Red Raiders already talking reload

Kahuku Red Raider football player Robert Sauvao unleash a pass to teammate Lokana Enos against the Saint Louis Crusaders in a game Friday night at Aloha Stadium. George Lee / Star-Advertiser

Most football teams have off years. Kahuku, usually, is not one of them.

But this year, despite the fact that the Red Raiders made the final four of the Open Division, will go down as an off year. They finished 7-5 and ended it by getting beaten by rival Saint Louis 49-22 in the Open Division semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships on Friday at Aloha Stadium.

The future is bright on the North Shore, though. When is it not?


First of all, even though the fans didn’t come out in droves for the semifinal matchup, the many who showed were seen tomahawk-chopping loudly when Kahuku scored a touchdown in the final minute.

Secondly, that touchdown drive was led by a freshman — quarterback Jason Mariteragi, who is listed as being 120 pounds on a 5-foot-8 frame.

Another good sign for the future was junior receiver Mason Paulo, who elevated above a defender to catch a fade pass from Mariteragi for the 2-point conversion. Senior Toalei Lefau was the one who bulled his way for a 5-yard TD on a sweep left.

And that’s not all. There are a ton of sophomores and juniors on the team who coach Sterling Carvalho expects to be a big part of next year’s team.

One of those sophomores who you can expect to take on stud status in coming years is defensive lineman Zion Ah You.

Yes, if you are wondering, he is the grandson of former BYU and Canadian Football League star/hero Junior Ah You — and the brother of Miki Ah You, the hard-hitting Kahuku senior linebacker who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the campaign.

Against Saint Louis, Zion Ah You had a sack among his 2.5 tackles for loss. Like Junior and Miki before him, he’s an in-your-face kind of defender.

The injury to Miki Ah You, who is committed to the University of Washington, was a big blow to the Red Raiders. He was the unquestioned leader of not just the defense, but the whole team.

The Red Raiders were bogged down by other injuries this season, and to his credit, Carvalho never complained about it or offered it up as an excuse.


One of those players out for a long stretch — offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi — came back late in the season and was out there in the finale. Two standouts at defensive back — Kaonohi Kaniho and Alex Fonoimoana-Vaomu — were hurt and did not play against the Crusaders.

Linebacker Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu, Alex’s brother, had a sack among his four tackles against the Crusaders. He’s already thinking about next year.

“It was a tough season,” he said. “We came out slow and never finished hard like we wanted to. Next season, most definitely, we’re coming out with that ring. Saint Louis is a good team, but we made a lot of mistakes. We’ve gotta fix that for next season.”

Vimahi, who is 6 feet 5 and 270 pounds, has 26 offers to play Division I college football and he has narrowed that down to his top eight.

“The season for us was a lot of ups and downs, with some of the injuries and some of the games in big-time situations,” Vimahi said. “And this game being our last and my last in general as a senior, it hurts, but we’ll take this experience and learn from it.

“For me, I’ll just prepare for the next level and they’ll just get back to the drawing board. Every year, we just reload. We always seem to make it to states. It’s a reflection of the community and how we reload.

“Disappointing is one word you could use. We didn’t finish how we wanted to, but the underclassmen will be seniors next year. They’ll learn from this and just get better.”

The biggest highlight of the night for the fourth-ranked Red Raiders was senior Tevita Faleta‘s 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

There are probably many Kahuku fans wondering how much better the team would have been if they had junior Sol-Jay Maiava at quarterback. After leading the Red Raiders to the state championship game in his first two seasons, Maiava transferred to St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., where he has helped that team to a No. 14 ranking in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.


Carvalho, like every other Kahuku coach in the last handful of years, is probably wondering about the status of his job. The school has changed head coaches often, and winning games doesn’t seem to help them keep it. It was Reggie Torres at the helm in 2013, Lee Leslie in 2014, Vavae Tata in 2015 and 2016, and Makoa Freitas in 2017.

