KAPA’A – The fans were out in droves, lining Vidinha Stadium’s home bleachers in a barrage of green and black. They were loud, high-spirited, optimistic and impressed.
It’s been a while since the Kapa’a Warriors football program beat a team other than Kaua’i High School, which it overcame twice in the 2001 season. And after Kapa’a topped King Kekaulike 26-14 in a preseason opener on Saturday, clamorous cheers rung mercilously throughout Vidinha, although they could’ve been interpreted as sighs of relief.
But nothing could be heard out of first-year Warrior head coach Wes Kaui. He was calm, cool-headed, positive, but not entirely convinced.
He thought: The crowd looked good. The support was hospitably welcomed. And the boys, win or lose, will always be successful in my eyes. But we need work.
“When you win, you’re pleased, but there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Kaui. “Under the circumstances, with a new program, new coaches and a team learning the system, we did well. This week we’ve been trying to work on the things we didn’t do well Saturday.”
Special teams. Kaui noted the Warriors failed to convert a single extra point attempt. Like pennies in a piggy bank, those points may may add up if collected throughout the KIF season.
Red-zone offense. Kaui said his team failed to score twice within the 20-yard line. The Warriors are working towards capitalizing on every chance it gets at six points, especially when its special teams unit haven’t proved it can knock up three points.
Kaui has been working on a number of strategies to prepare for Kapa’a’s trip to the Big Island Saturday, where they will face Honoka’a at 7:30 p.m. in its second preseason match-up.
“We really don’t know anything about them,” said Kaui. “They have a new coach and we don’t know what style of football they play. So we’ve been working on several things to prepare for them.”
uWaimea vs. Kamehameha,
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
@ Big Island
uKapa’a vs. Honokaa
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.