Pac-Five is in the state tournament for the first time and playing its most meaningful postseason game since the program’s second Oahu Prep Bowl championship in 1985.
Last week, the Wolfpack (4-4) went through some conditioning and are in pads this week. They thought their season was done after a 14-6 regular-season victory over Waialua at the Aiea High field on Oct. 12, but catapulted into the Division II state tournament when St. Francis was removed last week for having used an ineigible player.
Since Pac-Five players go to multiple schools, it’s not as easy as expected to round the team back up.
“They go back to their schools and are starting to get involved in other sports,” Pac-Five coach Kip Botelho said Monday. “It’s a small challenge, but we’ve got everybody back. The kids are excited about this opportunity to play another football game. They’re very fortunate.”
Botelho was an assistant under his father, Don Botelho, for the 1982 and 1985 Prep Bowl championship seasons. He also played for Pac-Five from 1976 through 1979.
“My dad used to get on my case every time,” Botelho said about playing under his dad.
The Wolfpack play against OIA D-II champion Roosevelt in the state D-II quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 10. They lost to the Rough Riders 17-15 on Aug. 11 in their first game of the season.”
“It came down to a field goal with no time on clock,” Botelho said. “From what I’ve seen recently, they’re a totally different team and doing different things. They’re very athletic and physical, and we’ve got a challenge ahead.”
When last seen in a football game, Wolfpack defensive lineman Leif Fautanu Jr. was getting muddy on a rain-soaked field and having a blast in that victory over Waialua.
He’s in disbelief that he gets to play in another high school game.
“Everyone is pushing at practice and preparing for Roosevelt,” Fautanu said Monday. “Both teams have matured since the last time we played against them. They’ve done a good job, getting that OIA championship. I’m thankful for this great opportunity and once-in-a-lifetime experience.”