We Must Protect this House . . . of Pain!

This entry is a companion to my recent entry Nearly 30 Years in the Making. It's also a nod to our main football sponsor, Under Armor, along with our vibrant yet violent cultural history - the fabric from which we are bred. We continue this culture on the fields, courts, and arenas we "play" on.

I've always loved the moniker, "We Must Protect this House," which became a marketing tidal wave that Under Armor rode to corporate stardom and relevance, and put them at the cusp of the 2 apparel and footwear giants. Nobody collects info on what high schools are sponsored by athletic apparel companies. So I found this cool article breaking down which apparel company outfitted each college Football Bowl Subdivision team. Under Armor is doing pretty well, it being a relative baby in the industry.

Likewise, in 1989, Kahuku was not a household name when it came to measuring OIA football championships. Conversely, in the 1940's, 50's, 60's, and even into the earlier part of the 70's, Kahuku was the epitome of consistent success on the gridiron. After the thrilling victory over Leilehua in 1972 the Red Raiders could not break through and win an OIA Championship for quite some time. 1972 was also the year that most of my classmates and I were born.

That OIA Championship barrier was broken in 1989 because of a change in coaching, philosophy, and attitude. A strong senior leadership core coupled with some amazing junior talent contributed to the changing of the guard. That change was no better reflected than in the tag, "Welcome to the House of Pain!"

When I was a sophomore, our Junior Varsity team experienced a wire-to-wire undefeated season that gave us a taste of what consistent winning was all about. On the other hand, as juniors, we suffered through one of the worst seasons in Kahuku history by going 3 and 5. But the glory of that undefeated JV season and the bad taste of a rare losing record created the prime atmosphere for a trajectory adjustment.

"The House of Pain," gave us a marquee title to attach to what we did on the field. We punished opponents with a hard-nosed running game and an athletic, relentless, brutal defense. The markers we attributed to establishing a House of Pain didn't end with our team. Former Head Coach Vavae Tata said in 2015, "That's our DNA. That's our makeup. We're going to ground and pound on offense and we get after it on defense." That strong tradition continues today. In fact, it is much stronger, deeper, and more focused than ever before.

In aiming to evade the negative implications of such a phrase as our Red Raiders have not been able to demonstrate anything even resembling the sentiment once boldly painted on that old storage shack in the corner. However, in a sense, we've "Protect"ed our house for the past 11 years, by not losing @ home since 2007. For longer than that, though, opponents have come to expect, especially when playing @ our house, that they'll be leaving Carleton E. Weimer with a loss and a whole lot of _ _ _ _ ! [Rhymes with G A I N]