2010 Football Forecast Looks Favorable For Pearl City
By Jack Danilewicz
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Pearl City’s schedule: Anuenue Aug. 20, Nanakuli Sept. 3, McKinley Sept. 11 (played at Roosevelt), Kalani Sept. 17, at Waialua Sept. 25, at Waipahu Oct. 1, at Kalaheo Oct. 9 (played at Kailua) and Kaimuki Oct. 16.
Breaking it down: With two of the Chargers’ four away games being played on a neutral site - at Roosevelt - the schedule is mostly favorable. Three home games in the first four weeks will give Pearl City a chance to position itself nicely for the season’s second half.
Can’t-miss game I: At Waipahu Oct. 1. The road to the White title figures to run through Waipahu, given its winning history in Division II since the HHSSA separated into classes. Waipahu spent the past two years competing in DI against the likes of heavyweights Waianae, Leilehua and Kapolei, and it still has the depth and speed of a DI team. A win here for Pearl City could be huge as it also begins a difficult three-game stretch that continues the following weeks against East foes Kalaheo and Kaimuki.
Can’t-miss game II:Versus Kalaheo (at Kailua High) Oct. 9. The Mustangs set the standard in the East for getting the most out of an undersized roster. Among the equalizers for Kalaheo has been its execution of the veer offense, which head coach Chris Mellor brought from his days as a JV coach at De La Salle High School in California. Pearl City lost (25-22) in overtime at home to Kalaheo last year in one of the year’s most riveting games, so both teams figure to bring their best effort.
Upset-alert game: At Waialua Sept. 1. With Anuenue, Nanakuli, McKinley and Kalani as their first four opponents, there’s a chance the Chargers could be 4-0 heading into this game. The following week is the matchup with Waipahu, so the Chargers will have to be careful not to look beyond the Bulldogs. This contest also represents the first true road game for Pearl City, as its only other game away from home to this point will be on a neutral field against McKinley.
Worst-case scenario in the OIA: Chargers finish 3-5 in the OIA White Conference. Under this scenario, they drop games to Nanakuli, McKinley, Waipahu Kalaheo and Kaimuki, while defeating Anuenue, Kalani and Waialua.
Best-case scenario in the OIA: Chargers finish 7-1, beating everyone but projected league champion Waipahu. From there, they go on to the OIA playoffs.
Make plans for the 2010 post-season if: They can take care of business at home. The schedule aligns nicely with three home games in the first five weeks in addition to a game against McKinley on a neutral site. A 5-0 start to the season would ensure a playoff berth by the time Pearl City hits the tougher part of its schedule.
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