Kaimuki football standout Koby Moananu shines on diamond

Koby Moananu, left, and Cody Takenaka, right, represented Kaimuki at the Hawaii Sandlot Classic. Calvin Moananu and Rose Takenaka supported their Bulldogs. Photo by Paul Honda.

Life is busy and productive on the gridiron for Kaimuki senior-to-be Koby Moananu.

He loves baseball equally. Playing for Team ‘Eono, the 6-foot shortstop/outfielder hit .400 at the Hawaii Sandlot Classic this week, closing his three-game performance with a 2-for-3 afternoon against Team ‘Elua on Friday at Hans L’Orange Park. ‘Eono won the game, 4-2, to finish fifth in the eight-team field.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound three-sport athlete finished with a triple and stolen base in the inaugural event against the state’s top seniors and juniors. Five Tool Hawaii, which measured and recorded times and speeds for position players at the Classic on Tuesday, said this: “Team ‘Eono’s Koby Moananu has some big time tools for his size.”

@FiveToolHI also posted video highlights throughout the 12 games.

He also has a 6.5 60-yard time, one of the fastest among Classic players. The event was an oasis in a merciless desert for baseball players who saw their spring season cancelled and summer travel plans disrupted.

“The biggest benefit was the showcase on Tuesday. That was pretty good. We got to take a lot of cuts and ground balls,” said Moananu, who has a 3.5 grade-point average. “Naturally, I’m comfortable at both. Most of my life, I played center field. At Kaimuki, I had to pitch.”

Moananu played with Hawaii Elite last summer and wore his Elite cap during the Classic.

“We were supposed to have a tournament for Elite on the mainland,” he said. “It’s cool for the Sandlot Classic and Five Tool to get our names out there, give fresh exposure to coaches who can be here.”

He began playing baseball and football at 6.

“Whatever sport takes me to college, I’ll do that. At the next level, I’d like to do football and baseball at the same time,” Moananu said.

On the football field, Moananu was two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter (6-0, 170) as a junior last fall when he hauled in 64 passes for 1,166 yards and 21 touchdowns from quarterback Jayden Maiava, who has offers from Auburn and Tennessee. Moananu also played defense and was a stellar safety. He relished the chance to compete against mainland athletes at the Rising Stars SoCal Showcase in June.

“Going up there, there’s a lot of three-star, four-star, five-star guys up there, you know. Competition. I had to prepare myself going against them. Watch a lot of route running and stuff. I had to show out,” he said. “That was my first-ever football camp. I didn’t really know what to expect. Now, if I go to another one, I’ll know what to expect.”

Maiava was at the same camp.

“He’s at least top three out of the quarterbacks,” Moananu said.

With spring football and spring sports like baseball cancelled due to COVID-19, the Bulldogs aren’t certain exactly how many players will be on the football roster if and when fall season picks up this fall.

“We probably have less guys than last year. We try to reach out to our guys as much as possible, all our underclassmen, but you never know who’s going to come out or not,” Moananu said. “I think we’re around 20.”

Maiava, he added, is back from Las Vegas after spending time with his parents. Moananu is gearing up for his final year of high school. He spends time working out with Aloha Youth Athletics.

“Shout out to my parents (Calvin and Rose Moananu). Shout out to Kaimuki High School, our football and baseball programs,” he said.

Lockdown staples
Top 3 shows/movies
1. Friends
2. Stomp the Yard
3. Love & Basketball

Top 3 food/drinks
1. Mango
2. Sapasui by grandmother (Valentina Moananu)
3. Steak

Top 3 video games
1. NBA2K
2. Street Fighter
3. Madden

Favorite class: Science.

Favorite teacher: Mr. Bacnis (eighth grade, Maryknoll)


  1. Tina Fraser August 1, 2020 12:33 pm

    Awesome story. Thank you for recognizing our athletes and their accomplishments. Continue to be the great deliverance of fantastic news about our children and what they’ve accomplished.

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