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.
SEVENTH IN A SERIES
>> 2016 record and finish: 4-3; did not qualify for OIA Division II playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 3 offense, 7 defense
>> Number of returning seniors: 22
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 12
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 23
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: None
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Seth Tina-Soberano, QB, 5-11, 165; Baylee Akana, OL, 6-3, 220; Ikaika Holden, RB, 5-7, 180; Ryu Yamane, WR, 5-6, 140; Logan Matsuoka, WR, 5-7, 145.
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Cody Uehara, DB, 5-7, 145; Justin Gatewood, F, 6-1, 195; Joshua Titialii, LB, 5-10, 210; Simi Tupuola, DL, 6-0, 200; Allen Nelson, DL, 5-10, 210.
>> Falcons with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1999) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: None
>> 2017 conference: OIA D-II
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: D-II
Head coach SCOTT MELEMAI on the Falcons’ outlook for 2017:
“Last year was a good eye-opener for our kids. We have quite a big group of returning players and starters who have been on the varsity for a while. They’re lifting and training this offseason and working to give us a chance at the end of the season. We’ve got around 45 committed guys on the varsity and around 75 to 80 altogether, including JV. That number should grow once school starts. Some kids are off-island this summer.
“Our biggest (plan) is working on ourselves, taking control and becoming more disciplined to give us the best shot in games and not take us out of games. And one of the biggest messages we’ll be preaching again this year is our efforts to making it a positive experience for all of our kids and teaching life lessons that football teaches. That not everything is given to them and you don’t get everything even if you work your hardest.
“We tell the seniors that this is their team, this is their journey. You set up your situation for what it is and then buy into that. Last year, the players took ownershp and that is one of the biggest differences we’ve seen. They love playing with each other and the feeling is that it’s going to get better this year.
“One of our goals is to make the playoffs. We always say that, even when I was the JV coach with these group of guys. We want to be playing in November in those championship games.
“In the past few years, D-II has evened out. Every team is very competitive. Every game is a big game. Football has come a long way in Hawaii. D-II is good, with enjoyable games, really competitive, and you can’t take anyone lighty. They’re all well-coached teams.
“Our boys have been working really hard, since February, in the weight room and on the field. A lot of the kids ran track.
All the coaches have been helping me a lot the last couple of years, guys like George Lumpkin (former University of Hawaii assistant) and Kanani Souza (former Kamehameha head coach). Coach Souza has helped me as a new head coach, showing me what I will be going through and the best ways to run a program.”
2017 Kalani football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> Pac-Five at Kalani (scrimmage)
Saturday, July 29
>> Damien at Kalani (scrimmage)
Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Pearl City vs. Kalani, at Kaiser Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Kalani vs. Kaimuki, at Skippa Diaz Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 26
>> Kalani vs. McKinley, at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, 3 p.m. JV start and approximately 5:30 p.m. varsity
Saturday, Sept. 2
>> Waialua vs. Kalani, at Kaiser Stadium
Friday, Sept. 8
>> Kalani at Mt. Tahoma (Tacoma, Wash.), nonleague
Saturday, Sept. 16
>> Waipahu vs. Kalani, at Kaiser Stadium
Friday, Sept. 22
>> Kalani at Roosevelt
Friday, Sept. 29
>> Kalaheo vs. Kalani, at Kaiser Stadium
2017 Kalani varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Scott Melemai (4-3, second season)
>> Defensive coordinator and defensive backs: George Lumpkin
>> Defensive backs: Radford Dudoit
>> Linebackers: Derek Saiki, Kasey Fukunaga
>> Linebackers: Kanani Souza
>> Defensive line: Brandon Victor
>> Defensive line: Taiga Titialii
>> Offensive line: Jarrett Hew
>> Offensive line: Paul Kumashiro
>> Running backs: Noah Kim