll be ready to go next week,” Poole said. “They gotta heal. We’ll be fine. I’ve already talked it over with the trainer. We were looking forward to playing against Waipahu.
“My kids are resilient. We were tough at 19 players on Maui. We had injuries and we were still in the game.”
Poole also said there are about eight players who are ineligible at this time and will eventually be ready to go, bringing the total roster to 29.
Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho said he is looking for a team to scrimmage Saturday. Due to the forfeit win, the Maruaders are 2-0 (1-0 OIA), with a 51-14 road victory over Nanakuli last week under their belts.
Waipahu’s next scheduled game is a home contest against Roosevelt on Aug. 25. At last check, the school was still waiting for an OK for the go-ahead on its brand-new artificial turf field.
After the forfeit loss, Kalaheo is 0-2 (0-1 OIA). The Mustangs dropped a 35-28 game at Kamehammeha-Maui last week. They suited up 19 players while KS-Maui had 23.
The Mustangs return to action Aug. 19 at Aloha Stadium against McKinley (0-1).
As reported Wednesday, there is one other OIA varsity and four JV cancellations this week:
>> Kaiser varsity (forfeit) at Mililani, Friday
>> Kaiser JV (forfeit) at Mililani, Friday
>> McKinley JV (forfeit) at Roosevelt, Friday
>> Kalaheo JV (forfeit) vs. Waipahu, at Kailua High field, Saturday
>> Waialua JV (forfeit) vs. Kaimuiki, at Skippa Diaz Stadium, Saturday