‘Official’ season or not, football coaches planning scrimmages, preseason games

Waipahu's Alfred Failauga rushed for 289 yards and five touchdowns in the second half alone against Castle during this 2019 game. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

(Saturday, 9:50 p.m. Nanakuli to scrimmage with Damien and Campbell on July 29.)
(1:15 p.m. Updates with Waianae’s schedule.)
(11:50 a.m. Updates with Moanalua’s schedule.)

Somewhere out there, perhaps at many campuses, there are young football players who struggled prior to the pandemic.

Maybe some of them are about to thrive with a fresh start. Coaches across the islands are busy scheduling scrimmages and preseason games, even as the official re-start of prep football has yet to be announced.

Waipahu has scrimmages lined up with Kapolei, Kahuku, Pearl City and Kapaa, all in the July 29-31 time span. Damien plans to scrimmage with Kaimuki and Campbell at Campbell’s field on July 29. The Monarchs also have a scrimmage with neighborhood rival Farrington at Skippa Diaz Stadium on July 30.

“This is all confirmed,” Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho said. “Our athletic director) is aware of our scrimmages.”

Damien football coach and athletic director Eddie Klaneski has also gone ahead and made plans to scrimmage.

“I am just glad to be going through the process again. Speaking to coaches and just the excitement of getting back out on the field. We haven’t been out there for so long, and just putting things down on paper has been positive because of all the uncertainty surrounding us with COVID,” he said.

Damien defensive lineman Tyler Kulinski (45) hurried Moanalua quarterback RJ Javar (10) during the second half of this 2019 game. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

At Waipahu and many other schools, training with protocols are in gear.

“The kids are in the weight room. Numbers are low compared to years prior, but I’m hearing the same all around the state,” Carvalho said. “I’m feeling good. We’ve got a brand new staff. For the first time, I won’t be calling plays, taking a Darren Hernandez approach. Nate Ilaoa will run our offense this year. Lasi Eselu will run our defense. He’s been doing a hell of a job at Moanalua the last few seasons.”

Ilaoa is a former standout Hawaii running back. Eselu is a brother of Savaii Eselu, the former Moanalua coach who is now on staff at San Diego State.

None of the re-starts in fall sports, as with recently-completed spring sports, goes without a hitch. Many coaches have noted the decline in grade-point averages during distance learning.

“COVID and distance learning really hurt us grades wise,” Carvalho said. “All of these kids were ninth and 10th graders, essentially JV when we last saw them, so we are still learning who they are and what their skills are. But we see so much potential. They love being out there and we love their energy.”

Preseason scrimmages/games
As of Thursday, June 17, 11:50 a.m.


Thursday, July 29
5:30 pm – Damien, Nanakuli at Campbell
6:30 pm – Waipahu at Kapolei (JV 4:30 pm)
Time TBD – Moanalua at Saint Louis
4:00 p.m. – Aiea, Kaimuki at Waianae (JV/V)

Friday, July 30
6:30 pm – Damien at Farrington
6:30 pm – Kahuku at Waipahu (JV 4 pm)
Time TBD – Mililani at Waianae (JV/V)

Saturday, July 31
10 a.m. – Waianae at ‘Iolani
9 a.m. – Kalani at Moanalua
6 p.m. – Pearl City, Kapaa at Waipahu (JV 4 pm)

Preseason games

Saturday, Aug. 7
Time TBD – Moanalua at Pearl City

All dates and times are subject to change.


  1. high school fan June 18, 2021 11:51 am

    All right!!! Its about time to get our young student athletes out on the field. It has been a long time coming. Maybe the state can get a vaccine team together and go from campus to campus to vaccinate those who have not had the opportunity to get their covid shot(s) so the governor can up his count to 70%.

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