Editor’s note: While the sports world is shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Hawaii Today will look back every Tuesday at memorable sports moments on the Big Island.
Normally at the beginning of August, football teams on the island would already be preparing for the upcoming high school season. However, 2020 is anything but a normal year, and all high school sports teams in the state are under a “no-contact” period until Aug. 19.
For now, the start of football season has been postponed until at least Aug. 31.
Hawaii Prep, which lost last season in the BIIF Division II football title game to Kamehameha, had a long streak of football success in the 1960s. Ka Makani won four consecutive BIIF titles from 1963-1966. After the ‘66 season, it would be more than 20 years before HPA would emerge at the end of the year as the Big Island’s best team.
After Konawaena dominated the BIIF through the ’80s, Ka Makani surprised everyone in 1993.
“Down two games midway through the season, the Hawaii Preparatory Academy football team was hurting in every way,” West Hawaii Today’s Paul Young wrote in a Nov. 12, 1993 article.
“Injuries. Losses. Exams. ‘Nuff said.
“Yet the Ka Makani never quit. Knowing that no team with two losses had won the Big Island Interscholastic Federation football championship since 1980, HPA had to make up ground quickly on frontrunning Konawaena, the perennial champion.”
On Oct. 23, 1993, HPA upset the Wildcats 13-7 at home to tie for first in the BIIF standings with Konawaena. Ka Makani went on to defeat the Waiakea Warriors 28-18 to win their first BIIF championship since 1996. HPA has previously lost to the Warriors that season, 12-10.
“We just stayed on the field. The ride home was quiet; everyone was too tired to celebrate. We gave 100 percent,” HPA senior Jed Ednie said.
HPA finished the season with a 7-3 record, a half game ahead of the Wildcats in the standings after Konawaena tied with Hilo 8-8 in their final game of the season.
It was a bittersweet win for the members of HPA teams in the ’60s.
“Members of HPA’s four title winners of the ’60s were there to enjoy the championship spectacle. Among them was HPA baseball coach, ex-running back and proud parent Frosty Yardley.
“As the game ended, the boisterous Yardley opened his jacket to display a tattered, worn-out red and black jersey. Number 30. His son, Jonah, a linebacker and running back, could hardly believe his eyes.
“‘He was there in his shirt. It’s the first time I saw it. He ripped off his jacket like Superman,’ the younger Ka Makani said of his father.”