Pac-Five back in the saddle vs. ‘Iolani

Pac-Five slotback Breyndon Nakamura is the Wolfpack's leading receiver returning from last season. Photo by Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Pac-Five did something rare last week. If forfeited a football game.

But it looks like that forfeit will be a one-shot deal, according to coach Kip Botelho.

The Wolfpack (1-6, 0-5 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II) will have enough players to play their season finale against ‘Iolani on Saturday at 3 p.m. on the Raiders’ field.

“We’re going to play this week,” Botelho said. “We’ve got somewhere in the mid-30s, about 32 or 33. Thirty practiced today (Thursday) and we had a couple guys in shorts who are going to play.”

There is an ILH rule stating that teams must have at least 30 players to participate in a game. Less than 30 players means a forfeit, and that’s why the Wolfpack forfeited last week against Damien.

“It was tough to forfeit that game,” Botelho said. “We were in the 20s that week. After the St. Francis game (a 47-6 loss), we had 19 at practice and eventually got up to the mid-20s.

“We’re trying to hang in and finish the season. We’re going to line up and play.”

Pac-Five has been hit by the injury bug big-time this season.

“This is not normal,” Botelho said.

Three Wolfpack players have broken their legs this season — defensive back Makana Bertelmann, lineman Rudy Gaylord-Benigno and slotback Shaydon Koki.

Two of three key players who Pac-Five lost for the would-be Damien game are back. One of them, starting quarterback Tyler Fukuroda, however, will kick and not play QB. AJ Ulufale, a wide receiver who is also a backup quarterback, will play. According to Botelho, Ulufale broke a small bone in his wrist and is in a soft cast, but he is going to play against ‘Iolani.

But defensive back and running back Kaikea Gonsales is day-to-day and hasn’t practiced yet this week and probably won’t play.

Other starters who are still out include lineman/fullback Chyson Pena, lineman Kekuewa Wong, defensive back Pona Aga and running back Kualii Park. In addition, Botelho said a couple of players are academically ineligible.

“Everybody is banged up this time of year, but having this many guys out is unusual,” Botelho said. “We got a bunch of guys back from injury and sickness this week, and that’s why we’re able to play.

“We’ve been going easy the past two weeks. Mostly conditioning.”


  1. Education First October 6, 2017 11:04 am

    Here is some information for the nitwits that didn’t believe me. This just illustrates that more people are aware of the risks of playing football and how important academics is.

    You think it’s a coincidence that Punahou could barely field an intermediate and jv team? You think there’s no correlation between the low turnout at Iolani and the risk of CTE? Kaiser, traditionally a community with middle class and higher citizens have kids who are not interested in football (and this was prior to the new coach coming 1 year ago).

    Here is the full story –

    I will highlight parts of the story below. I know many of our Kahuku Fans cannot read the entire article, so I will help you guys out.

    “The situation at Centennial — where a long history of losing has dampened students’ enthusiasm for football — is unique to this part of central Maryland, but there are plenty of similar examples around the U.S. Participation in high school football is down 3.5 percent over the past five years, according to the annual survey by the National Association of State High School Federations, or NFHS. The decline would be much steeper if not for a handful of states in the South and the West. Throughout the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast, in communities urban and rural, wealthy and working-class, fewer kids are playing football.”

    “The risks of football have never been more apparent. This summer, researchers at Boston University said they’d found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of the 202 former football players they studied. The athletes whose brains were donated to the study had played football in the National Football League, college and even high school.”

    “A study published last month in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry showed that kids who played football before age 12 were more than twice as likely to have mood and behavior problems.”

    “Maryland is one of 14 states where participation in football was down 10 percent or more over the past five years, according to NFHS data. In all, 41 states saw a decline between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 school years, and just nine states and the District of Columbia saw increases.”

    “In West Windsor Township, New Jersey, which borders Princeton University and has a median household income of $137,000, one of the two public high schools dropped varsity football this year, and the other might have to do the same next year.

    “Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, also disbanded its varsity team, with hopes that it could return in a lower division next year.”

    “In Ventura County, California, northeast of Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks High School disbanded its junior-varsity team this season because it needed sophomores and juniors to fill out the varsity roster. In Marin County, north of San Francisco, Novato High School announced that it wouldn’t field a varsity team this year, but the program got a last-minute reprieve when more athletes than expected showed up for practice.”

    “The decline in participation isn’t just limited to wealthy, coastal communities. Among the states where participation is down more than 10 percent are Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Population in Illinois has also declined over that period, while in Michigan and Wisconsin it has only grown slightly.’

    “While participation in tackle football is down, flag football is becoming more popular. Participation in the NFL Flag program run by USA Football for kids ages 6-17 increased by 66 percent from 2013 to 2016, with 385,000 kids playing last year.”

  2. Jenny Tulls October 6, 2017 2:10 pm

    Football has just become too big and too time consuming. Kids can’t just decide to start playing football starting in high school anymore. They’re too behind the curve.

  3. Education First October 6, 2017 8:54 pm

    I believe Iolani is finally hitting their stride. Ever since I watched their Father Bray Classic game I knew they are a very capable team. Their offense is rolling right now and their defense has just enough talent to make up for their lack of size. Their WRs are amongst some of the best WRs in the state. Although PAC 5 is down on players, I feel this could be a possible trap game for the Raiders. They need to stay focus because my money is on them running the table not only in the ILH tournament but the HSSA state Tourney as well. Their coaching staff is proving to be top notch as they take these undersized kids and turn them into great football players. As long as the offense keeps scoring and their QB stays healthy, I don’t see anyone stopping the Raiders. If the defense plays disciplined than look out for this team to make a lot of noise in the next couple of weeks. Remember WENDELL LOOK IS THE BEST HS COACH IN THE COUNTRY. GPAs>TDs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email