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.
NINTH IN A SERIES
>> 2016 record and finish: (5-8, 0-6 ILH D-I; lost 33-0 to Saint Louis in the ILH D-I playoffs, beat Moanalua 17-14 in the D-I state tournament first round, beat Campbell 35-12 in D-I state tournament semifinals, lost 31-20 to Mililani in the D-I state final
>> Number of returning starters: 5 offense, 3 defense
>> Number of returning seniors: 6 offense, 3 defense
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 6 offense, 8 defense
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 23
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: KJ Pascua, third-team RB
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Justin Genovia, second-team REC
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Tai-John Mizutani, Sr., QB, 6-2, 180; Justin Genovia, Sr., WR, 5-9, 170; Drake Shigemura, Sr., SB, 5-9 160; Charles Kam, Sr., OL, 6-3, 240; Aki Iwakiri, Jr., OL, 5-9, 190.
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Max Chaisomkhun, DL, Sr., 6-2, 260; Jake Angelo, Sr., DB, 5-10, 175; Kyler Mento, Jr., DB, 5-7, 160; Kaua Nishigaya, Jr., DB, 5-7, 150.
>> Raiders with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: 8 (all in D-II — 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 1 co-title (1980, with Waianae)
>> All-time ILH championships: 17 (6 in D-I — 1939, 1940, 1950, 1968, 1972, 1980; 11 in D-II — 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
>> 2017 conference: ILH D-II
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: D-II
Head coach WENDELL LOOK on the Raiders’ outlook for 2017:
“It’s business as usual so far this summer. The kids are getting ready to open up the season. I think this year the fact that we’re playing in Division II, it’s fitting for this team in terms of our physical size and numbers. That’s where this team should be in terms of level of competition. Last year, we had a totally different team than what we have this year. Last year, we physically could somewhat compete with D-I teams. We survived the ILH D-I season (going 0-6) and that prepared us to play in the state tournament at the D-I level. That’s the plus. We didn’t win an ILH game, but playing that competition and coming out of it somewhat healthy was helpful for us. It would be helpful for anybody.
“It was great for them to get that competition — the ones that are returning. They were resilient. We lost half the team to graduation, but in general, our kids are resilient regardless. Those are the kind of kids we have here.
“Generally, summer is the time for them to lay the foundation for the ILH season coming up. So, our offseason schedule hasn’t changed from last year to this year. We just kind of have business as usual. The kids are focused in on getting physically and and mentally ready to play in the ILH.
“Physically, we’re going to be on the smaller side and that’s why we are in Division II. It’s tough football and great competition in D-II. It always has been for us. To say differently is disprectful to those teams. Everybody thinks that it’s easy because we’ve had success over the years. It’s not easy. I’ve always said that. These are good teams. They are competitive teams. We have a little success and people think that when we walk on the field we’re gonna win. Our kids have had to work hard and earn every bit of success we’ve had. Nothing was given to us. It has always been tough.
“You look back when Saint Louis made that run of Prep Bowls. The other teams said, ‘We have to do something to get better and keep up with them.’ Hopefully that has happened in Division II. And I think everybody has stepped up their game even higher now to compete with each other. You see the results. It’s tough football. That’s why we have these divisions so that you have good teams that play against common competition. And that’s what you get … great football.
“Before one of our games last year we watched Damien play Pac-Five and it went to triple or quadruple overtime. That had to be one of the most exciting games I’ve seen in all my years. Common competition, that’s what we’re striving for in Hawaii.
“I’m expecting that if we hit 40 players for varsity, maybe 42, it will be the max. In intermediate, if we hit in the 50s that’d be the max.
“We’re looking to compete and right now we’re getting ourselves prepared and ready to compete. We can’t be worried about anybody else at this point. We’ve got long-term goals as always, but it’s the every-day work that has to get done. The kids gotta come in with a lot of focus, purpose and passion to get it done. I give all the kids in Hawaii that play football credit. It’s not easy to do in the summer months. When everbody else is having fun, football kids are getting themselves ready.”
2017 ‘Iolani football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Note: The ILH regular-season schedule was not out when this article was published.
Thursday, July 27
‘Iolani at Roosevelt (scrimmage)
Saturday, July 29
Waianae at ‘Iolani (scrimmage)
Saturday, Aug. 12
Hilo at ‘Iolani
Saturday, Aug. 26
Kaimuki at ‘Iolani (Father Bray Classic)
2017 ‘Iolani varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Wendell Look (178-129-2, 27th season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Delbert Tengan
>> Linebackers: Malo Torres
>> Defensive backs: Gary Kaneshiro
>> Defensive line: Kevin Manuel
>> Defensive line: Mike Lafaele
>> Special teams: Myles Arakawa
>> Offensive coordinator and running backs: Sam Cropsey
>> Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks: Joel Lane
>> Offensive line: DJ Tano
>> Slotbacks: Tonee Suetsugu, Kela Marciel