From blue and white to green and yellow, a lot has changed as Kaimuki celebrates 75 years of Bulldogs football.
Kaimuki took the field at Honolulu Stadium for its first game on Sept. 29, 1944, and played defending ILH champion Roosevelt to a scoreless tie. More than 12,000 fans witnessed the Bulldogs’ varsity debut under head coach Peter Kim, who is one of 18 head football coaches in school history.
As part of our continued effort to provide a database of all high school football games in Hawaii, the complete year-by-year results for Kaimuki dating back to 1944 can be found here. Also, here’s a list of all-time coaching wins by the 18 head coaches in Bulldogs history.
Two weeks after Bob Imanaka scored the first points in school history on a 1-yard TD run against Farrington, the Bulldogs earned their first-ever win in shutout fashion, 24-0 over Punahou.
It took nine seasons and four head coaches before the Bulldogs had their first winning season in 1952 under first-year coach Bert Itoga. That year included the school’s first-ever win over Saint Louis, 18-7, in which Steward Medeiros (35 yards), Victor Maldonado (6) and Tetsuro Sasaki (44) ran for touchdowns in the third quarter.
Itoga, whose team played to three ties the following season, never had another winning season. In fact, the Bulldogs failed to finish over .500 until another first-year coach, George Naukana, finished 6-4 in his debut year in 1964.
Kaimuki won for the first time on Thanksgiving Day, after making it into the ILH third-place game via coin flip, 11-0 over McKinley at Honolulu Stadium. Jeff Miyashiro hit Harry Knell for a 32-yard TD pass and then iced the game with a 24-yard field goal with 3:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kaimuki won its first three ILH games in 1969, but went 0-5-1 the rest of the way in its final season in the league before joining the OIA in 1970.
Lowell Cambra, who led the Bulldogs to a school-best 7-3 mark in 1981, ended his eight-year tenure in 1985 with 36 wins, which remains tops among Kaimuki coaches.
Five different coaches took over for various stints before Darren Johnson led Kaimuki to its first OIA title (in Division II) in 2007, only to be matched three years later by Clint Onigama in 2010.
Current coach David Tautofi, who was featured in this summer’s “Glory Days” series, will enter his fifth season this year and already has won 27 games.
Kaimuki will open its season on Aug. 9 against Pac-Five at Skippa Diaz Stadium.