Waimea – For some people, the gap between that about which they are
passionate and work parallels the Waimea Canyon: wide and deep.
Football Coach Jon Koboyashi is not a a member of that category. He is a
specialized motivation teacher at the high school. The gap between the gridiron
and classroom is virtually nonexistent.
“Football has taught me a lot of
positive traits in my life,” said Koboyashi, who spent his prep years as a
Menehune. “Working with kids who don’t want to be in school takes a lot of
motivation on my part.
“I do my best to bridge the gap between my coaching
Success has certainly been his. His Menehunes have taken
home the Kaui’i Interscholastic Federation championship the past eight years
running. Defense of the team’s 1999 conquest – it finished the season among the
top four schools in the state – begins tonight at Hanapepe Park at 7:35 p.m.
when Waimea battles Oahu’s Punahou.
“I’m excited for the season to kick
off,” Koboyashi said. “Punahou has a lot of great athletes and a great coaching
“With a little luck, we might be able to get by them.”
said the visitors run the single wing, a very “old fashioned brand of
smash-mouth football.” The offense puts a lot of bodies at the point of attack.
Look, Koboyashi said, for an “offense that’s difficult to defend. You know
what’s coming, but it’s hard to stop it.”
It is a theory that differs
considerably from Waimea’s own, according to the coach.
“We’re, of course,
staying with old Waimea-style football. We’re going to run on you, and power
“But when you think you’ve got us stopped, we’re going to pop a
play-acton pass and keep you on your toes.”
Which is something Waimea has
been doing to foes for two decades now. Koboyashi said the Menehunes’ have
enjoyed unparalleled success – the school has lost just three KIF contests in
eight years – because the prevailing attitude of players and coaches is blue
“We have had players and coaches who have been just willing to come
out here and bust their tales. Both kids and coaches are here in the summer.
“You see the kids in the weightroom, and seriously intent on making
Punahou should provide a nice challenge for the
Menehunes. The visitors bring a full complement of players; 68 grace the roster
to just 33 for Waimea. Additionally, Punahou sports a junior, Dane Uperesa, who
weighs-in at 315 pounds, nearly 30 pounds heavier than the Menehunes’ scale
tipper, Fred Aki.
Aki, in fact, represents a bit of the atypical for the
Menehunes, Koboyashi said.
“We don’t normally have much size at all,” the
coach said. “We normally go with 150- or 170-pound boys on the line. So this is
kind of nice for us.”
Waimea will also have to contend with a bit of fame
that will strut the opponent’s sideline. Punahou Head Coach C. Kale Ane and
Offensive Coordinator Charles Ane, his father, each enjoyed stints in the
Kale Ane played for the Kansas City Chiefs following his college
career and, as of 1998, was listed as a scout in the Cincinnati Bengals’ media
guide. The senior Ane suited up for the Detroit Lions in 1953.
(Punahou) got some knowledge on the sideline,” Koboyashi said. “There’s no
question about that.”
Kapa’a vs. Lahainaluna
The Warriors get their
season underway with a preseason contest at Vidinha Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday
afternoon Look for results in the Sunday edition of The Garden
Kaua’i vs. Hawaii Prep
The Red Raiders tee off on the Big
Island Saturday evening.
The KIF regular season begins Sept. 8 when Kapa’a
meets Waimea at Vidinha Stadium at 7:35 p.m.
Sports Editor Jason
Gallic can be reached at 245-3681 ext. 251
Waimea vs. Punahou, 7:35 p.m., Hanapepe Park
n Kapa’a vs.
Lahainaluna, 2 p.m., Vidinha Stadium