Former Kahuku football coach Reggie Torres was shaken when he heard the news of the death of Kona Schwenke, one of three defensive linemen from the 2009 Red Raiders squad that lost 34-21 in the state Division I football final to Kamehameha.
Schwenke, 25, was found dead in his sleep by his family Sunday morning, according to his father, McKay Schwenke. Kona went on to play a four-year career at Notre Dame. No cause of death is known at this time.
“It was heartbreaking and sad to hear about Kona’s passing” Torres said. “He was a young, vibrant, energetic man, full of life. To see someone that young pass is not an easy thing.
“That defensive front – the trifecta of linemen – we’ve lost two out of three. The man upstairs took them too early. We all know he’s probably got a better plan for them anyway.
One of the other starting defensive linemen for that Red Raiders team was Veteson Sauni, who died of cancer in 2016.
Hauoli Kikaha was also on that defensive front for Kahuku. He went on to star at the University of Washington and is about to begin his fourth season with the New Orleans Saints.
Schwenke had been trying to hook up with an NFL team. He tried out with the Atlanta Falcons last week and was not signed. And he played in an NFL developmental Spring League game on April 7 as did former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel. During that game, Schwenke stripped Manziel of the ball.
Funeral services for Schwenke are planned for May 5, according to McKay Schweke. Details are being arranged.