HANAPEPE — The Waimea High School Menehune opened its preseason Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium when it hosted the Anuenue Na Koa Rainbows of Honolulu.
It was a game with a lot of Hawaiian culture surrounding it, as Anuenue is a Hawaiian language immersion program school where the players call plays and are coached in Hawaiian. Anuenue even brought its own announcer, Sam Noeau Warner, who is a Hawaiian language professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa.
But after the opening ceremonies, there was still football to be played, and Waimea would dominate the game to the tune of 42-0.
Turnovers would prove to play a prominent role in the game with the Rainbows turning the ball over eight times. Waimea capitalized on the Anuenue mistakes and was able to gash the Rainbows on the ground for large chunks of yards.
Waimea’s Destin Miguel had a big day on the ground for the Menehune with three touchdowns and multiple runs over 20 yards. Acetyn Emayo also had a solid game on the ground, finding the end zone twice and also coming away with two interceptions on defense.
Waimea quarterback Kiliona Russell-Moe also added a 5-yard touchdown run to the Menehune total.
Although the Menehune had its bright spots offensively, they also turned the ball over frequently, something head coach Kealii Aguiar was quick to point out.
“Too many turnovers,” Aguiar said. “You cannot have six turnovers and expect to be competitive in the KIF. We had five fumbles and one interception. We had two passes today and one of those was an interception — we need to do a way better job of taking care of the football.”
Despite the turnovers, the Menehune defense held strong, not allowing the Rainbows to get in the end zone or put points on the board.
Although the defense was solid against the run, Aguiar was able to find another area that is need of improvement.
“We need to do a better job versus the pass,” Aguiar said. “They had four eligible receivers in the formation they were running, and it seemed like every time we thought they were going to pass, they passed and we still weren’t able to defend it as tight as we wanted to.”
Waimea will go back to work as the team prepares to play HPA on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Big Island.