This is what Carvalho had to say after the loss to the Crusaders: “We had a good season. I’m proud of our boys no matter what. They fought through injuries, adversities. They were resilient and stayed together as a team to finish the season. We’ll be back. We’ll be back. We’ll rebuild like we always do. We have a lot of sophomores and juniors coming back, so the future looks bright.”

COMMENTS

  1. Sike November 17, 2018 1:40 am

    Hmm… I wonder what Tatas up to nowadays.


  2. ilh November 17, 2018 3:20 am

    43 returnees for the Red Raiders, 55 returnees for the Crusaders.


  3. Northshore November 17, 2018 6:05 am

    @ilh: Numbers look impressive but how many of those numbers were just part of the team. It’s a matter of reloading or rebuilding at key positions. I’m sure St Louis will be loaded again and we’ll see next year.


  4. notes November 17, 2018 7:31 am

    yeah ST Louis will be reloaded next year… with Kahuku players poached from la’ie in the offseason. Disgusting.


  5. CountryBoy November 17, 2018 8:30 am

    -Notes

    Im sure there will be a few 19 year old transfers from Samoa or Tonga to buffer Kahukus ranks. No worry brada calls are being made as we speak.


  6. Michael Arreola November 17, 2018 8:42 am

    I love it!! If your son is a good player…of course he should go to St. Louis….duhhhhh…this this has been happening since the 1950 s….not rocket science….


  7. Austin Chang November 17, 2018 9:30 am

    Am sorry, but St. Louis is going to be reloaded for next year too, all of them are Sophomores, and bunch of Juniors, there were few seniors for St. Louis. They need to go aggressive and attack next year. Like at Waianae, Campbell, and Farrington, they got such a young team, they going to improve next year.


  8. 808 November 17, 2018 10:43 am

    Downfall for there season

    1. Kahuku letting go Makoa Freitas and hiring Sterling Carvalho (4th Coach out of 5 years)

    2. Starting QB Sol Jay Maiava transferring to St. John (Washington D.C.)

    3. Miki Ah You out for the season.

    Admin (Principal, VP, AD) is killing the program. Parents sending there kids to (St. John, Orem, Chandler (AZ), Timpview, Jordan (UT), ILH and Campbell with DJ, more stable programs with better exposure.

    Kahuku alumni is frustrated on the direction of the program is going. I see the lack of attendance and participation of more Kahuku fans PROTESTING than not being faithful.

    Sad bc all this drama the admin is create, it ultimately affects the boys on the team.


  9. HailFromDaNorth November 17, 2018 11:16 am

    The future looks good for the red raiders. If you take s look at the big boys program you see that every year their stacked and they win. It’s a good feeder program into the high school. Everyone’s doing it now days. Eww beach sabers, all black crusaders. And they don’t start from when they’re playing D2 or D1 ball also. These kids are playing flag football learning the skills stuff from when they’re 5-6 years old. The All black crusaders program is huge and the feeder into the high school ranks. Also with all these coaches putting on “summer clinics” and all these youth clinics. Everyone’s starting young to get the jump on the competition. The recruiting is starting from really young. I suggest Kahuku get on it too. Yeah they have the D2 and D1 Laie park big boys, but they should start putting together flag teams into the JPS flag program which runs year round! Cuz the only avenue that they have for the youth is pop warner which comes once a year.


  10. Kahukuobserver November 17, 2018 12:40 pm

    Kahuku Admin going fire their HC for getting ousted in the semi’s and losing in the OIA Championship? Public school people complain about players getting recruited by the private schools but the players ultimately decides whether to take up the offer or stay public schools. They can turn down the private school opportunity if they want to. All those St. Louis players who live in the Kahuku area, can stay home if they like, no need go St. Louis, Kam, Punahou. Up to them.


  11. ILH November 17, 2018 12:58 pm

    If Cal Lee was the Coach at Kahuku, it would be very tough to beat him also, or if he was at Kamehameha, Kamehameha would be tough to beat too, Cal Lee will be the best High School coach of all time, and to his outstanding coaching staff.


