HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii high school football is set to make it’s return to gridirons across the state this weekend.
With the introduction of the Open Division and the cross conference platforms now being established between the OIA and ILH conferences, high school football has almost never been more exciting then it is now.
As the Crusaders nabbed their third consecutive state championship last year and Lahainaluna solidified their place in history with another Division II state crown, the surprise of the 2018 campaign was the Waipahu Marauders.
The Marauders rallied off a 10-4 record last season en-route to the program’s first ever Division I football state title.
Their star running back Alfred Failauga was named Scoringlive’s Division I offensive player of the year and heads into this season less then 700 yards away from breaking Vavae Malepeai’s all time state rushing yards record.
“To be able to be number one on that list would mean a lot," Failauga said. "To be on that list is really great, I give respect to all of them and without them I wouldn’t have the motivation to get first.”
A hungry defense will be led by defensive lineman Keali’i Barrett who knows the Maruders will get every teams best shot each week.
“Everybody is going to go after us like how they go after St. Louis," Barrett said. "This year everybody is working harder and were working ten times harder to defend what we’ve built.”
Head Coach Bryson Carvalho heads into his fifth season in charge of the program.
Although the wins have increased over the years his focus has never been in winning but developing young boys into great men.
“I think winning is a by product of doing things right,” Carvalho said. “If we create respectable men at home and in the community I think winning comes. I love these kids more as people then football players.”
The Marauders quest to defend their state title will start August 2. against the Waianae Seariders.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.