Balanced Football Season Expected For OIA Red West

In the world of prep football, there always is a season within the season – the critical games that make or break a team’s year.

For Aiea, Campbell, Kapolei and Waipahu, the 2013 OIA Red West race figures once again to be among the most balanced in the state from top to bottom. With the recent release of the schedule, a breakdown of each West school’s slate follows. (Division II Pearl City’s schedule will come in a later issue.)

Aiea High School

2012 record: 3-5 overall (1-5 in OIA Red West)

2013 schedule: Pac-5 Aug. 16 (preseason game), Waianae Aug. 24, Campbell Aug. 30, at Kapolei Sept. 6, at Waipahu Sept. 14), Leilehua Sept. 20), bye Sept. 27, at Mililani Oct. 4.

Key stretch: Waianae, Campbell, Kapolei

Must-see game: Mililani Must-see game II: Waianae

Game to be on upset-alert for: Waipahu

Breakdown of Na Ali’i schedule: On the plus side, three straight home games to start give players the opportunity for a nice run out of the gate if they can take care of business. Back-to-back road games versus Kapolei and Waipahu also appear winnable with the final road date, the finale at Mililani, looking like the ‘wildcard’ matchup of the slate. Aiea’s bye week also fits nicely between key games with Leilehua and Mililani.

Campbell High School

2012 record: 6-4 overall (3-3 in OIA Red West)

2013 schedule: Kailua Aug. 16 (preseason game), at Leilehua Aug. 23, at Aiea Aug. 30, bye Sept. 6, Waianae Sept. 13, at Mililani Sept. 21, Waipahu Sept. 27, Kapolei Oct. 4

Key stretch: Leilehua, Aiea, bye, Waianae

Must-see game: Kapolei Must-see game II: Leilehua

Game to be on upset-alert for: Waipahu

Breakdown of the Saber schedule: With three of their last four league games at home, the slate lines up nicely for a potentially strong finish. The key may be tied to their performance on the road with games at Leilehua, Aiea and Mililani. Back-to-back road dates at Leilehua and Aiea in week’s one and two could set the tone.

Kapolei High School

2012 record: 6-4 (3-3 in OIA Red West)

2013 schedule: McKinley Aug. 16 (preseason), Mililani Aug. 23, Waipahu Aug. 30, Aiea Sept. 6, at Leilehua Sept. 13, bye Sept. 20, at Waianae Sept. 27, at Campbell Oct. 4

Key stretch: Leilehua, bye, Waianae, Campbell

Must-see game: Campbell Must-see game II: Leilehua

Game to be on upset-alert for: Aiea

Breakdown of the Hurricane schedule: Perhaps no team in the entire OIA has an opportunity to break out of the gate in finer fashion than Kapolei with four straight home games, including the preseason tilt with McKinley. And following the much-anticipated trip to Leilehua, the Hurricanes will enjoy their bye week. That should come at a good time, with road dates versus Waianae and Campbell to close out the Red West schedule.

Waipahu High School

2012 record: 2-7 (2-4 in OIA Red West)

2013 schedule: Kaimuki Aug. 16 (preseason), West Lake Aug. 24 (preseason), at Kapolei Aug. 30, Mililani Sept. 6, Aiea Sept. 14, at Waianae Sept. 20, at Campbell Sept. 27, Leilehua Oct. 4

Key stretch: Kapolei, Mililani, Aiea

Must-see game: Leilehua Must-see Game II: Kapolei

Game to be on upset-alert: Aiea

Breakdown of the Marauder schedule: Including its two preseason games, Waipahu will play four of its first five at home, so there will be plenty of opportunities to gather momentum early. On the downside, the final three weeks could present a huge challenge with back-to-back road games at Waianae and Campbell, followed by a home matchup with Leilehua. The game at home against West Lake (Calif.) in week two could be one of the best among the pre-season OIA matchups.