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Growing talent pool among neighbor island high school football teams

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The Konawaena High School football team won the 2022 division 1 football championship.

2022 was an exciting year for high school football in Hawaiʻi. Kahuku High School won the state championship in the open division for the second year in a row, giving the public school powerhouse an even 10 state crowns all-time.

Two neighbor island high schools, Konawaena and Waimea on Kauaʻi, won state titles in division I and division II, respectively. It’s the third time in the last five years that non-Oʻahu schools have won two of the three state championships.

So what does this say about the talent pool outside of Oʻahu and how players across the state have evolved over the years? The Conversation sat down with Harold Tanaka, the football coordinator for the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association, to find out.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 15, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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