At last, the 2014 high school football season is upon us. Let there be much rejoicing!
In case you missed it, the entire slate of games that were scheduled to take place in Hawaii during the second weekend in August were postponed because of encroaching hurricanes. That pushed the first officials games of the 2014 season to Friday, August 15, and here we are.
For once, the season will technically start in Alaska, at least when you convert opening kickoff times to their Greenwich Mean Time or Eastern Standard Time, which is more convenient for we here in America to consider. The opening slate of Friday Night Lights (in this case natural light from extended daylight hours) will include three Alaskan faceoffs: Anchorage West v. Palmer, Anchorage East v. Colony and North Pole v. Fairbanks West Valley. All three games kick off at 7 p.m. local time, which equates to 11 p.m. if you’re on the East coast of the country.
If the first official games were determined by local kickoff times alone, two Honolulu teams would take the crown. ‘Anueue will take on Raford at 6 p.m. local time in Honolulu … or midnight EST. An hour later Kealakehe will take on Maui, followed by a more robust slate of five games that kick off at 8 p.m.
There should be a handful of competitive games in both states, but the most interesting opening weekend contests (for very different reasons) may both be played on Saturday. In Alaska, Juneau-Douglas will face off against Kenai-Central in a rematch of a 2013 state semifinal. Meanwhile in Hawaii, state power ‘Iolani will take on a visiting squad from Japan, Mino Jiyu Gauken. ‘Iolani is a massive favorite, as one would imagine, but the cultural exchange between the two teams should be fascinating nonetheless.
Of course, that’s all secondary to the most important part of the weekend: Football’s back!