Optional conditioning at Campbell draws 90 varsity, 65-plus JV prospects

Blaine Hipa was a sophomore quarterback at Campbell in the fall of 2019. He played his senior season at Chandler (Ariz.) and is preparing to matriculate to Princeton this fall. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

While numbers at many prep football programs are fair to middling, the Campbell Sabers are bursting at the seams.

The Sabers have roughly 90 players training for the varsity squad, and coach Darren Johnson will have to pare that down to 65 when official tryouts are done in July. A tri-scrimmage with Kahuku and Kaimuki on July 29 will help with evaluation immensely.

“I think Kahuku and our team will run 2s and 3s,” Johnson said of depth charts. “What we have now in the weight room is optional.

Everyone has to be registered with the school, have concussion awareness, physicals all in place. They know they can’t participate or even come and watch unless they have those things lined up.”

Lockerrooms are also off limits, per protocols. That means the 90 varsity hopefuls, along with 65 to 70 more with the junior varsity, are on the field 100 percent of the time at this point.

For Campbell, it is too late to reel in their former starting quarterback, Blaine Hipa. Entering his senior year, the promising passer is at Chandler in Arizona after losing his junior year to the pandemic.

“Blaine is the No. 1 guy at Chandler right now. He’s doing good. We helped him get there. When there was no season for him last year, he went up this spring and won the job,” Johnson said. “He had to do something that was for sure, for himself. You want him to compete and learn how to compete, and he won the job, It’s a good thing for him.”

Last year, Hipa was due for a monster season statistically with two-time all-state wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala leading the pass-catching corps. Now, Mokiao-Atimalala is entering his freshman year at UCF.

Johnson noted that the offseason training provided by coaches like his son, Kawe Johnson, is making a crucial impact.

“TMF (Kawe Johnson’s training organization) is a big factor in a lot of these kids, he works with kids from all over. When kids go to him, it’s a good thing,” he said.

Kawe Johnson was the Star-Advertiser all-state defensive player of the year in 2012.

Preseason scrimmages/games
As of Tuesday, June 22

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

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

Saturday, July 31
9 a.m. – Kalani at Moanalua
6 p.m. – Pearl City, Kapaa at Waipahu (JV 4 p.m.)
6:30 p.m. – Damien at Waialua
Time TBD – Waianae at ‘Iolani
Time TBD – Kaimuki, Kailua at Saint Louis

Tuesday, Aug. 4
Time TBD – Kaimuki at Mililani

Preseason games

Saturday, Aug. 7
6:30 p.m. – Damien at Radford (JV pending)
Time TBD – Moanalua at Pearl City

All dates and times are subject to change.


  1. Fan June 22, 2021 10:34 am

    Kawe is the GOAT. The best trainer….If you not on board training with him, you better think twice and get on board. Kawe has produced a lot of good athletes and a lot come away with Scholarships.

  2. Revan June 22, 2021 4:29 pm

    Thursday July 29th
    Mililani @ Farrington

    Saturday July 31st
    Aiea @ Farrington

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