21 months since the last prep football game was held in Hawaii, the modified Interscholastic League of Honolulu schedule gets underway this weekend.

Earlier this month, the Hawaii Department of Education put the fall high school sports season on pause in order to institute a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, with the 10-day heat acclimation period beginning on Sept. 24.

The ILH does not fall under the DOE umbrella and will continue to hold competition during that period, with official games beginning on Aug. 27. Among the matchups to kick things off will be Punahou against Kamehameha held in an empty Aloha Stadium.

For Warriors head coach Abu Ma’afala, he’s hoping that the heartbreak of a cancelled 2020 season can provide perspective for his players.

“Over the course of the last year and a half our motto has been win anyway. That’s been more of a theme of no matter what comes your way, no matter what adjustments you got to make we just got to find a way to come out on top. That’s more of a mindset thing than it actually is a physical thing,” said Ma’afala. “That’s the main thing for me as a head coach is that I just want them to go out there and play as hard as they can. Play together, find ways to overcome the adversity. They’ve overcome some pretty complicated adversity, I’m hoping that when they get into the game that the type of adversity that they are going to face is a little more simple and pure and for them to just stick together.”

The Warriors and Buffanblu will play the night cap of a doubleheader at Aloha Stadium following Pac-5 and Saint Louis II which is the Crusaders junior varsity roster. The first game will begin at 5:00 pm with both matchups being televised on Spectrum Xcast.

The other game of opening night will be Iolani hosting Damien at 3:15pm which will not be televised. For coverage stay with KHON2 on-air and online.