War Memorial Stadium's new field has Toma touch
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
The new grass field at War Memorial Stadium may be the biggest star in Maui Interscholastic League football this season.
"It's really nice," said new Baldwin coach Chad Kauha'aha'a. "It's just like the new field we played on at Kamehameha last Saturday."
In fact, it is the same 419 Tifway Bermuda-hybrid grass used in Kamehameha's Kunuiakea complex. But Maui's field has an even loftier pedigree. The installation was done under the supervision of George Toma, the world-famous grass consultant who manicures the best fields in professional sports.
Included in the $300,000 appropriated by the Maui County Council for the field was $31,000 for Toma, who spent four months on Maui directing the installation. "That included his hotel, meals and rental car. We got a really good deal because he loves Maui and the people here," said Floyd Miyazono, director of the county Parks and Recreation Department.
Toma is a noted perfectionist, and Maui, with typical governmental limitations, couldn't do everything he wanted, but "we will monitor the field every week and we will upgrade our maintenance process and follow some of his recommendations," Miyazono said.
The project, which started in late April, included overhauled drainage and irrigation systems. The first high school games were played on the field last weekend.
"Everybody who has seen it is impressed," Miyazono said. "Certain things could be better, but basically it's a great success."
He said Dan Honma of Makena golf course loaned the county some serious equipment for the work.
In addition to four M.I.L. varsity and junior varsity games each week, about half of Maui's Pop Warner League football games are played at War Memorial. By the time the Hula Bowl college all-star game is played there in late January, the field has taken more of a beating than the football players.
Now, county workers will start overhauling the Iron Maehara baseball stadium field, "using what we learned from George Toma," Miyazono said.
As for the M.I.L.'s football championship, all five coaches agree that it will come down to the Baldwin vs. Maui games that end each half of the season, on Sept. 27 and Nov. 9.
A feature of those games will be the contrast in head coaches: Former Baldwin and Utah defensive end Kauha'aha'a in his first year at his alma mater and Curtis Lee in his 19th year at Maui, where he won nine M.I.L. championships.
For the second year in a row, Ka 'ahumanu Hou Christian Schools did not meet the league requirement for minimum squad size (30 this year), leaving the M.I.L. with five teams. They will play each other twice, with a playoff at the end if different teams have the best record in each of the two rounds.
The season opens tonight with Baldwin against St. Anthony.
2001 record: 7-3-0, tied for first place in MIL, lost playoff to Lahainaluna 26-14.
Coach: Chad Kauha'aha'a (first season)
Players to watch: QB Michael Donohoo Jr. (6-1, 180, Sr.), LT Paul Petro (6-1, 255, Sr.), FS/WR Akamu Aki (Sr.), ILB Kekoa Hewahewa (Sr.), CB/WR Gered Mochizuki (5-4, 150, Sr.), RT Barrett Maioho (6-1, 250, Soph.), DL Mead Tabata (5-9, 230, Sr.), TE/DE Kealoha Range (6-2, 230, Sr.).
Lost preseason game at Kamehameha, 35-7.
KING KEKAULIKE NA ALI 'I
2001 record: 3-6, fourth in M.I.L.
Coach: Dennis Dias (3-6, 2nd season)
Players to watch: DE Lincoln Lin Kee (6-3, 260, Sr.), QB/PK Daniel Scott (6-1, 195, Sr.), TE/DT Dwain Akiu-Corpuz (6-2, 260, Jr.), RB Kona Quinabo (5-11, 200, Jr.), TB Ikaika Mawae (5-8, 160, Sr.), FB Aaron Wood (5-10, 200, Fr.), C Adam Akau (6-1, 245, Jr.), PG Artie Todt (5-10, 185, Sr.), RT/DE Kua Whitman (6-1, 195, Sr.), LG/DE Kato Puha (5-11, 235, Jr.), LT Keola Nakoa (5-11, 230, Jr.), DT Ilai Hines (5-11, 260, Sr.), DT Keoki Laloulu (5-10, 220, Soph.), MLB Keahi Holder (5-9, 225, Jr.), OLB Michael Abreu (5-7, 160, Sr.), OLB Grant Koga (5-7, 160, Sr.), CB Ivan Mande (5-8, 165, Sr.), CB Dain Shimabuku (5-6, 155, Sr.), FS/WR R.J. Felten (6-1, 185, Jr.), SS/TB Alapa Atartes (5-8, 175, Jr.), WR Nick James (5-8, 150, Jr.), WR Jesse Pagan (5-7, 160, Sr.), WR Akoni Clubb (5-9, 165, Sr.).
Lost preseason game to Kapa'a, 26-14
2001 record: 8-3, tied for first in M.I.L. with Maui, won playoff, 26-14. Eliminated by Kahuku in first round of state tournament, 57-14.
Coach: Bobby Watson, 11th season.
Players to watch: DE/OT Sione Kauvaka (6-3, 250, Sr.), OL/DL Maliu Tauheluhelu (6-1, 240, Sr.)
Defeated Waiakea, 19-18, in preseason game.
2001 record: 4-5, third place in M.I.L.
Coach: Curtis Lee (113-53-6, 19th season)
Players to watch: FB-DE Elaiuti Lama (5-11, 251, Sr.), QB-CB Dane Patao (5-9, 172, Sr.), Util. Chadwick Sagon (5-9, 180, Jr.), RB/LB Ryan Ishizu (5-7, 193, Jr.), DL/OL Arona Ale (5-10, 207, Sr.), WR Ronald Belany (6-0, 175, Jr.), DB/WR Timothy Larson (5-8, 174, Jr.).
Defeated Kaua'i, 14-7, in preseason game.
ST. ANTHONY TROJANS
2001 record: 1-8, fifth place in M.I.L.
Coach: Kevin O'Brien (8-23, fourth season)
Players to watch: DE/TE Brad Somera (6-0, 180, Sr.), CB Clinton Carvalho (5-9, 150, Sr.), MLB Eli Hedani (5-6, 165, Sr.), FB Kai Rozet (5-10, 190, Sr.), OL Ryan Hardesty (6-0, 220, Sr.)
Lost to Scotts Valley (Calif.), 27-16, in preseason game