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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 30, 2006

Punahou football in Washington classic

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Fans in the Pacific Northwest will get to see Punahou's storied athletic program ranked No. 4 among the nation's thousands of high schools by Sports Illustrated in person this September.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association yesterday officially announced plans to have the Buffanblu's football and girls volleyball teams travel to Seattle for prestigious showcase competitions.

Punahou's football team, the defending state runner-up, will play Eastlake (Sammamish, Wash.) in the feature game of the Emerald City Kickoff Classic Sept. 2 at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.

The Buffanblu girls volleyball team, a perennial powerhouse and state champion in 2003 and 2004, will play in an eight-team tournament Sept. 1 at Eastlake.

"Bringing in Punahou ... continues our pledge to feature high school football teams rich in pride and tradition," WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said through a written statement. "This tradition also extends to their volleyball team."

In the 2004 Classic, Bellevue (Wash.) defeated No. 1-ranked De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) to snap the Spartans' national record 151-game win streak. Last year's Classic featured Southern California powerhouse Mission Viejo, ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time.

Eastlake, a 4A (highest classification) team, went 8-2 last season and lost its first-round playoff game, 34-28. Running backs coach David Hughes, a 1977 graduate of Kamehameha, is a former standout at Boise State and played six seasons in the NFL.

Punahou went 11-3 last season and won its first Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship since 1977. The Buffanblu return quarterback Brett Kan and receiver Miah Ostrowski.

The Buffanblu open the season against Kahuku and Wai'anae.

Punahou's girls volleyball team returns 2004 Advertiser All-State first-team selections Larissa Nordyke and Liz Ka'aihue.

In conjunction with the sporting events, Punahou also plans to host a luau inviting 2,000 alumni and friends in the Northwest. The last time a Buffanblu football team played on the Mainland was 1973, at Orem, Utah.

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com.