LIHUE — The Garden Isle will host two more high school preseason football games before kicking off the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season next week.
The Red Raiders aim to right the ship this Saturday when Kauai High (0-1) takes on Konawaena of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Vidinha Stadium.
“We’ve got good moments on the practice field when things are clicking, the blocking is going correctly and we’re running and hitting the seams where we need to be,” said Red Raiders head coach Derek Borrero following Wednesday’s practice.
“At times, it looks great. But sometimes, we get lazy and take reps off. That’s when we get into trouble,” he said. “We need to be patient. We’ve got a small team here. It’s all about being disciplined.”
Last week on Oahu, Kauai started with a 13-0 lead but ultimately lost the game against Damien Memorial of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 34-19.
“I told them that we needed to go out there and punch first, and we did that. … But little things became big mistakes,” Borrero said about the game. “We got to be more consistent in everything that we do, not only on the football field but in the classrooms. There’s a lot of work.”
Borrero added he tried running an offense more tailored to his young quarterbacks: sophomores Aukai Albao and Christian Manera. He intends to run a more balanced offense on Saturday.
“Aukai played most of the game. Manera went out there and had a few reps. He did pretty good. Even though we lost the game and we got a lot to improve on, there’s so much potential in this team. I think we’re going to be OK,” he said.
Over on the Westside, Waimea (2-0) is riding high on a two-game win streak following a 27-14 win over BIIF’s Waiakea on the Big Island last week.
“Yeah, they’re pretty happy,” said Menehune head coach Jason Caldeira in a phone interview Thursday. “The boys feel good about themselves, but they’re also a little bit beaten up playing a bigger team last week. … We really had to fight out. They endured a lot.”
Caldeira added the running game on offense really boosted the team’s morale in the game.
“We had those two big breakaway runs from Cody Taniguchi. One went for 90 yards and the other went for 30-plus yards,” he said. “Two big runs like that really sparked the team. That really helped.”
While wanting to heal up his players, Caldeira said he’s taken a “smarter” approach during practices this week leading up to the final dress rehearsal.
“I feel we prepared well physically, mentally and spiritually for this week,” he said. “(We have) a couple of injuries, but nothing serious.”
Waimea will host Pac-Five of the ILH at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
“The Pac-Five quarterback is a good athlete. I believe he had the record for total passing yards in a game last season,” Caldeira said. “On film, they look really fast and really polished on their running routes. … We have to get good play out of our D-line and put pressure on the quarterback, and the defensive backs have to play disciplined.”
“I’m going to be looking if our team can come out firing, more motivated than they were in the last two games and keep this momentum going before our (KIF) season starts,” he added.