Injuries and illness have temporarily befallen the Moanalua football team.
The school announced today that it will forfeit its consolation-bracket game against Campbell. The game had been scheduled for Friday at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium. Instead, Moanalua will not play until the upcoming HHSAA Division I state championship tournament.
“We’ve had ongoing injuries. The illnesses started coming around the past week (before playing Kapolei), and today we have a bunch more,” Na Menehune Athletic Director Joel Kawachi said. “Right now, we’ve brought up JV kids, but they need more time at practice.”
Moanalua (5-5) lost to Kapolei 49-9 in the OIA Division I quarterfinal round. The game against Campbell is primarily for seeding purposes at the state tourney. Moanalua has played Campbell once already during the regular season.
“We need this week for recovery, then possibly traveling to the neighbor islands for the state tournament. It’s unprecedented for us, our first time in the state tourney for Division I. We want to be healthy and prepared,” Kawachi added.
The longtime administrator added that Moanalua has the smallest roster of the remaining teams in OIA D-I that have qualified for the state tourney.
“What affected other teams like Kaiser is starting to affect us, and in the state tourney, there is no bye,” he said.
During the preseason and regular season, Moanalua has not had a bye since the weekend of Aug. 26-27, playing 10 games in 11 weeks. Na Menehune lost at Campbell on Sept. 16, 12-6 in double overtime.
“I spoke to (Moanalua coach) Savaii (Eseulu) about it, and I think it’s the smart thing to do,” Campbell coach Amosa Amosa said. “It gives us another week to get ready. But now I think I’m going to give (Punahou head coach) Kale Ane and (‘Iolani head coach) Wendell Look (a call) for their advice on what they do when they have a three-week break.”
Mililani will host Leilehua in the other OIA D-I consolation-bracket game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Those teams met on Sept. 30 at Leilehua with the visiting Trojans winning 52-35.
Also, Friday’s OIA Division II playoff game between Kaimuki and Waialua will be at Kaiser at 7:30 p.m. Pearl City and Waipahu will play in the other semifinal Friday at Aiea at 7:30 p.m.
(Nick Abramo contributed to this report.)