  12. Education First November 17, 2018 2:50 pm

    @808, so what you are saying are many of the Kahuku’s love for the community and team are not unconditional? They will only come if there is a winning team and a coach they like? Kind of sounds like a bunch of bandwagon riders. And how can you be the “Pride of the North Shore” when no one or should I say hardly anyone shows up? Kind of sounds like you gave yourselves that nickname and it really doesn’t work or stick.

    Maybe the “Bandwagoneers of the North Shore” or “Fair-weather Fans of the North Shore” might sound better.


  13. 808 November 17, 2018 3:10 pm

    @educationfirst

    I mean to there credit, St. Louis didn’t necessarily pack the stadium either. For the record, I’m not a Kahuku alumni. But a lot of schools DON’T pack the stadium.

    Why does Kahuku get a bad rap when people don’t show out. We use them as an example of “Hawaii High School Football” but when it’s just Kahuku.

    But let’s use this State Championship attendance as a measuring stick compare to other years before.

    It’s crazy how in a rebuilding or a down year, they still were in the State Playoffs and 1 game away from the State Championship


  14. Rebel November 17, 2018 3:23 pm

    Campbell Fr. QB should go back to Kahuku, he can play right away and help his hometown team and community…hope Carvalho back next year but who knows about the North Shore…


  15. Robocop November 17, 2018 4:12 pm

    808 kahuku gets a bad rap for not packing the seats because

    A. They call themselves the states best fan base. They talk about being loyal fans. Clearly it just takes a few losses to drastically thin the herd

    B. In the past they’ve had printed championship signs, shirts, etc. but that was back when they actually showed support for their team. If they don’t think they will win then they don’t show up

    C. They just take the most trash.

    Of course this is not every RR fan. I also don’t mean to bad mouth the team at all just the bandwagon fans that talk trash, bring signs mocking the opposing team, yell disrespectful things. You are right most teams do not pack the stands. Most crowds are also not super loud. But if Rr fans gonna talk it they gotta walk it even when the team doesn’t win.


  16. notes November 17, 2018 4:48 pm

    Kahuku gets a bad rap because

    A. They win too much and challenge ILH’s dominance. people hate those on top

    B. we are enemies of the state and other teams, especially cal lee, do all they can to stack the deck against us

    C. the refs for our games are ILH homers who are biased against us. what happened last night when robbie got that intentional grounding call even though he was CLEARLY outside the box? biased much?

    D. education first aka mr punahou aka fake notes gets off on hating on kahuku because he was too unathletic to play football when he was in high school. maybe some kahuku kid stole his lunch money or something in elementary school. my dude needs some help


  17. Robocop November 17, 2018 5:07 pm

    notes you must own stock in Kleenex with all the crying you do.

    Hey why not trade, kahuku doesn’t get a small grounding penalty. But you gotta take away kahuku’s 1st TD since the ref decided to not call the holding. So score is 49-15, but the stat sheets give kahuku’s 5 more yards.

    kahuku wins too much?? They ain’t doing much winning against ST Louis. No one else cares about kahuku’s record against ILH teams as much as you do I swear.


  18. HailFromDaNorth November 17, 2018 7:30 pm

    I hope someone from the Kahuku community steps up
    And run a flag football program year round. Let’s start building our skill positions early, cuz that’s what to seem we lack when we get to the high school level. And they’re playing the game year round.


  19. Wake up November 17, 2018 8:46 pm

    All you Kahuku crybaby’s crying about STL recruiting your players. Name one that lives in Kahuku and starts? One kid who does start has family from Kahuku but he doesn’t live in Kahuku, he lives in town. So name me one kid who starts for STL from Kahuku, I’ll wait. You can’t now go back to making those phone calls to Utah, Samoa, Tonga, and New Zealand for those long lost relatives


  20. Just Saying... November 17, 2018 9:02 pm

    From what I’ve seen, only reloading will be their coaching staff! Kahuku lacked depth this year and why the down year. STL and Puns will be tops again next year based on returning talent and bench strength.


