Football Preparing for Big Competition Against Moanalua

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Football Preparing for Big Competition Against Moanalua

Lanakila Pei '20 returns a punt return against Radford during the Homecoming Game.

Lanakila Pei '20 returns a punt return against Radford during the Homecoming Game.

Liam M.

Lanakila Pei '20 returns a punt return against Radford during the Homecoming Game.

Liam M.

Liam M.

Lanakila Pei '20 returns a punt return against Radford during the Homecoming Game.

Makai M., Staff Writer

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     The football team is ready to get back in action after a thrilling win over the Damien Monarchs two weeks ago. With the win, the Raiders will head into the first round of the HHSAA State Football Championship against the Moanalua Menehunes, who beat ‘Iolani by one point in the first game of the regular season. One year removed from a devastating loss to the Waipahu Marauders in the first round of the playoffs, the Raiders are looking to redeem themselves in the second ever OIA-ILH postseason for the Division I crown. With so much on the line, defensive back KC Bell ’21, linebacker Lanakila Pei ’20, and offensive lineman Kilo Scanlan ’20 offered their time to share what they are doing to prepare for the playoffs.

     “Our mindset coming into this season was to win. We wanted to win a championship and do it for our school and our community,” said Bell. The 9-2 Raiders know this is their year to win it all before losing nineteen seniors to graduation. The seniors know that they are at a physical disadvantage compared to the larger competition, but they are ambitious to win it all.

     “We’re smaller, less athletic than other teams in the state. The whole factor of discipline and mental toughness is what I believe got us to where we are now,” said Pei. Indeed, intense preparation has been a theme of the football team ever since Mr. Wendell Look ’78 assumed the position of head coach in 1991. 

     However, the Raiders refuse to accept their lean frames as fixed qualities. In order to prepare for the big games coming up, the Raiders have been using their weeks off not only to practice on the field but to bulk up in  the weight room as well.

     “I wanted to get bigger. My personal mindset was just to get stronger and get the weights up,” said Scanlan.

     The team definitely has been working hard to make it on time to practice and lifting sessions, but the Raiders have been just as active in the perfecting off-field technique. 

     “The most important thing is watching film and resting our bodies to get ready for this game,” said Bell.  

     The Raiders hope that cleaning up some mistakes will lead them to a win after somewhat of a sloppy win against the Damien Monarchs. Quarterback Jonah Chong ’20 threw two interceptions and the offense wasn’t able to capitalize off of the Monarchs’ mistakes efficiently.  This sloppiness reflects the Raiders’ loss to Moanalua earlier this year, and ‘Iolani will be looking to be perfect in their second matchup against the Menehunes and star quarterback RJ Javar. 

     “We want revenge,” Scanlan emphasized. 

     Wish the Raiders luck this week if you see them. The playoff game will be on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7:00 p.m. at Moanalua High School, so be sure to join the Raider Nation this weekend in hopes of a state championship berth!