Leilehua To Face Kailua Saturday; Mililani Plays McKinley
By JACK DANILEWICZ
When the OIA opted to restructure its football conference in the off-season, exciting new matchups like this weekend’s Kailua-Leilehua and Mililani-McKinley games are just what the league had in mind.
While some old rivalries were lost (Leilehua-Mililani), new ones are sure to come out of the latest format.
In the new OIA Blue division, defending league champ (and state runner-up) Mililani finds itself alongside East teams Farrington, Moanalua and Kailua, in addition to old Red West rivals Aiea, Campbell and Kapolei.
As for Leilehua, it’s in the new Red division with Castle, Kahuku, Kaiser, McKinley, Waianae and Waipahu. Waialua will remain in the OIA (Division II) White, which did not restructure.
A look at this weekend’s games involving Leilehua, Mililani and Waialua is below.
Kailua v. Leilehua, noon Saturday at Aloha Stadium
An early kickoff awaits in this OIA divisional crossover game. After a 6-4 season in 2013, Leilehua comes to this contest after opening against defending Division I state champion Punahou last weekend.
Following this one, the Mules return home to play East team McKinley before a huge road date against Waianae in two weeks.
Kailua had one of the youngest teams in the OIA a year ago and finished 2-7 overall. Head coach Joseph Wong is in his first year, after spending the last nine years on coach Gary Rosolowich’s staff working with the offense and, most recently, defense. A Kailua High and BYU graduate, Wong played for Miami, Philadelphia and Oakland in his NFL days.
Mililani v. McKinley, 5:30 p.m. Saturday
With Leilehua off of the Trojans’ slate, the featured game on their schedule now is unquestionably the Sept. 27 home date with Farrington. Mililani has to keep winning to stay in the mix for the title before meeting the Governors. Mililani is coming off of a tough test last weekend, when they played Saint Louis, led by its returning head coach Cal Lee.
The Tigers’ first month is as demanding as any team in the state, with road games against Leilehua and Waianae and a home game with Kahuku to follow this one with the defending OIA Champion Trojans. McKinley, which finished 5-5 in 2013, was to play Roosevelt last weekend in its preseason game.
Waialua v. Kalani, 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Kaiser stadium
After struggling in the win-loss column for years because of their smallish enrollments, both Waialua and Kalani have turned the corner, making this game one of the weekend’s more intriguing. Waialua’s three wins last year made the school’s best record in recent memory, while Kalani’s 6-5 finish (and playoff appearance) last fall was a major breakthrough.
Without a preseason game last weekend, this matchup with Kalani will be Waialua’s first appearance in 2014. Conversely, the Falcons played a pre-season game versus Pac-Five over the weekend.
A win here on the road could figure big for the Bulldogs, who will return to play four of their next five games at home. Kalani won last year’s meeting 67-7 at Waialua.