Waimea High School will start the first of the next three weeks of homecomings against Kapa‘a High School at Hanapepe Stadium.
Waimea (3-3 overall, 2-2 Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation) is coming off of a bye week and prior to that, a 41-14 loss to league leaders Kaua‘i High School. The Menehune are currently 2-1 at home, counting preseason games, compared to Kapa‘a which is 0-3 on the road.
Waimea’s last game against Kapa‘a was one that was decided within the last 10 seconds. Joseph Velasco caught a long pass to get to the Waimea 3-yard line and later scored the touchdown which brought the Warriors to 14-13. But Caleb Sarsona was stopped short of the goal line for the two-point conversion and Waimea preserved the win.
To prevent such a close game this time, Kapa‘a head coach Keli‘i Morgado said they have been working on how to maintain possession.
“Priority No. 1 is to not turn the ball over,” he said. “I think we’ve turned the ball over at least five times a game. We can’t win football games with so many turnovers.”
This season, Kapa‘a has racked up 14 fumbles, 11 of them were turned over. Waimea has lost 8-of-10 fumbles.
Waimea also beats Kapa‘a on the offense averaging 240.5 yards of total offense compared to Kapa‘a’s 167.2.
“Priority No. 2 is to tackle better. We missed a lot of tackles that went for long plays,” he said.
Morgado also said that the large turnout expected for homecoming will not be any bigger a factor than any other time they play Waimea.
“Waimea’s crowd is always boisterous and supportive regardless if it’s homecoming or not. Hanapepe has always been a hard venue to play in,” he said.
Waimea head coach Kyle Linoz, however thinks that night will be an extra motivating factor for his players.
“I think it will be a big factor in the game,” he said. “Homecoming has always been huge for us. I just hope all the hoopla during the day won’t tire them out. But we’re a healthy team and we’re ready to go.”
Waimea made a slight change in their offensive tactics. The Menehune been primarily run by Jenzen Cacal. Linoz said Cacal will split duties with Cole Parongao. Parongao was dubbed as one of Waimea’s top quarterbacks, but with injuries early in the season, he was moved to where he was needed more. Now with the team set, Parongao can be switched back to QB.
“There’ll be healthy dose of Cole. You will definitely see a lot of him,” Linoz said.
Junior varsity will start the night at 5 p.m. Varsity’s kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.