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.
26TH IN A SERIES
ROOSEVELT ROUGH RIDERS
>> 2016 record and finish: 2-6 (2-5 OIA D-II); did not qualify for OIA D-II playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 7 offense, 6 defense
>> Number of returning seniors: 17
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 7
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: None
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Shastyn Kekahuna, Sr., QB, 6-0; 195, Isaiah Rosa, Sr., RB, 5-9, 180; Chris Kalamau Molina, Sr., WR, 5-11, 170; Kamana Nobriga, Sr., OL, 6-1, 245; Aysen Aurio, Sr., OL, 5-7, 230
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Jared Elwin, Sr., DB, 5-8, 155; Jimmy Makaio, Sr., DB, 6-0, 165.; Tasi Sofukini, Sr., LB, 6-0, 225;, Kahiau Kahooilihala, Sr., DL, 6-1, 245; Stone Nielsen, Sr., DL, 6-1, 225
>> Rough Riders with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: None
>> All-time ILH championships: 4 (all D-I — 1943, 1955, 1956, 1957)
>> 2017 conference: OIA D-II
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: D-II
Head coach KUI KAHOOILIHALA on the Rough Riders’ outlook for 2017:
“Things have been good so far this summer. It’s always a challenge with the kids, but it’s been awesome. Coaches tell me that it’s supposed to get easier every year. I don’t know about that, man. We have good kids, but we’ve got to make sure we’re on top of things with them. Grades are always a challenge. We’re always asking them about that. We have grade checks every week in our program. We check on them. We have study hall and tutors for the kids.
“We’re not changing anything as far as our offense goes. We’ll still try to keep the ball on the ground and we’ll be pushing and counting on the guys up front. We’ll be establishing the run first, but we won’t get away from the passing game. We’ll mix it up and try to stay balanced. We’ve still got the veer option offense and we sometimes run it out of the pistol.
“The turnout this year has been great, with about 45 kids on varsity. Some, about four, decided to go and work instead and we’ve got some JV kids coming up. There’s a couple of sophomores who are going to be juniors that are good ones and who will help us tremendously.
“I was satisfied last year with the way the kids came in and worked. We had some close games that we could have won. Their spirits were up. We were real close and that’s the way the ball bounces. Somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. We had a lot of underclassmen playing. Running back Isaiah Rosa and quarterback Shastyn Kekahuna were juniors and they’ll be ready to go as seniors and are focusing on the season ahead.
“Shastyn is battling a quarterback up from the JV, Tamaki Iijima, and the best guy is going to win that position. Shastyn has a lot of experience behind him. He came into camp, lost weight, is working hard in the weight room, looks real lean. His arm strength has improved. He’ll play free safety if he doesn’t play quarterback. Tamaki will play linebacker if he doesn’t play QB. He’s about 6 feet, has good size, a great arm and reads the game well. We have a running back up from the JV as well, Lio Ilalio, who is about 5-10 or 5-11 and about 265 or 270.
“We have a lot of offensive linemen returning and we really gotta push them up front. We also have the whole receiver corps coming back and Rosa at running back. The core is there.
“On defense, we have two linemen (Kahiau Kahooilihala and Aysen Aurio), a linebacker (Tasi Sofukini) and two DBs (Jared Elwin and Jimmy Makaio) returning. We’ll have to fill some pukas after those guys with some JV kids up to the varsity coming in to help.
“The kids are excited. I tell the coaches, ‘Hey man, you gotta get excited.’ I was excited in January already. I kind of want this thing to go already. I tell the kids that they just gotta stay with the process that we need to stay with. If they can take of what we need to take care, we’ll be all right. Once they play outside of your comfort zone, they’re going to be done. Sometimes they get carried away and do things that we’re not teaching them. It’s all about listening. That’s the biggest thing to do. It’s a changing of the culture. We kind of have a stigma (of not winning) from the past. It’s not a good thing. We always talk about changing, changing all within the process. Stay with the process. You gotta trust it.
“In our division, I’d say right now that it’s going to be tough. We’re going to compete every week. It’s a playoff game every game in our division. Every night we take that field, all these teams, they’re good. You cannot put your guard down. They can come from behind and kick your butt. I look at the stats. All the teams in our division, this is the year of the QB. They all have good QBs coming back. Everybody needs to watch out for Waialua. Their quarterback (Tevesi Toia), I think he’s a superstar. He’s going to do something special. It’s anybody’s ballgame. The quarterbacks in this league have a chance to take their teams to the top.”
2017 Roosevelt football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> â€˜Iolani at Roosevelt, 6 p.m. (scrimmage)
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kaiser at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m. (nonleague)
Friday, Aug. 11
>> McKinley at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 18
>> Roosevelt at Pearl City, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 25
>> Roosevelt at Waipahu, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Kaimuki at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 8
>> Roosevelt vs. Kalaheo, at Kailua High field, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 22
>> Kalani at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 6
>> Roosevelt at Waialua, 7:30 p.m.
2017 Roosevelt varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Kui Kahooilihala (second season, 2-6)
>> Offensive coordinator: Matt Terukina
>> Defensive coordinators: Rick Eusebio and John Kahooilihala
>> Quarterbacks: Lowen Kahooilihala
>> Running backs: Arnold Morgado
>> Wide receivers: Justin Otaguro
>> Offensive line: Jimmy Kalilimoku
>> Defensive line: John Kahooilihala
>> Linebackers: Ricky Eusebio
>> Defensive backs: Blake Harano