Boy, that escalated quickly. The Kapaa Warriors made a statement in their KIF season-opening win Friday, getting some early special teams scores and running away with a 53-0 win over Kauai High. There was certainly no letdown for the top-ranked team in Division II as coach Philip Rapozo had his team ready to go. Kapaa is setting the bar quite high for both Waimea and Kauai to reach, as well as itself in continuing to match such impressive performances.
The win will certainly be more than enough to keep Kapaa atop the D-II power rankings and, they hope, is a sign of things to come in 2015. The Warriors get a deserved week off, but they may not welcome it with how well they’re playing.
Kapaa was able to play as complete a game as can be expected at this point of the season. It cruised in all phases and showed off playmaking ability from multiple positions. Defense has been its calling card and that was certainly again on display, but the passing game is what accelerated the Warriors’ efforts and put the score out of reach. That facet was a dose of Kauai’s own medicine as Red Raider coach Derek Borrero had instilled a heavy aerial assault when Kauai was a dominating dynasty earlier this decade.
We’ll see how the Raiders are able to rebound this coming week against Waimea, who are looking for their first KIF win since 2012. The Menehune are off to a promising start and should be anxious to prove their pair of non-conference wins can translate to KIF play.
There’s no denying that Kapaa has made itself the heavy favorite with Friday’s big win. We’ll see how Waimea and Kauai can respond moving forward.
Manuel, Cope headline Galicia Pro
The summer in Europe is traditionally a madhouse of tourists clamoring for Instagram snaps of the Mona Lisa or selfies in front of the Coloseum. But as the summer months fade and fall creeps in, the surf season takes its own tour through Europe and will stop this week in Spain for the Galicia Pro.
As a QS 6,000 women’s contest, it’s an important one in the qualification efforts for many wahine. One of them is certainly Malia Manuel, who enters the event ranked eighth on the Championship Tour and 11th on the Qualifying Series. It’s still difficult to predict which she’ll need to re-qualify for 2016, but continuing to improve that QS standing is a good way to alleviate pressure under any circumstances. Plus, the beauty of Galicia and the ability to do some progressive surfing in fun waves are enticing enough.
Brianna Cope has also made the trip and will be trying to better her current QS ranking of 21. Cope has a couple of ninth-place results on the season in some big events, though it will be difficult to get back in striking distance of qualification from here out. But she has a runner-up finish at a QS 6,000 under her belt, plus continuing to stack up results ensures her inclusion and higher seeding for future contests.
Action in Spain gets underway Tuesday and Galicia operates 12 hours ahead of Hawaiian Standard Time. So if you’re interested in the telecast or the live stream, caffeine will be your friend this week.
Wussification of America
A sports commentator in the Pittsburgh area named John Steigerwald made some headlines Saturday after going on a Twitter rant and, later, a Facebook rant about what he called the “wussification of America.” It’s a term that has gained some traction for different reasons in recent years and, I think, is sometimes warranted.
The basis of his diatribe stemmed from St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal opting to take three days away from the team for paternity leave as his wife gave birth to the couple’s second child. I don’t typically criticize media members for their hot takes because many have hours of air time or blank column inches to fill and getting people to think about stuff is usually a good thing. But this seemed like the wrong way to make a statement.
I’ve never been in a delivery room, but it doesn’t take an attending doctor to know that childbirth is a pretty strenuous, sometimes traumatic process. I don’t mean mentally traumatic, I mean that a woman may literally go through physical trauma. Being there for her, despite the fact that the Cardinals have a (mildly) important series with the Giants this weekend seems like a no-brainer. Plus, he’s entitled to the leave as it was collectively bargained by the players union and the owners.
But “I’ve sat in NFL press boxes on Christmas Eve and Christmas with hundreds of guys who put job before family. Happens every day,” tweeted Steigerwald. Alright, well, that’s not the point. First off, just because something happens every day isn’t a sound argument on its own. Secondly, I’d suggest that missing three games over a 162-game baseball season is distinctly different than Ben Roethlisberger missing one of 16 NFL games, an example he also referenced. Not that I’d blame Roethlisberger, either.
But a Major League closer, who usually appears in only one of every three games anyway, being with his family instead of a weekend series in San Francisco is not a referendum on America. It’s not unmanly. It’s understandable. It’s regular. It’s what should happen if that’s what his family wants.
Oh, and my Ron Burgundy quote to start this column was a nod to Steigerwald. Google him, you’ll understand.
David Simon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.