Menehunes looking to take Big Island success to Oahu

WAIMEA – A coach is never satisfied.

Not with a 25-0 win over a respectable Hilo football program. Not with a fifth State ranking in the recent HSN poll (6th ranking in the Honolulu Advertiser poll). Not even with a group of guys who can adjust to adverse conditions.

Sure, Waimea head football coach Jon Kobayashi is content with the Menehune’s preseason win over Hilo last Saturday. He said his players were able to adjust to the rain and mud which rubbished Wong Stadium, and played well as a group in the team’s first game of the season.

But that doesn’t mean he’s satisfied.

“I guess as a coach you can never be completely satisfied,” said Kobayashi. “But I think we played well under the circumstances.”

In a constant downpour, running back Jordon Dizon scored three touchdowns – on runs of one, five and 34 yards. Gary Mata scored on a one-yard run, completing a ground assault which allowed little room for passing.

Waimea quarterback Jon Palacio attempted just one pass, which fell incomplete, in the second half. While passing is uncharacteristic in the Menehune ground oriented offense, the wet weather would hardly allow for easy receptions. Hilo quarterback Matt Haasenritter failed to complete any of his 10 attempts. He threw two interceptions.

Of the Menehune defense, Hilo head coach Albert Kawelu told the Hilo Tribune-Herald, “They’re quick. I thought we opened holes, but they filled them fast.”

Despite success on the Big Island, Kobayashi knows the true test lies in Waimea’s game against touted ILH program Kamehameha, which the Menehunes will face tonight in Oahu at 7:30 p.m.

“They are a well-coached team and are highly favored as one of the top teams in the State, so this will be a great test for us,” said Kobayashi. “This game won’t decide our season, because it’s still very early, but it will be an indicator of what we need to improve on come the regular season.”

Kamehameha, currently ranked third on both the HSN and Advertiser polls, rolled past Baldwin 35-7 in its preseason opener last week. Some say the ILH team has a chance to take the HHSAA State Championship title.

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