Three of the top five offensive linemen who performed at The Opening in San Francisco over the weekend came from Hawaii.
Lokahi Pauole, Kamehameha’s stout lineman, rated No. 3 overall. The other two top-five OL from the islands were Enokk Vimahi of Kahuku and Duke Clemens of Punahou.
Pauole, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior, has scholarship offers from Boise State, Hawaii and San Diego State. He chatted with Hawaii Prep World after returning.
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HPW: Was this your first time at The Opening?
Lokahi: No, I went to the Nike Regionals last year in Oakland.
HPW: Was there a difference in the two events? Did you feel more comfortable the second time?
Lokahi: Yeah, I think the difference between this year and last year was me maturing and learning from how I did in Oakland. Like last year I made top 10 and this year ended up finishing in the final five.
HPW: What are the top three things you learned from Oakland?
Lokahi: Top three things were to get my feet quicker, not to open up my hips and delivering a solid punch off the line.
HPW: Extensive skill development in the past year. Do you feel this is the result of offseason work or training on the field at school, or probably both?
Lokahi: Yeah, it’s a little of both, but the main reason for my success is because of Coach (Brian) Derby and Derby Camp. He taught me almost all of what I know for being an O-lineman.
HPW: Going up against the ILH’s best D-linemen is tough, but going up against the best of the West Coast, what does take to develop everything you did. Is it something specific in the weight room, mental discipline, etc.?
Lokahi: It’s really just the mind-set you have going into things. I mean, yeah, the weight room, practicing your technique and stuff is important. But if you don’t have the mind-set to apply the things you learn from practice and the weight room, etc., then you won’t be able to perform.
HPW: If you’re coaching an eighth-grade version of Lokahi Pauole, what are you teaching him about mind-set? Eliminate distractions? Focus on clean power and aggression?
Lokahi: Nah, I don’t think you can really teach having a good mind-set or being mentally strong. It’s kind of like something you just do on your own. It’s something that as you grow, you just get more confident. So if I were to teach a young me, just teach myself to be more confident and to play with an edge.
HPW: How do you feel about the traveling, success, meeting new friends. This wasn’t really available 10, 20 years ago when Coach Abu (Ma‘afala) was a player.
Lokahi: Yeah, I thought going to the mainland and doing this camp was real eye-opening. Going up there, playing different competition and seeing new faces was a fun experience, but personally I think Hawaii has the best competition. Going against Hawaii boys for season and things down here isn’t the same as the mainland boys. The Hawaii kids just have that edge that makes us better.