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Kana Loa Kaluna’s big night is a dream come true

By Paul Honda on December 24, 2021

Kana Loa Kaluna had a choice. He could have followed older brother Kaulana, who had a superb football career at Kaimuki under then-coach David Tautofi. Kana Loa’s dream, though, was elsewhere. After a cancelled junior year and the chance to play more as a senior, the Kahuku running back made his biggest impact on Thursday night. Kaluna rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries as Kahuku dethroned Saint Louis, 49-14, for the Open Division state title. Making […]

Former waterboy Kainoa Carvalho makes title-game dream come true for Kahuku

By Paul Honda on December 24, 2021

In every possible environment, Kainoa Carvalho has stepped up. Placekicker. Kick returner. Wide receiver. Even a little running back. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound playmaker bided his time as Kahuku used defense and special teams to take an early lead over Saint Louis. When the Crusaders changed its look in the second half, Carvalho got single coverage and wound up in the end zone twice. He finished with six receptions for 135 yards and two TDs. He sent three wind-aided kickoffs out […]

Kahuku’s Leonard Ah You is a human wrecking ball in state title win

By Paul Honda on December 24, 2021

Thursday morning was different for Leonard Ah You and his neighbors in Laie. He was still asleep when the loudest of noises blared through the neighborhood. “I was woken up at 7 o’clock this morning. Auntie Peni Toilolo, she was blasting the tomahawk chop song driving through the community, telling everybody to wake up on the loudspeaker,” said Ah You, who had a state championship football game to play in another 12 hours. “I was like, oh man, the pressure’s […]


A perfect ’10’: Liona Lefau is everywhere in Kahuku’s state-title win

By Paul Honda on December 24, 2021

Where there’s one to begin the job, there’s another to finish it. When coaches say a game can change on three or four plays, they’re also inferring that elite players like Liona Lefau and Leonard Ah You are on the field. Lefau and Ah You capped a perfect season for Kahuku with scintillating plays on defense, offense and special teams in a 49-14 dusting of No. 2-ranked Saint Louis on Thursday night. Big Red’s perfect 10-0 season was punctuated by […]

Defense is golden: ‘Iolani wins first Division I football championship

By Paul Honda on December 23, 2021

Even after nine state titles, 2021 is different for the ‘Iolani Raiders. Moments after the trophy presentation to runner-up Lahainaluna and new Division I football state champion ‘Iolani — after the Raiders’ 38-0 win on Thursday — the 2020 Raiders could not be forgotten. “This is for you guys, too,” longtime coach Wendell Look said as former Raiders hugged their former coach. “We did it. We did it.” Senior hybrid/punt returner Sterling Sakashita, who finished his career with six tackles […]

Mr. Versatile: Two-way lineman Kale Spencer’s pick-6 sparks KS-Maui

By Paul Honda on December 22, 2021

Kale Spencer is just a guy who likes to make plays. As a 6-foot-4, 220-pound basketball and volleyball player, he is long, strong and agile. The wingspan is a plus. On the gridiron, though, Spencer was a playmaker plus on Wednesday night under the bright lights. The two-way lineman returned a dropped pass 52 yards to paydirt as Kamehameha-Maui stunned previously unbeaten Kaiser, 48-24, in the Division II semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships. A crowd of […]

Straight outta the DMV: St. Paul VI loves defense, winning and malasadas

By Paul Honda on December 22, 2021

Defense is still cool. Really. Though social media is filled with ankle-breakers and outlandish dunks, the best of the best still dig down and play great team defense. When No. 1 Sierra Canyon and No. 20 St. Paul VI (Va.) square up on Wednesday for the ‘Iolani Classic title, there will be toe-to-toe defensive prowess on both ends of the floor. For three games, each of the powerhouse squads has played the kind of man-to-man defense that old-schoolers relish. The […]

Punahou’s Izzy Ford wins girls state cross country crown

By Paul Honda on December 4, 2021

Izzy Ford of Punahou posted at time of 21 minutes, 24 seconds to win the girls individual race at the Honolulu Marathon/HHSAA Cross Country State Championships on Saturday morning. Cloudy, foggy conditions, plus wet, 57-degree temperatures — it was 55 for the earlier boys’ race — greeted the field of 200 female harriers at the hilly Hawaii Preparatory Academy campus in Waimea. Just a few miles away, snow capped the summit of Mauna Kea. Ford is a strong two-sport athlete […]