Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 |
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Being that circumstances vary like colors on a chameleon, this normally
registers as one of my least favorite games to play. But, for the moment, I’m
going to change my colors, too. Why? Because it serves our purpose to engage in
this little mathematical juggernaut.
As a rule, I’m not a big fan of those
who say “If Team A beats Team B, and then Team B goes and beats Team C, well
then, naturally, Team A would beat Team C.” Too many variables exist for this
theory to hold up over the long haul. It’s called parody, a word high on the
play list of sports vernacular.
But, as I said, we can have a little fun
throwing Waimea into said equation.
Let us consider the Menehunes, owners
of a 4-0 record (2-0 KIF). They got themselves tangled in this web very early
this year, Week 1 of preseason, in fact.
Waimea upended the Interscholastic
League of Honolulu’s Punahou 21-13 Aug. 19 at Hanapepe Stadium, instantly
solidifying itself as a contender, as it was last year.
Based on that
victory, and what’s transpired since, I’m going out on a limb: Waimea is no
worse than the third best team in the state. To complete the “Team A beats Team
B” thing, Punahou lost to St. Louis, the top-ranked team in the state, 49-28.
The Buffnblu held a 21-0 first-half lead, however, before the Crusaders stormed
back. The second-ranked team in the state, Kahuku, lost 12-7 to No. 4 Waianae
on Friday. Third-ranked Kamehamea defeated ILH foe Iolani 34-14 on Sept. 1.
Iolani, in turn, crushed the ILH’s Pac-Five 49-6 two weeks ago. Meanwhile,
Punahou silenced Pac-Five 35-6, prompting me to put Waimea and Kamehameha on
nearly the same level. See why I hate this?
Needless to say, the Menehunes
are close to a major breakthrough.
Needless to say, neither St. Louis or
Kamehameha would risk its season to come to Kaua’i and challenge Waimea. You’re
not going to find Waianae or Kahuku on the Garden Isle either. None of the four
schools currently ahead of the Menehunes in the state poll would be so
Because those teams would run into a suffocating
defense. Punahou put up 225 hard-fought yards against Waimea, but found it
tough to capitalize at crunch time. And Outside of the Buffnblu, no team has
put points up against the Menehunes’ “D.” Last year’s Big Island champion,
Konawaena, zero. Kapa’a in the KIF opener Sept. 8, zero. Kaua’i on Friday
Our own president does more scoring than Waimea
The things team speed will do. Though I’ve been on the island
just six weeks, I’ve already been told that this may be as talented a team as
Waimea has had in a long time.
And the defense has to be the chief reason.
Linebacker Brandon Perreira leads the charge. If the senior fails to make
the all-state team, Menehunes’ fans should stage a sit-in. Perreira factors in
nearly every defensive play, and experienced his defining moment against Kapa’a
when he stuffed quarterback Dustin Mundon at the goalline. If he’s not
swallowing QBs or running backs, the 5-foot-7, 155 pounder is disrupting the
offenses’ every attempt to pick up yards.
Against the Warriors, Perreira
registered four sacks and ran for an 85-yard touchdown. His ground game was on
hold Friday vs. Kaua’i, but his defense did not waver. The LB handcuffed the
Red Raiders repeatedly.
Discounting the other members of the Waimea
defense, however, would be shortsighted. Perreira appears so dominant because
an offensive line cannot key just on him. If it did, linebackers’ Iolana Aguiar
or Dwayne Mendonca might unleash their wrath, as they did Friday against
Kaua’i. Stop them and you have to face lineman Michael Koerte.
Punahou game, Waimea coach Jon Kobayahsi expressed considerable concern about
his defensive backfield. But Timmy Chang-Wo and company have responded like
elementary students eager to please the teacher. The Warriors’ Mundon tossed
for just 65 yards; Kaua’i’s Kamo’i Refamonte, 46 yards.
But it’s difficult
to put words to the Menehunes’ quickness. They close on the ball like angry
bees. When offenses toss the pigskin into the flat, the battle becomes reaching
the line of scrimmage rather than the end zone. It’s as if Waimea encourages
opponents to go for the quick hitter, because swarming is satisfying.
remains to be seen if the Menehunes can keep their shutout streak alive. But
what shouldn’t be in doubt is Waimea’s standing in the state poll. There should
be a move forward.
Waimea defeated Kaua’i 45-0 Friday night at
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