Here’s a summary of top receivers, though I have to say this: receiving statistics are disappointing so far this season. After four weeks, I expected much more from receivers. Sure, it’s been a down cycle for all high school sports locally for a few years, but with so many programs employing passing attacks, I really expected more coming into the season.
I thought we’d have more players with substantial reception numbers, not necessarily yardage. It’s one of the byproducts of spread formations and quick timing passes. But what we’re seeing is smart coaching, in a sense. Quarterbacks are spreading the ball around, becoming less predictable.
I’m not going to pile up a whole bunch of names here with receivers. I’ll add more names next week, maybe, but only if the numbers get interesting.
Jeremy Tabuyo, Saint Louis: Maybe it’s the recruiting effect. Or rather, the committing effect. But since coming back from last year’s knee injury in remarkable fashion, he started strong — nine catches, 139 yards, two touchdowns against Farrington — and has been sorta quiet since. That’s one catch against Baldwin in a blowout win — did they bracket him all game? — and seven catches (pretty nice) for 72 yards and no touchdowns against Bishop Gorman. When you’re committed to Texas A&M and run a 4.34 40 at the Nike Spark Combine, defenses will blanket you, no doubt. But with other receivers getting more attention lately, maybe Tabuyo gets more opportunities. Stats to date: 17-223-2.
Keoni Piceno, Leilehua: There may be no better clutch receiver around, and when the Mules need a first down, Piceno always seems to find that open gap. But the numbers are modest, to say the least, as Leilehua has played — and won — a string of mostly low-scoring games. To date: 15-193-2.
Daicorri Briscoe, Pearl City: It’s easy to say, well, he plays in Division II. But all defenses will try to take away an offense’s key weapon, and still, Briscoe produces. He had nine catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns against Nanakuli, his fourth-straight week of rising numbers (since a 3-56-0 against Kapolei). To date: 24-454-3. That’s 113.5 yards per game and 18.9 yards per catch. He had a 92-yard touchdown on a screen pass against Kaiser and an 84-yard touchdown against Nanakuli. He’s had only three carries so far (in four games), a rate that’s down from last year, when he had a good number of reverse plays.
Alii Pedrina, Kamehameha: Athletic and sure-handed, I expected some breakout numbers for Pedrina this fall. But with nine catches for 126 yards and no touchdowns in four games, I wonder how patient Warrior fans are right now. Kamehameha’s offense is disciplined, and there’s no forcing passes to a big-play receiver. He had one catch for one yard in the loss to Punahou, so there may be a temptation to simply get him more touches one way or another. That would become reality in some other programs, but the Warriors have the luxury of depth. The similarity to Tabuyo’s situation exists, though Tabuyo has already had a breakout game.
Tanner Nishioka, ‘Iolani: He missed the opener against Konawaena (baseball trip), came back with nine grabs for 108 yards and three touchdowns against Waipahu, then has mustered 47 yards on six catches (two touchdowns) in two games since. There’s no question defenses mark Nishioka, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, but he’s willing to be patient and let the offense take what defenses give. To date: 15-155-5. That’s one touchdown for every three receptions. Nifty.
Devan Stubblefield, Saint Louis: Talent-wise, he is there, whether it’s catching passes or returning kicks. His 88-yard kickoff return against Farrington is still the prettiest runback I’ve seen this year. But the Crusaders’ attack is multi-dimensional, and with as many weapons as they have, it’s looking more and more like no one receiver will amass gargantuan stats this season. To date: 4-42-1. They’re so deep at Saint Louis, the wins will keep coming, and Stubblefield’s time to shine may be later than I expected. But it’ll come soon enough for the junior.
Gavin Kim, Kalani: After a quiet start to the season (the first three games), Kim erupted with 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns in just nine carries against Anuenue. He wasn’t the exclusive, go-to running back, but it’s a good sign for a playmaker who showed so much promise last year. To date: 10-99-3.
Nainoa Frank, Kalaheo: With defenses paying plenty of attention to Frank and Shem Sukumaran, the running game has exploded for the Mustangs. Frank hasn’t had a huge game yet, but when they go to him, he delivers big plays. To date: 8-196-2. That’s 24.5 yards per catch!
Erren Jean-Pierre, Mililani: A consistent possession receiver more than a deep threat, which falls in line with Mililani’s “small ball” approach in the passing game. To date: 17-160-2.
Dylan Pakau, Waipahu: Despite being the lone deep threat, he has benefited from the strong arm of Kaimi Paredes. Pakau scored a touchdown for the third game in a row (against Campbell) and is averaging a whopping 29.9 yards per grab. To dat: 12-359-4. He has also been a force on special teams; he returned a punt 42 yards to paydirt against Campbell.
Kanawai Noa, Punahou: The super soph continues to come up big. He had eight catches for 178 yards and a touchdown against Kamehameha’s normally stingy secondary. That’s three 100-plus-yard games in three outings. To date: 21-459-6, an average of 21.9 yards per catch. His 153 yards per game leads all receivers.
Domonic Morris, Konawaena: The numbers are large, even though he’s just one cog in the Wildcats’ prolific passing attack. He had three grabs for 76 yards with a touchdown against Honokaa. To date: 14-297-5, 21.2 yards per reception.
Kenan Gaspar, Konawaena: The junior had three hauls for 111 yards and a touchdown against Honokaa. To date: 13-326-4, an average of 25.1 yards per catch.
Kamakana Apelu, Aiea: The speedster sat last week as Na Alii had a bye. His 27.9-yards-per-catch is extraordinary, but Campbell kept him quiet two weeks ago (1-20-0). To date: 8-223-1.
Chase Kanekuni, ‘Iolani: Consistent and ready, just like all Raider receivers. To date: 14-214-1.
Chad Hanaoka, ‘Iolani: Like Kanekuni and the other receivers in Raiderland, consistent. To date: 19-225-2.
Fano Tuisila, Kaimuki: A relatively quiet game against tough Farrington with three grabs, 25 yards. To date: 16-230-2.
Zac Bastatas, Kaimuki: With their starting quarterback out, Kaimuki receivers had it tough against the Govs last week. Bastatas was shut out. To date: 7-164-3.
Tyrell Tuiasosopo, McKinley: No stats from the Tigers’ big win over La Salle (Ore.). I’m waiting on that, but he appears primed for a big season in coach Joseph Cho’s passing attack. To date: 8-128-1.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser