Pupule: Raiders, Monarchs deserve Top 10 spots

Radford linebacker Joshua Ale closed in on Damien's Logan Lauti. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Here’s a look at this voter’s Top 10 football ballot for the Star-Advertiser rankings that were released today.

Pupule football ballot
Monday, Aug. 13, 2018

I’m adding sumo-style rank status to my ballot summaries. Why? Sometimes numbers are deceiving. And sub-groups say a little more than flat-out numerical order.

1. Saint Louis (1-0, 1-0 ILH Open Division)
The Crusaders may not be completely satisfied with the 69-6 win over Waianae, but they were supreme in all three phases. Quarterback Jayden de Laura’s debut was sprinkled oh, so slightly with a moment or two of youthful exuberance, but his poise, field vision and accuracy are already superior. Status: Yokozuna.

2. Kahuku (2-0, 0-0 OIA Open Division)
While the current format is geared toward potentially rewarding conservative personnel decisions among OIA teams — results against ILH opponents do not count in the OIA standings — that will not be a consideration by Kahuku, coach Sterling Carvalho said. No surprise there. The 41-28 win over Punahou was a tale of two halves, two teams playing evenly until the break. Then the Red Raiders dominated in the trenches against a very, very good Buffanblu squad. Status: Yokozuna.

3. Mililani (2-0, 1-0 OIA Open Division)
Dillon Gabriel’s prowess and continued evolution at quarterback — remember when he wore No. 96 as a freshman — are astounding, but expected. The talent and IQ of players from the Mill Vill Trojans youth program has buoyed the high school Trojans on both sides of the ball. Their 57-15 win over Farrington is evidence of separation between the elite and the rest in the Open Division. Along with a non division win over Kailua in Week 1, the men of Troy have outscored opponents 101-21. Kamehameha marches into John Kauinana Stadium next. Status: Yokozuna.

4. Campbell (1-0, 0-0 OIA Open Division)
There’s a case to be made that the Sabers, who had a bye, should not be rewarded with a promotion to No. 4 by the panel of Star-Advertiser coaches and media. That Punahou’s strong showing, at least for a half, should merit something. On this ballot, it’s not enough. The Sabers are immensely talented and dominated last year’s D-I state champion, Hilo, in Week 1. Farrington visits this weekend. The schedule sure isn’t easy, but there is no Top 4 foe until Campbell rides to Mililani on Sept. 15. Status: Ozeki.

5. Punahou (0-1, 0-1 ILH Open Division)
After playing ILH powerhouses Kamehameha and Saint Louis two, sometimes three times each year for the past few decades, the Buffanblu schedule looks like a menu from a distant land. Public school opponents for four weeks, all away, until Saint Louis on Sept. 15. This is the schedule that ILH schools longed for, and the schedule makers served up the long drive to Kahuku. It was a pretty good showing for a first game, plenty of good and some glaring mistakes to be corrected. Punahou got dinged up some by the mammoth Red Raiders, but there’s a long season ahead to rectify and heal. Just no byes. And a drive to Kapolei is next. Status: Ozeki.

6. Kamehameha (1-0, 0-0 ILH Open Division)
The Warriors’ 21-7 win over Kapolei had plenty of check marks on the list. Sound defense. Low-risk, efficient offense. Hoku Arias, Tiger Peterson and the defensive unit were tenacious, but can they keep up that level of intensity against the surgical mastery of Mililani? One of the beautiful aspects of the OIA-ILH alliance is fans get to see actual on-field what-ifs in Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, rather than wait for the state tourney. Status: Ozeki.

7. Lahainaluna (1-0, 0-0 MIL)
The mighty Lunas rolled over Kapaa 30-10 in Week 1, then had a bye in the past weekend. With a league schedule that has no other Top 10 teams, it will be difficult to justify voting the Lunas into the Top 5, but that’s completely out of their hands. Baldwin is next. Status: Sekiwake.

