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.
11TH IN A SERIES
>> 2016 record and finish: 4-5 (3-4 OIA Red; lost 49-7 to Moanalua in the first round OIA Division I playoffs)
>> Number of returning starters: 5 offense, 6 defense
>> Number of returning seniors: 23
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Jeremy McGoldrick, second-team utility
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Jaylen Lee, QB; Makana Smith QB/WR; Kauka Umiamaka, OL; Matthew Kapu OL; Codi Silva OL
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Ezekiel Rombawa, DB, Damien Fauolo, DL; Kekai Ukauka, DB; Justin Lopez, LB; Kekoa Martinez DL
>> Knights with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: 1 (2002, D-I)
>> 2017 conference: OIA D-I
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open
Head coach JOHN HAO on the Knights’ outlook for 2017:
“Kaneohe always has great athletes, especially at the skill positions. And we have some bigger kids this year. We’ve made a lot of progress over the summer, but you can never be satisfied at where we’re at. We’re working hard to get better every day, and we’re trying to teach and mentor our athletes to become better athletes and better football players and better students. We’ve got approximately 55 on the varsity and 53 on JV.
“We’re trying to make sure we work hard and give effort and execute on every play. In order to win games, that’s what we need. We’ve got a new sysatem on both ends of ball, so it’ll be a long road ahead of us. I see a lot of great knowledge being passed down from the coaches.
“I was out of my element at Kahuku (assistant coach under Vavae Tata). I did the best I could with what he wanted. We’re going to throw the ball (unlike at Kahuku) and try and make sure we’re sound overall on defense, especially pass defense and getting to the quarterback. We’ll run a base four.
“I’m a Saint Louis guy, so we’ll run the same formations as they run and what June Jones ran at Kapolei when he was there. The run-and-shoot.
“We started setting goals the first time I met with the kids, and I’ve seen some real good progress throughout the summer. We as coaches need to get them ready and prepared mentally. Physically, they’ve got it. It’s just a matter of getting on the same page as us.
“We have the potential to be very competitive. Our kids are aggressive and hungry. They have the talent. We as coaches need to put things together and see what the strong and weak points are and keep working.
“The hardest thing is starting from scratch. The kids know that this is what the new coaches want and so now it’s figuring out what they’re going to do to get to that point. And once we as coaches get it across, it’s going to be an automatic reaction.”
2017 Castle football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Friday, July 28
>> Castle at Waipahu
Saturday, July 29
>> Campbell at Castle
>> Damien at Castle (nonleague)
Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Castle at Radford
Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Castle at Kapolei
Saturday, Aug. 26
>> Mililani at Castle
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Castle at Nanakuli
Friday, Sept. 8
>> Leilehua at Castle
Friday, Sept. 15
>> Kailua at Castle
Saturday, Sept. 23
Castle at Farrington
2017 Castle varsity football staff
>> Head coach: John Hao (first season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Abraham Kamanao
>> Defensive backs: Jonah Lakatani, Arnubi Bruhn
>> Linebackers: Keani Alapa, Ikaika Soares
>> Defensive line: Ernest Aliksa, Billy Pieper
>> Offensive coordinator: Ricky Lumford
>> Wide receivers: Donald Fialkowski, Nick Love
>> Offensive line: Keoni Steinhoff, Kamu Judd