Older, wiser and seeing the light

It’s amazing to look back and see how naïve and clueless I was as a wide-eyed 30-year-old, as well as how much I’ve already learned at 31. I’ve been 31 years old for four full days now and the differences are astonishing. I can’t believe how my fragile little mind used to operate at that infantile, tender age of 30. I mean, when I was 30, I thought the Philadelphia 76ers were going to be a terrible basketball team. I thought the Green Bay Packers were about to gain control of the NFC North. I thought the St. Louis Cardinals were better than the Boston Red Sox.

Now 31, I see these are all laughable concepts. Oh well. Young and stupid, right?

Anyway, happy Aloha Friday and here’s a primer for anything and everything that deserves your attention this weekend.

RAIDERS HOST PLAYOFF GAME: The quarterfinal matchup between the Kauai Red Raiders (8-0) and the Pearl City Chargers (7-4) kicks off at 2 p.m., Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. Receiving the No. 3 seed in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II tournament, Kauai goes up against a tough Pearl City team that found itself after losing its first two games of the season. The winner of Saturday’s game will then travel to Iolani (7-4) to take on the No. 2 seed Raiders in next weekend’s semifinal matchup. No. 1 Lahainaluna (10-0) awaits the winner of No. 4 Kaiser (10-1) and Konawaena (9-2), who will play Saturday’s second quarterfinal at 7 p.m. in Honolulu.

The Division I state tournament begins today with a pair of first-round games. No. 3 Hilo takes on Campbell (7 p.m., Big Island’s Wong Stadium) and No. 4 Baldwin takes on Farrington (6 p.m., Maui’s War Memorial Stadium).

FIRST TIME, LONG TIME FOR UH-NAVY: History will be made Saturday when Norm Chow’s University of Hawaii Warriors take on Ken Niumatalolo’s Navy Midshipmen. It’s believed to be the first time in college football that a pair of head coaches of Polynesian descent have faced one another.

Obviously, it’s been an extremely disappointing season for UH, which now sits at 0-8 after last week’s 47-10 loss to Utah State. Navy is fighting for bowl eligibility after a 38-34 loss to Notre Dame moved the Midshipmen to 4-4 on the season.

While Niumatalolo will be inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame this coming January, I’m sure he’d like to focus on a bowl game before that ceremony takes place. UH and Navy kick off at 10:30 a.m. HT (3:30 p.m. local) on Saturday at Navy Memorial Stadium.

HIC PRO HOPEFULLY RESUMING AFTER SLOW WEEK: Sunset Beach hasn’t been ideal all week, so event organizers have been forced to call six consecutive lay days at the HIC Pro. With the waiting period lasting only through Sunday, the contest could be back on today as a new Northwest swell was forming and expected to rise through the weekend, according to an event release. Three heats remain in the Round of 64, meaning 38 surfers are still in the competition.

Kauai’s Kaimana Jaquias, Gavin Gillette, Dylan Goodale and Evan Valiere are already into the Round of 32, while Pancho Sullivan is in one of the remaining Round of 64 heats hoping to advance. Defending champion Sunny Garcia was ousted in the Round of 64, but 22 of the 38 surfers left are from Hawaii.

RAINBOW WARRIORS AND WAHINE TIP OFF: The University of Hawaii men’s basketball season officially begins tonight when the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic opens at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors play the first game of the four-team round robin against Tennessee State, tipping at 6:30 p.m. Western Michigan and New Mexico State will follow at 8:30 p.m.

Monday’s sixth and final game, featuring UH and New Mexico State, will be shown live on national television (6 p.m. HT, ESPN2).

The Rainbow Wahine get their season going Saturday with a road tilt at Arizona State. That game tips at 1 p.m. HT (4 p.m. local). UH will stay in “The Grand Canyon State” and be back on the hardwood Sunday for an early back-to-back at Northern Arizona, tipping off at 12 p.m. HT (3 p.m. local).


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