Winless Warriors aren’t without their victories

KAPA’A – The weekend past, the dust settled, and there they stood, midfield, awaiting the first assignment of the new week.

The 55-7 loss, the winless record, the turnovers – pointless. Mere stains in a dusty old statistics book.

That was then, this is now. Practice. Back with the team. Back to the success story. No win-loss record can know what the Kapa’a Warriors have done this season. No scoreboard can spell their success with two numbers and a “W”.

Does the scoreboard mention how each member of the Warrior football program, from jayvee to varsity, made the grade this year? Will it ever know the personal successes achieved by several players on the team – about the guys who tackled life without the pads and won?

“This season is still a success,” said Kapa’a head coach Wes Kaui, who was elated to see his kids working hard on the practice field the week following the Warriors’ 55-7 loss to the Waimea Menehunes.

“When they came back to the field, they were all out there ready to practice, despite the loss and the score,” he said. “They never quit, these kids. They have a lot of heart.”

The Warriors (0-3) return to Vidinha Stadium to face the Kaua’i Red Raiders in a matchup pivotal for both teams. Kapa’a is still looking for its first win and Kaua’i is still clinging, though scantly, to postseason hope. If the Warriors win, they will likely help hand the Waimea Menehunes its 11th consecutive Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation title. The Menehunes are undefeated at 4-0.

“Winning is not my goal, it’s how we play that matters,” said Kaui. “We want to walk away knowing we played a complete game. A game without mistakes, a game where we know we played up to our full potential.”

It’s a game that has eluded the turnover-prone Warriors thus far. In the 55-7 loss to the Menehunes last Friday, Kapa’a committed six turnovers, including five interceptions. The Warriors threw the ball 30 times, an unprecedented number for a team which relied on a more balanced offensive attack. Five interceptions accounted for two directly related Menehune touchdowns, and it also burdened an otherwise effective offense that amassed 295 total yards.

In its earlier 28-21 loss to the Raiders, Kapa’a gained a total of 377 yards. Despite shutting out the Raiders in the second half, turnovers – which included a 103-yard interception return for a TD and a fumble in the Warrior’s potential game-tying drive – again marred their chance for a league win.

“We need to limit mistakes, and we need to keep it simple,” said Kaui. “We just need to play our game and execute.”

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