RANKINGS: Damien matches its highest ranking ever

Damien running back Amo Sulu has rushed for a touchdown in each of the Monarchs' first three games. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

For the third time in nine years under head coach Eddie Klaneski, the Damien Monarchs are 3-0.

But unlike 2012 (Kalaheo, Kaimuki, Vacaville (Calif.) and 2015 (Aiea, Kauai, Hawaii Prep), the Monarchs are doing it against a Division I schedule.

Save of course, Lahainaluna, but the three-time defending champions in Division II had a 22-game winning streak before losing to Damien in overtime to start the year. Since then, the Monarchs have rolled past Radford and then knocked off defending Division I state champion Waipahu on the way to a perfect start.

This week, Damien jumps up to No. 8 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Football Top 10. It matches the highest ranking in school history. In 2003, the Monarchs were No. 8 in the Honolulu Advertiser Top 10 entering the Division II state title game that they lost to Aiea.

Damien will host St. Thomas More Collegiate, a team from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, on Saturday at Skippa Diaz Stadium. Then comes Castle and Leilehua on the road before ILH rival ‘Iolani in the only regular-season meeting between the two schools vying for the league’s lone berth in the D-I state tournament.

“We still got a lot of work to do but we are slowly getting better,” Klaneski texted Monday. “We need to peak at the right time but winning helps keep our boys motivated so we can continue to get better each week. We have a tough road ahead.”

The only other team to improve in the rankings this week is Hilo, which is back in the Top 10 at No. 9. The Vikings, who have made the D-I state title game each of the last two seasons, are 2-0 with a 54-10 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii and a 56-0 shutout of Keaau.

The top three stayed the same by all 10 voters this week with Saint Louis, Mililani and Punahou. Campbell held onto the No. 4 spot but No. 5 Kahuku crept within four votes after its 32-0 shutout of Waianae.

Leilehua remains at No. 6 with Moanalua at No. 10 as the two teams will play Friday at Hugh Yoshida Stadium after last week’s game at Moanalua was canceled due to some of the lights not working.

Kamehameha is No. 7 after earning its first win of the season.

Kapolei, which received eight votes, dropped out of the Top 10 after a 44-13 loss to Punahou. Lahainaluna (two) and ‘Iolani (one) also received at least one votes.

The Crusaders, who moved up a spot to No. 10 in the country this week, have a showdown Friday with No. 15 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) in the Aloha Football Classic at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii’s No. 2-ranked team, Mililani, faces Nevada’s No. 2-ranked team, Liberty, at John Kauinana Stadium.

Friday, Aug. 30

>> No. 1 Saint Louis vs. Bishop Gorman (Nev.), at Aloha Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
>> Liberty (Nev.) at No. 2 Mililani, 7 p.m.
>> No. 10 Moanalua at No. 6 Leilehua, 6 p.m.
>> No. 9 Hilo vs. Kealakehe, at Wong Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 31
>> No. 3 Punahou vs. Long Beach Poly (Calif.), at Moorpark H.S., 4 p.m. Hawaii time
>> No. 4 Campbell at No. 5 Kahuku, 6:30 p.m.
>> St. Thomas More Collegiate (Burnaby, British Columbia) vs. No. 8 Damien, at Skippa Diaz Stadium, 6 p.m.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10

Updated: 9/19
1.Kahuku (12)129
4.Kamehameha (1)82
7.Saint Louis57


  1. ??? August 26, 2019 3:47 pm

    Please Separate your rankings by division. I guarantee Waianae would beat Damien, Hilo & Moanalua.

  2. Hee-Haw August 26, 2019 5:24 pm

    I agree with ???. Also, the whole state should be Div. 1,2,3 or AAA, AA, A. What is the Open?

  3. Lou August 26, 2019 6:22 pm

    Kapolei can beat #8,#9,#10.

  4. The Rim August 26, 2019 10:50 pm

    @??? Coach Kaeo Drummondo is building a program in HIlo that will be a DI force for awhile. If you haven’t seen them play yet, I would withhold such bold statements. They’re loaded this year and by the looks of their JV, they’re loaded for at least four more.

  5. ??? August 26, 2019 11:20 pm

    @The Rim
    You’re right ; “DI” not Open!

  6. Disgruntled Searider August 27, 2019 3:43 am

    ??? you just make sh!t up guarantee you never seen us play this year. Moanalua beat Iolani Div 1 who beat the blank out of Waianae in a controlled scrimmage where we didn’t even score. I know I know….controlled scrimmage but Waianae is not good. Damien looks solid on O and D and they beat a very talented Waipahu team at Waipahu. Just because the OIA insisted on having 6 teams in the Open Division it doesn’t mean that they are all legit Open talent. Leilehua Div 1 cranked Farrington and regrettably Waianae is tres’ sad this year.

  7. ??? August 27, 2019 10:21 am

    @ Disgruntled Searider
    Do you hear yourself? You just said Damien beat a Talented Waipahu team! Duh, so did Waianae.
    Not making stuff up; it’s an opinion…

  8. ??? August 27, 2019 10:23 am

    Regardless Leilehua is winning DI..
    I called it!

  9. The Rim August 27, 2019 10:57 am

    ??? Would you have called it at the beginning of the season? Most likely no, easy to call anything after a few games. They call that bandwagon jumper….going with Hilo to teach the finals again, but unlike you, not predicting a winner. Let’s see, you pick St. Louis to win the open? Hilarious!

  10. ??? August 27, 2019 1:42 pm

    @The Rim
    I agree with you 100%, I hope Hilo TEACH the finals but Leilehua will REACH the Finals.

  11. ??? August 27, 2019 1:49 pm

    @The Rim
    We talking about rankings: you honestly think Hilo can beat Kapolei & Waianae?
    Farrington scored 6 points in 4 games but I bet they would beat Hilo!

  12. The Rim August 27, 2019 1:58 pm

    ???-Hilo would beat Farrington no question. And for your childish slight, Hilo will REACH the finals. As for your constant changing, no, Hilo would have a tough time with Kapolei but that wasn’t your initial statement!

  13. Austin Chang August 27, 2019 2:06 pm

    I mean kinda disagree ??? because D1 need to show some love, but Kapolei should be Top 10 for sure not Moanalua. I guarantee Leilehua can beat Waianae, or Kapolei, am seeing Leilehua moving up to Open Division and drop down Farrington. You cannot sleep on Hilo they are pretty good. My opinion Damien should be 9, Kapolei 8, and Hilo should be number 10.

  14. ??? August 27, 2019 5:51 pm

    That’s my whole point! Keep the rankings by division so nobody can say could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.
    My opinion is Any Open team would beat Hilo & your opinion is different, which is fine.

  15. Wainakea August 27, 2019 10:59 pm

    Hilo should beat Farrington, but will have a tough time beating teams with a good O-line.

    I agree with Austin Chang; 8-Kapolei 9-Damien 10-Hilo.

    Waianae has shown mixed results. They might lose to Damien one day and then put the hammer on Moanalua the next. Damien-Hilo-Waianae-Moanalua is at the same level.

  16. Disgruntled Searider August 29, 2019 1:38 pm

    ??? when Waianae played Waipahu at the start of the season, Waipahu was missing several key starters. Did you hear yourself? Waianae got cracks from Iolani so don’t act as though Waianae and some other teams in the Open division are beyond reproach simply bc their in the Open Div. At least 3 teams in Div 1 would compete as good or better than Waianae and Farrington in the Open. Just doubting the validity of your original premise at #1.

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 hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.