Decision day: Will KIF winner be crowned, or is a playoff approaching?

  • Nick Celario

It all comes down to this weekend.

Kapaa High School’s varsity football team will square off against Waimea High School this Saturday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium. The junior varsity game will start at noon, and the varsity game will follow.

A lot is riding on this final game of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation football regular season.

Right now, Kapaa (5-2 overall, 4-1 KIF) controls its own destiny. A win secures the KIF championship and a berth at the 2018 First Hawaiian Bank Football Championships–Division II state tournament.

If Waimea (1-6 overall, 0-5 KIF) wins on Saturday, Kapaa will be tied with Kauai High (6-2 overall, 4-2 KIF) and the Warriors and Red Raiders will play a playoff game for the league title at a date and location to be determined.

On one side, history seems to favor Kapaa.

Kapaa won three consecutive KIF championships from 2014-16. If memory serves me correctly, Kapaa clinched at least two of those three league titles by defeating Waimea at Hanapepe Stadium in the last game of the regular season (please correct me if I’m wrong).

So, perhaps history will repeat itself this weekend. But then again, maybe the Warriors would be wise to be on upset alert.

I understand what the record implies, but it would be unwise to just disregard Waimea.

Fellow TGI Football Fever panelist and resident Kapaa football fan Yukie De Silva said she isn’t taking Waimea lightly.

While talking story Thursday afternoon, she probably said it best. “You can’t count them out. They got heart.”

Even with nothing to play for other than pride, I’d believe that alone is more than enough for Waimea.

Call it a hunch, but I think Waimea comes out and plays its best game of the year. I’d bet they’d love to throw a wrench into Kapaa’s plans of clinching the KIF title this weekend on their home field.

Either way, this game Saturday afternoon has all the makings of a fitting end to the KIF regular season.

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Nick Celario can be reached at ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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