Waimea looks strong early

WAIMEA — For a team that prides itself on stingy defense and a wear-you-out style of running offense, the Waimea Menehune have showed so far that they can put the points on the board with the best of them.

The Menehune scored 31 en route to a shutout of Honoka‘a  Friday night at Hanapepe Stadium. That marks the second straight game in which the Menehune offense has shown flashes of what it could possibly become.

The week before, the Menehune scored 17 points in the second quarter in a 17-13 win over Waiakea on the Big Island.

The Menehune are now 2-0 on the season and have become many fans’ darkhorse pick in the KIF this year.

Although the Kaua‘i and Kapa‘a offenses were looking shaky this weekend, Waimea head coach Kealii Aguiar is cautious about his team getting ahead of itself.

“We can’t worry about what the other teams are doing or what people are saying about us,” Aguiar said. “We know those teams are going to get it down and they’ll do their homework.”

Prior to the season, Aguiar said his offensive line was going to be the key to success this season.

So far, the line hasn’t disappointed the coach.

“I’ve seen some big plays from those guys so far,” Aguiar said. “We don’t have a whole lot of depth there yet, but they opened up some huge plays for our running back.”

Lack of depth is nothing new at Waimea and with this season’s varsity roster of only 26 players, the Menehune are going to take full advantage of this week’s bye.

Aguiar said the team made it through the first two games unscathed by any serious injuries, but with such a small roster the team needs to rest up when it can.

“This bye week is for getting healthy,” he said. “We got away with only bumps and bruises but with 26 guys we just have to get healthy.”

After the week off, the Menehune will host Kaua‘i, Sept. 3 at Hanapepe Stadium. Taking on the defending champions will offer the Menehune its first chance to prove themselves against a good team. And despite the quick start, Aguiar said his team is still the underdogs, which is fine to him.

“The good thing about this season is that since we lost the last two years nobody is expecting us to win,” he said. “The only people who do is us. And that’s all that really matters.”

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