Kalani handled its business and Waialua is smiling through the tears.
The Falcons’ 33-0 win over the defending OIA Division II champions on Saturday at Skippa Diaz Stadium wasn’t surprising, not with a Bulldogs squad that is young and lacking the girth and physicality of recent seasons.
But with a string of lopsided losses, the rest of the prep football galaxy is realizing what the ‘Dogs knew long ago: the road to last year’s championship is one less travelled. For senior ironman lineman/punter Matthan Hatchie, it’s not about wins and titles, not to the degree his now-graduated teammates claimed them. With Waialua 0-3 in league play (0-4 overall), there’s a bigger picture for Hatchie, a college prospect with a scholarship offer from Hawaii, that reflects his maturity.
“It’s mostly just experience. We need them to build up for next year. This year might not go the way we want it, but we’ll build for next year,” Hatchie said.
The youth movement went to warp speed when senior quarterback Tevesi Toia tore his ACL at practice recently. Hatchie is comfortable in his role, but soon enough he’ll be on a college campus. Then the question will be how the transition to not being on the field for almost every snap of every game will be — the blessing and burden of being a trusted leader of a small-town football team.
“It’s a plus. The more positions I play, the more fun it’ll be. It gives me more experience,” he said.