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MIL making a big statement

November 13, 2011 - Robert Collias
There are eight high school football teams in the state who will show up for practice on Monday — and 25 percent of them are from the MIL.

Lahainaluna, the MIL D-II champion, joined overall and D-I champion Baldwin in the semifinals of their respective tournaments with the Lunas' 23-6 win over Konawaena in front of a sparse crowd at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night in a game that can only be politely described as ugly for the offenses.

The MIL had not won any game in the state tournaments since 2007, when the Bears made the D-I semis and the Lunas made it to the D-II final, where they lost 28-21 to Kauai High. It was a bit of deja vu on Saturday for Lunas' fans — at least the few who were in the WMS bleachers on Saturday, where were you guys, btw? — when the Luna bus showed up late. Not nearly as late as it did for the 2007 state final, however, when the Lunas arrived at Aloha Stadium after the scheduled 5:05 p.m. kickoff time. They dressed in the stadium tunnel, warmed up for about five minutes and promptly took a 14-0 lead against the Red Raiders before running out of steam in the loss. Saturday's game started at 7:10, 10 minutes late, after the Lunas had a full half hour to warm up.

MIL fans wanting to see both of the league's semifinal games on Friday will have a challenge — Baldwin plays at 4 at Aloha Stadium against second-seeded Punahou and the Lunas play at 7 at No. 2 Waipahu. Both of the MIL teams are 3 seeds.

Baldwin's dramatic 28-24 win over Farrington Friday had a ton of folks on the Valley Isle glued to their seats watching on OC-16 TV, including at least one who wears red most of the time.

"I don't know if our (win) was impressive, but I watched Baldwin last night, screaming in my living room watching them — that was impressive," Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said in my post-game interview with him asking about the statement the MIL made this weekend. "I don't know if our's was that impressive. I am proud of our kids, we have come farther than we thought we would. For the MIL, it's great."

Lastly, here is my top-10 ballot that I submitted to both the Star-Advertiser and earlier today: 1. Kahuku, 2. Punahou, 3. Baldwin, 4. Leilehua, 5. Farrington, 6. Kamehameha Kapalama, 7. Campbll, 8. Saint Louis, 9. Iolani, 10. Lahainaluna.

How will both of the MIL teams do this week? Let me know below.


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