Hawaii Prep World will be releasing summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.
12TH IN A SERIES
>> 2016 record and finish: 7-5 (5-2 OIA Blue); lost 25-7 to Farrington in the OIA quarterfinals, beat Moanalua 2-0 by forfeit in an OIA consolation playoff game, beat Waiakea 48-0 in the Division I state tournament first round, lost 35-12 to ‘Iolani in the D-I state tourney semifinals
>> Number of returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 14
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 28
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Kishaun Ki, first-team DT
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa, third-team S
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Tasi Faumui, Sr., RB, 5-8, 190; Vernon Etrata-Daite, Sr., SB, 5-8, 135; Gabriel Colon-Valentin, Sr., SB, 5-9, 170; Sir-Wallace Chanel, Jr., OL, 5-11, 260; Dylan Ursua, Sr., SB, 5-11, 165
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Tyrese Tafai, So., LB, 5-11, 200; Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa, So., S, 5-11, 170; Jeremiah Tauai, So., LB, 6-1, 190; Dane Esprecion, Sr., LB, 5-6, 190; Nathaniel Thompson, Sr., DL, 6-1, 210
>> Sabers with Division I FBS college offers: Linebacker Tyrese Tafae, LB (Nevada)
>> All-time state championships: 1 (2004, D-II)
>> All-time Prep Bowl era (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: 2 (2004, D-II; 2008, D-II)
>> 2017 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open
Head coach DARREN JOHNSON on the Sabers’ outlook for 2017:
“The turnout is really good. The kids are consistently being where they’re supposed to be and are buying in and are working hard. And the new coaching staff is working hard.
“There’s been progress with the two new systems, offense and defense. We’re looking at a roster (for the season) of about 65 varsity and 65 JV. Right now, it’s 90 on varsity and 80 on JV. Rules will have to be followed or guys will get let go. A lot of it has to do with grades. We’ve installed mandatory study hall. If you don’t take care of business in the classroom, you can’t play football. If you are not a student first, then you’re not serious about your athletic high school career.
“We brought in a new defensive coordinator, Mika Liilii (formerly at Aiea), and he’s bringing in his system. He’s really good, and I want to know that system. MIka Liilii. It’s a base four-down, and we’ll do things off of it.
“Offensively, the kids gotta learn what I’m bringing in. I’m teaching discipline, assignment football and doing your job and paying attention to detail. We teach everything step by step and detail it so there isn’t miscommunication. We try to make sure the players have that true football IQ and are understanding what our system is all about.
“My coaching will be different here and there (compared to the days as a Kahuku assistant and Kailua head coach). I’ve tried to improve in areas that I’ve looked at and evaluated. We will definitely mix it up real good (run and pass). I’ve looked at how we can block better, with better blocking schemes and assignments and getting the right personnel out there and making sure you’re giving kids opportunities.
“I tell them: We’re coaching for today. You still build for the future because you need to. We’re not going into the season hoping to be a good team. We are going into the season with the goal of winning every football game. I think it’s realistic when you understand the kids at Campbell. They’re tough kids. They want to play and they want to win. If there is any kind of setback, we’ll be disappointed of course. But we are out to mold character and win. That’s why I coach. Winning makes it more fun.
“What I’ve seen from some other sports at Campbell, softball and baseball, is consistency, rules, fairness and understanding offseason preparation. They put the time into it with their athletes. That’s what we’re trying to do now with the football athletes, putting extra time into it to be better.
“The previous coaches, including Amosa Amosa, have already set the mold. We hope to be the final chapter for the history book. Be bigger and better. That’s the goal. I thought I was retired, but now I have another chance. This is something that I go after every day. The kids laugh because I look forward to going to practice. This is going to be a fun-packed season. It’s getting hot at Campbell.”
2017 Campbell football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> Campbell at Saint Louis (scrimmage)
Saturday, July 29
>> Campbell at Castle (scrimmage)
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kapolei at Campbell (nonleague)
Friday, Aug. 11
>> Farrington at Campbell
Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Aiea at Campbell
Saturday, Aug. 25
>> Campbell at Waianae
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Kaiser at Campbell
Saturday, Sept. 9
>> Campbell at Waianae
Friday, Sept. 15
>> Campbell at Radford
Friday, Sept. 29
>> Kahuku at Campbell
2017 Campbell varsity football staff
>> Head Coach and offensive coordinator: Darren Johnson (first season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Mika Liilii
>> Quarterbacks: Scott DeSilva
>> Running backs: Kimo Alo
>> Wide receivers and slots: William Wilkinson
>> Offensive line: Tai Utoafili and Jojo Napeahi
>> Defensive line: Rocky Savaiigaea and Keoni Fontanilla
>> Linebackers: Samita Vaoifi
>> Defensive backs: Derek Mailau and Kawe Johnson
>> Kickers: Etu Baravilala