Dave White said he doesn't like heading into a game having only a little knowledge of the opposition, but that's where the veteran coach of the Edison High football team stands in regard to the Baldwin Bears.
Edison is on the Hawaiian island of Maui, home of Henry Perrine Baldwin High (Wailuku, HI.), for its season opener. The teams clash at 9 p.m. PST Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
It will be Edison's second trip in four years to the island where they will meet Baldwin for the second time.
The Chargers won the first meeting in their 2011 season opener, 48-10, over a Baldwin team that went on to reach the semifinals of the Hawaii state tournament.
There are new faces on the Baldwin roster from the team White and the Chargers faced four seasons ago.
"We're going into this thing with a blank slate," White said. "That's an uneasy feeling for me when it comes to knowing something about teams we play. When we played them a few years ago, they had a different head coach.
"They (Baldwin) were supposed to open their season two weeks ago, and that would have given us something to go on."
One familiar face on the Baldwin sideline is that of Bears head coach Keneke Pacheco. Last year, Pacheco served as interim head coach of the Bears and previously had been part of the program's coaching staff since 2002.
Pacheco said he also hoped he had something on Edison to work with.
He was a Baldwin assistant coach when the teams met in 2011.
"I remember them having a really good team that year but this year, we really don't know anything about them," he said. "Playing them is always a big challenge but it's always great when a team comes to the islands to play us.
"It would have been nice, though, to have a game under out belt. We're a young team and we need some game experience."
Saturday also will mark the start to the season for Baldwin, although that wasn't to be the case. The Bears were scheduled to open against Oahu Farrington on Aug. 9, but Hurricane Iselle caused the game to be canceled.
As interim head coach last year, Pacheco guided the Bears to an overall record of 6-5. His team went 6-2 in the Maui Interscholastic League and won the league title.
Twenty-two players return from that team, 10 of whom Pacheco said played either offense or defense.
The Bears reached the first round of the First Hawaiian Bank/Hawaii High School Athletic Assn. Division 1 Football State Championships last fall.
"Last year, we were a rebuilding team," he said. "Even though we gained some experience, we again are young this year. We are a 'work-in-progress,' at this point. A big strength for our team is the fact that these young kids have been working hard together."
Two of Baldwin's leaders are quarterback Jonovan-Taje Akaka Foster and middle linebacker/running back Colton Keahi.
"This year he has really took on a leadership role for us," Pacheco said of Akaka Foster who started last year as a sophomore.
"Colton (Keahi) also has been very active this year on taking on the same role on defense. They are two key players for us."