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.
24th IN A SERIES
>> 2016 record and finish: 3-6 (2-4 ILH D-I); lost 57-24 to Punahou in first second round game.
>> Number of returning starters: 4 offense, 8 defense
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 11
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 40
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Adam Stack, first-team P; Kalaiakea Ortiz, second-team OL; Nakoa Pauole, second-team DT; Andrew Aleki, second-team DE; Jaykob Cabunoc, third-team REC
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Lokahi Pauole, second-team OL
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Boogie Yam, Sr., QB: Kanoa Shannon, Sr., RB; Lokahi Pauole, Jr., OL; Dayne Hall, Sr., OL; Braden Akima, Jr., RB
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Jonah Welch, Sr., LB/DE; Tiger Peterson, Jr., DB; Hoku Arias, Jr., DL/LB; Josh Mahelona, Sr., DB; Desmond Unotoa, Sr., DB; Akalea Kapono, Jr., DL/LB; Kalama Kuewa, Jr., DB
>> Warriors with Division I FBS college offers: Jonah Welch, Sr., LB/DE; Lokahi Pauole, Jr., OL; Tiger Peterson, Jr., DB
>> All-time state championships: 2 (both D-I — 2004, 2009)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 3 (1974, 1975, 1976)
>> All-time ILH championships: 23 (1918, 1922, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2004, 2009)
>> 2017 conference: ILH D-I
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open
Head coach ABU MAAFALA on the Warriors’ outlook for 2017:
“The summer has been great. Our emphasis is on building the culture and the foundation the right way. We have had the opportunity to train as a program, not just as a team, from intermediate all the way up to varsity. In this day of social media, everybody wants attention as individuals. But team matters first and foremost. If you play as a team, all the individual accolades will come. So, we’re focused on building the right culture, a singular focus.
“And we look more like a team (this year), absolutely. We try to hold our guys accountable, make sure their hair is cut and faces are shaved. We ask them how things are going at home. How is your girlfriend, your brother, your sister? We build trust so when it comes time to push them, it’s coming from the right place. We as a staff know we care about them truly and the players know it and, for that, we have been able to push them this summer more.
“We’ve got 70 on the varsity, 50 to 60 on JV, and about 50 to 60 in intermediate. With seventh-graders working with the players all the way up, the older boys can mentor the younger ones and the younger ones can see how it operates and when they come up they’ll now what’s expected of them.
“This year, our attitude is better. When it comes to practices, guys have been working really hard and doing things we need them to do. On the field, it was tough last year for all of us. For me, mainly, it was learning the ILH, learning high school football (again) and understanding that everything I’ve learned doesn’t necessarily transfer easily to the high school level.
“As a staff, we’ve been meeting and going over the broader philosophy as well as the specific detail-oriented position-specific drills. We’re getting on the same page. In the offseason, we’ve reflected on ourselves and what we need to do better as a staff.
“We played a lot of young players last year, with about 5-6 sophomores on the defensive side of the ball. We were willing to take whatever came our way because we needed guys to play and get that experience. It’s a high-pressure game week in and week out in the ILH. You’ve gotta think two to three years ahead and about development. A lot of guys last year never played varsity football before. This year, guys know more of what to expect and will be a little better suited to handle that pressure.
“With young players comes a lot of teaching and correction that needs to happen, and we still have a long, long ways to go.
“Boogie Yam has made incredible strides this summer. He sees the game a lot better. He’s looking more and more like a quarterback every day. Last year and years prior, he was a really good athlete who could throw the football. We are going to go as he goes. He feels a lot more comfortable with what we’re doing, really.
“It’s tough to gauge where we’re at right now because we don’t have the pads on. On offense, we’re getting to the point where they’ve got an increased football IQ and they’re starting to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. We have three really good tailbacks (Kanoa Shannon, Braden Akima, Reino Bush) and we’ve got to find a way to get all three on the field. Boogie is developing more and understanding defenses.
“When we get the pads on, we’ll gauge the physical portion of it. We will have multiple looks and do multiple things, trying to find matchups and exploit weaknesses in the defense. Find one-on-one battles we can win. It’s not just catch and throw. It’s a complete progression offense. It’s about getting to the right place at the right time and doing the route correctly. If you are not there on time, it’s messed up. It’s a high-risk, high-reward offense.
“On the offensive line, we’ve got two solid returning players in Lokahi Pauole and Dayne Hall. They’re starters who played every snap last year. They understand what we’re looking for and will continue to push the rest of the group. As they go, the rest of the group will go. Dayne will provide well-needed leadership. He has a great command of the offense and what needs to happen. Lohahi is an awesome athlete and only a junior. We’ve talked about getting him to have that nasty streak on every play, exert his dominance. He is a guy to watch.
“Defensively, we lost a lot up front. That’s where we had a veteran presence with (Nakoa) Pauole inside, Andrew Aleki outside and Kama Kamaka. It’s tough any time you lose guys like that who played those kind of minutes.
“So we bring back a young defense. The good thing about Kamehameha, the No. 1 Hawaiian institusion in the state, is we’ve got a lot of young talent. Two guys returning, Hoku Arias and Akalea Kapono, are being counted on to provide leadership. Up front, we’re working on getting after that quarterback, getting off the line and making plays.
“We return our whole secondary, Josh Mahelona and Desmond Unutoa at the corners, Tiger Peterson who is going to be our nickel, and Kalama Kuewa at free safety.
“Even though last year we gave up some points, the best thing about our team is they played hard from the beginning to the end. This year, we want to continue to play hard, disciplined football. The effort is there and now we gotta play mistake-free football. Giving up big plays or not moving on offense could mean one guy missing his assignment and you pay for it and sometimes you pay dearly for it. They’ve all got to know where are our guys and where is there alignment so that when we put them in the crucible at Aloha Stadium, we can make adjustments and not be rattled. We want to become a team that plays together and doesn’t fall apart when it hits the fan.”
2017 Kamehameha football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> Kahuku at Kamehameha (scrimmage)
Saturday, July 29
>> Mililani at Kamehameha
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kamehameha at Farrington
Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Kamehameha at Lahainaluna
Friday, Aug. 25
>> Carson (Carson, Calif.) at Kamehameha
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Kamehameha vs. Saint Louis, at Aloha Stadium
Saturday, Sept. 9
>> Punahou vs. Kamehameha, at Aloha Stadium
Friday, Sept. 22
>> Kamehameha vs. Punahou, at Aloha Stadium
Friday, Sept. 29
>> Saint Louis vs. Kamehameha, at Aloha Stadium
2017 Kamehameha varsity football staff
>> Head coach, offensive coordinator and wide receivers: Abu Maafala (3-6, second season)
>> Quarterbacks: Vince Acohido
>> H-backs: Koa Kaai
>> Running backs: Mike Morita and Jason Campbell
>> Offensive line: Hanale Vincent and Tony Hall
>> Defensive coordinator: Lance Samuseva
>> Defensive line: Ing Aleaga and Houston Ala
>> Linebackers: James McClure and Kekai Iokia
>> Defensive backs: Keith Albarado