WAIMEA — The dark clouds above threatened, but the only sound of thunder was from the cracking of helmets Tuesday afternoon at Waimea High School.
That sound was probably heard around the island too, as the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation football season officially began this week with practices.
Although the Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i and Waimea teams have unofficially been working out for several months, Monday afternoon marked the first official day, and by Tuesday in Waimea, practice under head coach Kealii Aguiar was off to full steam.
Pass routes were run. Balls were caught. Not everything was as crisp as it will be in a few weeks, but it was at a tempo and enthusiasm that only the first week of practice can bring.
“I can’t believe August is already here,” Aguiar said. “Our guys are excited.”
The first couple weeks of practice are a period of time where a coach can get a feel for his team; to see what returning players improved over the summer and which new freshman have the potential to be the next star. This evaluation comes at a frantic pace, as all three schools begin their pre-season slates next week.
Waimea and Kaua‘i both travel to the Big Island next week. The Red Raiders take on Kam-Hawai‘i on Friday, Aug. 12 in Kamehameha while the Menehune face Waiakea on Aug. 13 in Hilo.
Meanwhile, the Warriors of Kapa‘a travel to Honolulu that same weekend to face Kalani High School in Aloha Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 13.
The first games on Kaua‘i are a Friday night double header on Aug. 19 when Waimea takes on Honokaa and Kapa‘a faces Kam-Maui.