Upcoming OIA Football Season Brings Challenge, Opportunity

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

With the release of the OIA schedule for 2014, MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander breaks down the respective games for Division I teams Leilehua and Mililani as well as Division II Waialua.

Leilehua Mules

2013 record: 6-4 overall, 3-3 in OIA Red West

2014 games: Aug. 16 Kailua, Aug. 22 McKinley, Aug. 29 at Waianae, Sept. 5 Castle, Sept. 12 at Waipahu, Sept. 26 at Kahuku, Oct. 3 Kaiser

Key stretch: Waipahu, Kahuku, Kaiser

Must-see game 1: Waianae

Must-see game 2: Kahuku Game to be on upset-alert for: Waipahu

Schedule breakdown: Road trips to Waianae and Kahuku will be tough, but the Mules are likely to be favored in all of their home games (Kailua, McKinley, Castle and Kaiser). The outcome of the Aug. 29 Waianae visit could mean the difference between a good and a great season.

Mililani Trojans

2013 record: 11-2 overall, 6-0 in OIA Red West

2014 games: Aug. 16 versus McKinley at Aloha Stadium, Aug. 23 Kailua, Aug. 30 at Kapolei, Sept. 12 at Aiea, Sept. 19 at Campbell, Sept. 27 Farrington, Oct. 4 Moanalua

Key stretch: Kapolei, Aiea, Campbell

Must-see game 1: Campbell

Must-see game 2: Farrington

Game to be on upset-alert for: Aiea

Schedule breakdown: While the mid-season stretch of road games in successive weeks is brutal, four other Trojan games will be played at home, with two to start and a pair to close out the regular season. Having Farrington and Moanalua at home in weeks six and seven could be a huge late-season boost if the Trojans remain in the mix again for an OIA title.

Waialua Bulldogs

2013 record: 3-6 overall, 3-5 in OIA White

2014 games: Aug. 16 versus Kalani at Kaiser, Aug. 23 Pearl City, Aug. 30 versus Kalaheo at Kailua High, Sept. 6 Nanakuli, Sept. 12 Roosevelt, Sept. 26 Kaimuki, Oct. 4 versus Anuenue at Kaiser, Oct. 10 versus Radford at Aiea.

Key stretch: Kalani, Pearl City, Kalaheo, Nanakuli

Must-see game 1: Pearl City

Must-see game 2: Radford

Game to be on upset-alert for: Kalani

Schedule breakdown: With three home games in the first five weeks, Waialua will have a chance to do well out of the gate, if they can take care of business. With four other games at neutral sites, the team doesn’t have a single true road game. jackster.1969@yahoo.com