8. Kapolei (1-1, 0-0 OIA Open Division)
The Week 1 rout of Castle was tempered by the loss to Kamehameha. Voters might want to punish the Hurricanes, but where else would they go? No. 9 Waipahu and No. 10 Farrington lost soundly. The Hurricanes are stout defensively and have nice potential offensively. Normally, there would be more time to develop, but in this new format, there are no breathers. Punahou comes to the west side this weekend. Status: Sekiwake.

9. ‘Iolani (2-0, 1-0 ILH D-I)
The Raiders haven’t taken on a ranked team yet, but shouldn’t be forgotten by voters. The D-I program topped Waipahu 55-14 just one week after the Marauders had stunned Waianae. It is a wondrous feeling to see what’s ahead for ‘Iolani: at Kailua, at Moanalua, Clackamas, at Leilehua, Damien, Radford… that’s why a third tier — the middle one suits this program well — is a blessing for fans and teams alike. Status: Sekiwake.

10. Damien (1-0, 1-0 ILH D-I)
There are a lot of possibilities at the 10-spot for panelists. Farrington. Waipahu. Even D-II St. Francis. Who can forget the epic battles between the Saints and Monarchs the past three years. (It almost feels wrong for Damien and St. Francis to be completely off each other’s schedules in 2018.) Damien is off to a good start with a 28-6 win over Radford. The next five games are also on the road, and in all, nine of the Monarchs’ 10 games are “away”. Their one neutral-field game will be on Sept. 15 against ‘Iolani at Aloha Stadium. I’m not sure if I’ve seen this many games for any team in the past three decades that involved entering an opponent’s coliseum so often. Not a single bye all season. But it sure beats playing the same two or three ILH foes over and over while sitting through bye weeks half the time. Status: Komusubi.

On the cusp
Waipahu (1-1, 0-0 OIA D-I)
The Marauders succumbed to low numbers, and having most of the secondary ineligible to play these first two weeks was probably the most difficult challenge. They came away with a win over Waianae and a loss at ‘Iolani. Their academic-probation players return this week. Status: Komusubi.

Farrington (1-1, 0-1 OIA Open Division)
The Governors also welcome back AP student-athletes this week after a win over Leilehua and a loss to Mililani. This week’s road battle at Campbell marks their third away game in as many weeks. Status: Komusubi.

Waianae (0-2, 0-1 OIA Open Division)
It’s a tough start for the Seariders, who have often had slower beginnings. The graduation of stellar seniors like Kana‘i Mauga and Rico Rosario are opportunities for the next wave. The end of the AP period from last school year’s fourth quarter helps. Status: Komusubi.

* * *

Status: Maegashira
Leilehua (1-1, 1-0 OIA D-I)
Kauai (2-0, 0-0 KIF)
Kailua (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Moanalua (1-0, 1-0 OIA D-I)
St. Francis (2-0, 1-0 ILH D-I)
Kapaa (1-1, 0-0 KIF)
Baldwin (0-1, 0-0 MIL)
Hilo (0-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Castle (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-I)

Status: Juryo
Kealakehe (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Konawaena (0-2, 0-0 BIIF)
Kamehameha-Hawaii (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Roosevelt (2-0, 0-0 OIA D-I)
Kaimuki (1-0, 1-0 OIA D-II)
Aiea (1-0-1, 1-0 OIA D-I)
Kaiser (1-0-1, 1-0 OIA D-II)
McKinley (1-1, 0-0 OIA D-II)
Pac-Five (0-1, 0-1 OIA D-II)
Radford (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Nanakuli (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Maui (0-1, 0-0 MIL)
Kamehameha-Maui (0-0, 0-0 MIL)
Pearl City (1-1, 1-0 OIA D-II)
Waiakea (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)

Status: Makushita
Honokaa (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Hawaii Prep (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Waialua (0-1, 0-1 OIA D-II)
Keaau (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Kalaheo (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-II)
Waimea (0-1, 0-0 KIF)
King Kekaulike (0-2, 0-0 MIL)

* * *

Molokai (1-0, 0-0 MIL)
Farmers edged Pahoa 14-8 on the road over the weekend.