  21. Hammer November 17, 2018 9:48 pm

    This is for 808 the OIA is the biggest crooks when you run a state tournament the best should be playing not teams like farrington then st Louis who is undefeated and rank number one got to beat the top two best teams in the OIA that’s bull shit and for the cry babies st Louis is in kaimuki so only people live in kaimuki can go to st Louis that’s why a lot of people gets upset with kahuku you think you guys automatic supposed to win the states every year so when you guys loose you blame the coach people recruiting that’s how arrogant you guys are the real problem is that other teams or better then you guys that’s the truth


  22. to good times November 18, 2018 4:25 am

    Is it true that coaches at Kahuku get canned, even if they win, if they do not prevent their players from accepting scholarship offers from ILH schools? Or, if any of the players transfer out? Why such a merry go round of head coaches? What is it exactly that the admin, community, or whoever is looking for? I’m so curious about this.


  23. notes November 18, 2018 9:23 am

    wow post #4 and #16 is the fake notes, i posted yesterday to expose him and call him out but it got taken down by hpw, i guess hpw love imitators, they dont even ban these types.

    educationfirst aka mr punahou has no character or identity, hide in the shadows. cant even be proud of his own almamater or family name. smh


  24. notes November 18, 2018 9:33 am

    im gonna start a new name so the fake notes aka mr punahou aka educationfirst can keep the name “notes”.
    surprised that guy not walking around with kahuku jerseys he imitating so hard.

    crossfingers hpw allow me to change names for the 4th time, they let educationfirst change name all the time, this is the 3rd time he has taken over my posting name.


  25. notes November 18, 2018 10:46 am

    guys. posts 23 and 24 are not from me. they’re probably from education first aka mr punahou. there’s some serious gaslighting going on here.


  26. Education First November 18, 2018 3:44 pm

    808 November 17, 2018 3:10 pm
    @educationfirst

    I mean to there credit, St. Louis didn’t necessarily pack the stadium either. For the record, I’m not a Kahuku alumni. But a lot of schools DON’T pack the stadium.

    Why does Kahuku get a bad rap when people don’t show out. We use them as an example of “Hawaii High School Football” but when it’s just Kahuku.

    But let’s use this State Championship attendance as a measuring stick compare to other years before.

    It’s crazy how in a rebuilding or a down year, they still were in the State Playoffs and 1 game away from the State Championship
    —————————————

    @ 808, that is correct. But STL doesn’t call themselves “The Pride of Honolulu” or whatever. And they don’t come onto this blog and say how their community is way better than the other communities. And when they lose, then many of the all time chirpers disappear.

    You must be new to the game.


  27. Education First November 18, 2018 3:48 pm

    @808, you say, “It’s crazy how in a rebuilding or a down year, they still were in the State Playoffs and 1 game away from the State Championship.”

    Buddy, the OIA gets 3 state berths. Who else is going to beat them? Farrington? Kapolei? Seriously, your joking with this comment right?


  28. ToppDoggs November 18, 2018 5:24 pm

    Roll Saints Roll! Ain’t nobody stopping them!


  29. Lou November 18, 2018 11:35 pm

    IL H , 85 returnees for St.Louis. This is a college size team with double numbers on D and O. Six trainers,dkctor,12 staff,15 c oaches. 1.8 million annual budget for football. Cannot beat that.


  30. Lou November 18, 2018 11:49 pm

    ILH said. If Cal Lee was the coach at Kahuku it would be ha rd to beat him. Or if he was coach at Kamehameha?? Kahuku don’t have the money to support his program and we are 8 times State Champs. Don’t need him. He would crash in the ocean in Kaaawa. At 70 yrs, cannot. At Kamehameha, you can be full blooded hawaiian, but not sam oan.


  31. Ilh December 8, 2018 11:18 am

    @ Lou, just remember this , Kahuku has 8 state Championships, only because Cal Lee left Saint Louis in 2001 and did not return to Saint Louis till 2014, so if Cal Lee was there in that span I’m sure Kahuku would have not won it 8 times, Kahuku is just lucky Cal Lee left Saint Louis for those years.


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