Waipahu improved in 2015 under first-year head coach Bryson Carvalho, but it might be hard for the casual observer to notice because the Marauders finished the season with the same 1-7 record from 2014.
But the improvement is measurable on both sides of the ball:
2014 average score — Opponents 41, Waipahu 7
2015 average score — Opponents 36, Waipahu 19
The result of any football game from Pop Warner to high school to college to the NFL looks a lot better when you lose by 17 and not by 34.
Looking at it in this light, the turnaround appears remarkable. Still, the win column is where it counts and that’s what Carvalho is gunning for next season.
After losing a 57-6 Oahu Interscholastic Association first-round playoff game at Kailua on Friday, you could tell Carvalho wanted to put a wrap on the box of the ’15 season and store it in some place to be looked at for reference in the distant future. He’s already moving ahead.
“We lost to a better team,” he said. “They are a very good team.”
Tough loss to take?
“Big-time,” he added.
It didn’t take long for Carvalho to start talking about next year — which starts presently in his mind.
“As soon as we get back to the school (Friday night), we will be talking about offseason commitment,” Carvalho said, intimating that not everyone did their share last offseason.
He also mentioned the poor grades that some of the players have had and how that it was hard to climb out of the hole academically ineligible players put the team in.
“That hurt us all season,” he said. “What you do off the field translates to on the field.”
So, Carvalho, a former Marauders quarterback, is serious about changing the culture. It was written all over his face after the loss. Despite the improvements made, it wasn’t enough in his mind.
“We have the athletes on campus,” he said. “We’re the third biggest public school on Oahu or something like that. It’s just a matter of getting them going out for football and taking it seriously.”
A couple of senior leaders on offense, quarterback Blaise De Asis and wide receivers Andrew Simanu and Storm De Asis will graduate in the spring. Running back Jason Villoria, however, returns for one more year.
Tuinanau Misivila, who recovered a fumble against Kailua, and Elijah Taimatuia — two defensive sparkplugs on the line — will also graduate. Linebacker Devin Roque Souza — who turned in a solid performance against the Surfriders — returns for his senior season.
Carvalho is committed to making Waipahu a winner and he’s asking his players to fall in line. His Marauders scored 12 more points and gave up 7 less points per game in 2015 over the year before, so it will be interesting to see Waipahu’s measurables (improvement or decline) when next season comes around and wraps up.