SUMMER summary: Nanakuli Golden Hawks

Nanakuli running back/wide receiver Joey Vea-Quitog returns for his senior season this fall. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prep World will be releasing early summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.

FIRST IN A SERIES

NANAKULI GOLDEN HAWKS

>> 2016 record and finish: 0-8, 0-7 OIA Red (D-I); did not qualify for playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 11 (4 offense, 7 defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 14 (4 offense, 10 defense)
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 16
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 21
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: None
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Kaleo Banks, Sr., WR, 5-8, 180; Petelo Ioane, So., OL, 6-0, 270; Joey Vea-Quitog, Sr., WR/RB, 5-5, 160; Charleston Mateo, Sr., RB, 5-10, 200
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Chayce Morgan, Sr., LB, 6-2, 210; Randolph Yap, Jr., DL, 6-0, 220; Sean Souza, Sr., DB, 5-10, 160; Thomas Nahinu, Sr., DB, 5-10, 155; Willis Yin, Sr., DB, 5-7, 150
>> Golden Hawks with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: 2 (1983, D-I; 2014, D-II)
>> 2017 conference: OIA Red (D-I)
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open

Interim head coach KILI WATSON on the Golden Hawks’ outlook for 2017:

“2016 was definitely a tough season, but also a valuable one. Although the record did not reflect the ideal outcome, seeing the perseverance from our student-athletes week in and week out was a reassuring sign. Being our first year competing at the Division I level, we expected our student-athletes to arise to the challenge and compete. I can say our team did exactly that from the beginning to the end. It was great knowing that even through challenges, our program can still continue to mold our student-athletes into young, industrious adults. In the end, 2016 was a season filled with lessons, which we can take and learn from as we enter 2017.

“Personally, I’m excited for the upcoming season, as it is another opportunity to utilize football as a platform to mentor our student-athletes, who will go out and represent us every week. Currently, we have about 35 on both our JV and varsity squads. We lost 21 seniors to graduation. Our team is very young, with about 14 returnees, but the majority have been in the program since their freshman year, some even as early as seventh grade through our intermediate team. With this, the team knows what it takes to create a quality offseason.

“This year, I’ve been trying to instill a competitive mind-set into our team, as we’re going to need it as we will once again enter the season as underdogs. Our mantra for the upcoming season is ‘Work to Win,’, and having purpose for everything we do and ‘winning’ that purpose. Our team is grasping the concept and I’ve seen great glimpses of it through this offseason, from the classroom to the weight room and from the field to their attitude. Week by week, our team is slowly growing. The intensity level at practices is rising and it’s an exciting sight.

“For myself and my coaching staff, we’re just taking it one week at a time. Being my first year (after being an assistant for a long time), I want to make sure we are producing quality work. We took time during the offseason to sit down and look over our program, trying to find places we need to focus more on. One example is the weight room, where Devin Takahashi has really taken a solid grip on our strength training. This is probably one of the strongest groups we’ve had since we’ve started. This offseason, I’ve had great support from my staff, but also from some of our former players, who are currently playing at the collegiate level.

“Our program has been built on the foundation of discipline, hard work, toughness and respect. I will continue to hold our program accountable to these standards. The transition for myself has been very smooth. We continue to do a lot of the things wedid when (Kili’s brother) Keala (Watson) was head, such as offseason study hall and community service projects. In the end, it goes beyond the Xs and Os and this is just another opportunity to develop young adults. No matter what, they make us proud. I’m excited.”

2017 Nanakuli football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> Three-way scrimmage: Damien, Kalaheo, Nanakuli (at Nanakuli)
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Nanakuli vs. Waipahu (nonleague)
Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Nanakuli at Aiea
Friday, Aug. 18
>> Farrington at Nanakuli
Saturday, Aug. 26
>> Nanakuli at Kailua
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Castle at Nanakuli
Friday, Sept. 15
>> Nanakuli at Leilehua
Saturday, Sept. 23
>> Nanakuli at Mililani
Friday, Sept. 28
>> Kapolei at Nanakuli

2017 Nanakuli varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Kili Watson (first season)
>> Quarterbacks: Abe Nahulu
>> Offensive line: Keahi Watson
>> Offensive line: Aaron Kaapuni
>> Offensive line: Dallas Kaapuni
>> Running backs: Edmound Ybarra
>> Wide receivers: Trevis Kapua
>> Wide receivers: Silas Ah Sui
>> Defensive coordinator/middle linebackers: Nick Griffin
>> Defensive line: Devin Takahashi
>> Defensive line: Micah Ah Sui
>> Defensive line: Keala Watson

Next up: Kaiser Cougars

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