The Punahou School football team finished #17 nationally for the 2013 season, according to MaxPreps.
MaxPreps ranks more than 16,000 high school varsity football teams.
Punahou opened and closed the season with victories over Mililani to capture the Hawaii Division I state championship to complete a perfect 11-0 season ? the school's first unbeaten season since 1961.
Punahou, which last won a state title in 2008, is one of 50 schools being honored on the ninth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
"In partnership with the Army National Guard, MaxPreps is delighted to honor Punahou as one of fifty schools on the 2013 Football Tour of Champions," said Andy Beal, Founder and President of MaxPreps. "We're proud to include Punahou into this elite group of teams in the country."
"We're grateful that an organization such as MaxPreps has ranked us in the top twenty-five. We've never been able to accomplish this before and we're honored to be included," said Punahou head football coach Kale Ane, who completed his 15th season.
Senior quarterback Larry Tuileta completed 154-of-253 passes for 2,618 yards and 28 touchdowns to spark the Buffanblu multiple offense. Sophomore Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 986 yards on 158 carries and scored 14 touchdowns. Junior Kanawai Noa was the top receiver with 47 receptions for 1,053 yards and 10 scores while senior tight end Dakota Torrez was a solid performer. Both Tuileta and Torrez will play at the University of Hawaii next season.
Punahou featured a stingy 3-4 defense that allowed only 107 points all season. In fact, the Buffanblu yielded just two touchdowns over a five-game stretch. A trio of juniors, led by 6-foot-7-tall, 285-pound end Canton Kaumatule, were outstanding. Outside linebackers Ronley Lakalaka and Sautui Moeai were also instrumental in the team's success.
Hawaii Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Matthew Werts presented Coach Ane and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a school assembly Monday afternoon. The team also received a banner for their accomplishment.
"For over 375 years, the men and women of the National Guard have come to the aid of their neighbors during times of need," said Major Mark Burns. "As Citizen-Soldiers who serve part-time, we live and serve in more than 3,500 communities throughout the country. It is our privilege to honor and recognize nationally ranked football teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy which includes the Minuteman statue, a symbol of the National Guard."
MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.