Pahoa (0-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Ka‘u (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)

Lanai (0-0, 0-0 MIL)
Seabury Hall (0-0, 0-0 MIL)
Hana (0-0, 0-0 MIL)

Kohala (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)


  1. ??? August 13, 2018 4:45 pm

    I think Pupule ballot is wrong!
    They deserve it in DI rankings, not in the Open Division ranking. JMHO!!

  2. Vikingspride August 13, 2018 6:10 pm

    Just wondering where by Hilo Vikings are ranked in your ballot…I’m hoping Maegashira lol.

  3. Coach C August 13, 2018 7:02 pm

    This is where the Open is Shibai. The fact that.Damien, Iolani and St.Francis are growing programs, the ILH will have a 6 team league after the 2 year pilot OPEN format. Your top 10 shows 5 ILH teams,4 OIA and 1 MIL. Waianae and Farrington will not climb in the Open. The ILH Shibai about “small stature”team is out.

  4. Northshore August 14, 2018 7:14 am

    It’s nice to fantasize but this is football and not sumo or Japan and the rankings are bogus especially when other division teams are ranked with the open division teams. Let’s keep the rankings in perspective…by divisions.

  5. Paul Honda August 14, 2018 11:27 am

    OMG, sorry about that. I missed Hilo on my list. I added them just now. Lots of opportunity to fill some voids in key positions. Coach Drummondo and his staff have done brilliant work with the Vikings. I expect them to climb up this pupule list gradually.

  6. Paul Honda August 14, 2018 11:29 am

    That would nice if everything was clear-cut, but the five leagues have different definitions of classification, and until there is one uniform definition, my ballot (and the Star-Advertiser Top 10) will not reflect this. It wasn’t long ago that Campbell, one of the largest enrollments in the state, was in Division II in the OIA and HHSAA. That made no sense…

  7. Paul Honda August 14, 2018 11:31 am

    As always, please post your personal list. It’s no fun having just one list here.

  8. Coach C August 14, 2018 1:21 pm

    So for my top 10 ,I have 1.St.Louis, 2.Kahuku 3.Mililani 4.Punahou 5. Kamehameha 6. Campbell 7. Kapolei 8. Iolani 9. Lahaina luna 10. Waipahu. I believe Punahou played a good game and will learn immensely from the Kahuku game. So I have them at #4. Waipahu is a work in progress.

  9. Northshore August 14, 2018 7:32 pm

    PH: There’s five leagues and all teams throughout the state are vying for three state division championships. What’s so difficult to have three division rankings when all teams are scheduled to compete within their division and compete for open, division I and division II. The rational is that how is it possible to rank a team amongst the open division teams when teams are creating their stats and win loss record while playing majority of their games within their division. I’m sure if a division I team had to play all of their games amongst the open division, they’re record or stats wouldn’t be as impressive and they wouldn’t get the votes to be in the ranking as it is today. It’s no fun having one list so why not create three separate rankings….you’re the sports writer.

  10. ??? August 14, 2018 7:45 pm

    Open: 1. STL, 2. Kahuku, 3. Mililani, 4. Punahou,
    5. Campbell

    DI: 1. Iolani, 2. Lahainaluna, 3. Leilehua, 4. Damien, 5. Waipahu

    DII: 1. STF, 2. Kaimuki, 3. PC, 4. Kaiser, 5. Roosevelt

  11. Shaun August 15, 2018 3:50 pm

    ??? You do realize Lahaina is still in D2….. Kaiser is still D1…….

  12. Shaun August 15, 2018 3:56 pm

    ??? Neva mind about Kaiser.

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