HS Football in other states you've lived in

Discussion in 'In The Stands' started by Chop, May 31, 2019.

  1. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    Observations on HS football in other states I've lived in and just based on what I've seen in person, in the local papers, and on tv while living there.

    Florida: Roughly on par with Texas. Athletes equal to Texas--skill positions arguably even better than Texas, linemen not so much. Coaching not quite Texas HS level, but not too far off. Somewhat less 'hoopla', massive fan support, and fanaticism compared to HS football in Texas.

    So. Carolina: Athletes equal to Texas. Coaching nowhere close. Basic unsophisticated schemes. Good fan support.

    Maryland: Athletes a few cuts below Texas. Same with coaching. Low to very low level of fan/community support. More of a basketball state.

    Hawaii: Linemen on par with, or even better than, Texas on the average (not kidding). Skill positions (other than QB) not even close to Texas level. Coaching average. Very good fan support -- massive HS school pride that extends into adulthood and strong rivalries. Privates play publics together, leading to much recruiting by the privates.

    New York: Laughable all around. Great HS basketball state though...

    If you've been around the country, and seen any HS football while there, post about it.
  2. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    More on Hawaii HS FB since I lived there 4 years. Most here probably (and understandably) don't give a flip, but those who've lived in Hawaii would understand:

    Early on, I got invited to a HS football game by a friend and thought to myself 'this will be good for a few laughs.' Boy was I surprised! The linemen were monsters--big, fast, strong, and mean. Stands were packed with highly energetic fans. I went back to some more games and to some state championship games in Aloha Stadium. More packed than the Texas HS state championship even.

    A few impressions about the HS FB teams in Hawaii, some slightly flippant (so don't get your panties twisted):

    Kahuku: enormous mostly Samoan Mormon dudes. Can beat anyone in the trenches. Usually one of the best teams in the state.

    Waianae: enormous Hawaiian dudes. Can beat anyone except for Kahuku in the trenches. Poor side of the island. Don't mouth off to any fans, or give anyone the "stink eye", unless you're a real good fist fighter. If some rough Hawaiian dude from Waianae gets in your face and says: "You like beef, brah?", he's not inquiring as to you whether you like a good steak or BBQ brisket.

    St. Louis: well-coached, sophisticated pro passing team. A private Catholic school that recruits the best athletes in the State. Wins lots of championships (unfairly...). Was usually the best team in the state when I lived there.

    Punahou: rich kids, including the "old wealth" elite. Decent at football. Obama's alma mater.

    Kamahameha: Hawaiian students, many from neighbor islands--special school created by trust to educate Hawaiians. Incredibly well funded. Not bad on the field, but not that great. Some top athletes get recruited away by St. Louis or even Punahou.

    Iolani: Private school dominated by well-to do-Japanese / "AJA" kids. Not so great at football (can kick some a$$ at baseball and tennis though ...)

    McKinley: Downtownish urban school. Was pretty sorry at football. Real old school and with loyal old-timer fan base though.

    Farrington: Scrappy poor and working class Filipinos. Fans generally good-natured and very nice to opposing fans or neutrals. They play hard, but they're not big enough in the trenches to be very good in that state.

    Aiea: See Farrington above, but more middle-class and working class.

    Millilani: See Aiea and Farrington above, but more middle-class and upper middle class.

    Nanakuli: See Waianae above. For some reason, not so good at FB though.

    Kailua: Another "rich kids" school. Well-to-do part of Windward Side. Lots of Caucasians. Some military and retirees. Pretty good at FB. Alma mater of NFL HOF Russ Francis.

    All in all, it ain't Texas, but still one of the better HS football states (per capita) out there.
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  3. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Tennessee is probably more into basketball than football although there are some huge football factories in private schools and also in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville public schools. Across the state it's mostly sub par coaching, training, and playing although I can attest to the fact they think their football is good.
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  4. #2is#1

    #2is#1 1,000+ Posts

    Great roll up on Hawaii! I have gone a few times as well over the years, and it is religion there. Especially liked the Kahuku following.
    Not sure if you were around for the June Jones years, but the college team was huge for awhile.
    Also pretty cool to get up on a Saturday and the sports bars are packed by 8 am watching football.
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  5. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    I was there 1996-early 2000. Saw their bowl game live in June Jones' 1st year at UH (Hawaii not Houston in this case). iMHO, Hawaii has the next best HS football culture behind only Texas.

    Right on Kahuku. Big fan base. Basically a feeder school for OL and DL for BYU and the PAC 12.

    Liked Players sports bar in downtown Honolulu on Beretania. I'd roundup some other guys at my command who were from Texas and go there to watch UT when in port. Some of the sports fans from Florida would do the same. So I spent more than a few Saturdays (starting in the morning due to the time difference) watching UT, UF, and FSU with pals at the sports bar. Picked up a taste for screwdrivers and bloody Marys--way too early for beer during the first round of games.

    And did I ever catch a lot of s@&! when Mack Brown backed out of playing Hawaii in Hawaii.
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    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  6. #2is#1

    #2is#1 1,000+ Posts

    Great memories! I didn’t know Mack pulled out.
    I was thinking, you just missed Ricky’s debut!
    Anyway, great memories.
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  7. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Far be it for me to defend Mack Brown, but was it Mack or Deloss or a combination of the two? I had a long discussion with Deloss about the cancellation of that game, and he provided statistics about teams that traveled there to play. They might win, but the following week, they played their worst game of the year, frequently losing. I don't have those stats, but was astounded by the poor play, the poor statistics they put up, and the W-L records.
  8. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    I get the theory behind why he didn't want to play an away game at Hawaii. I hated it at the time, and I took flak for months: "So the mighty Texas Longhorns are scared of playing Da Bows", etc., etc.

    The silver lining is that we have big time national name recognition and respect, that crosses the Pacific.
  9. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    To put some perspective re: that certain football factory in the Mid-Pacific, below is a list of some professional football players from Kahuku High School (1,300-1,400 students total in the school):

    Uani Unga, New York Giants
    Hau'oli Kikaha, New Orleans Saints
    Kona Schwenke, Seattle Seahawks
    Harland Ah You, Canadian Football League
    Junior Ah You, Canadian Football League
    Toniu Fonoti, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars
    Aaron Francisco, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals
    Lakei Heimuli, Chicago Bears
    Chris Kemoeatu, Pittsburgh Steelers
    Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, and Baltimore Ravens
    Itula Mili, Seattle Seahawks
    Chris Naeole, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars
    Tevita Ofahengaue, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars
    Leonard Peters, Chicago Bears
    Al Afalava, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans
    Robert Anae, USFL New Jersey Generals
    Al Lolotai, Washington Redskins
    Palauni Ma Sun, Arena Football
    Faaesea Mailo, New York Jets
    Stan Mataele, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers
    Brad Anae, Houston Gamblers of USFL

    IMHO, if Kahuku HS was located in Texas, in a typical year they would go deep into the playoffs. Occasionally they might even make it to the championship or even win it. Think Euless Trinity, but even stronger in the trenches.

    Good luck Aiea, Iolani and Farrington HS linemen, going up against a bunch of guys like this :yikes::


    Frank De Lima (IMHO Hawaii's funniest comedian by far) had this tongue-in-cheek tribute poem to Samoan football players in Hawaii that he'd sometimes work into his routine (the pic above makes a pretty good visual):

    I'm big as a house.
    And tall as a wall.
    My favorite game
    is tackle football.

    I'm wearing a skirt,
    but you'd better not laugh.
    Cause it won't be so funny,
    when I break you in half!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

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