Baldwin ready for states after 2-year hiatus

Baldwin receiver Kapena Kamai led the MIL in receptions. Photo courtesy Kimberly Tengan.

FIRST IN A SERIES
(On the five Neighbor Island teams in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships)

Baldwin is back.

The Bears are in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships after a two-year hiatus.


“It is good to be back,” coach Pohai Lee said in a recent phone interview. “(Not being there for two years) makes us appreciate it even more right about now.”

For those two years, Maui High was the MIL representative, but this year, Baldwin took care of the Sabers in the two contests they played — 27-21 and 33-0.

“We’ve got a tight-knit group in our senior class,” Lee said. “They came up through the ranks from Big Boyz to JV. Good chemistry. The leadership was really good this year, better than the last couple of years.”

Defense is where it’s at for the Bears (5-4), according to Lee.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, but the defense has kept us in games by creating turnovers,” he said. “Offensively, we’ve been a work in progress. The line, which was supposed to have been our strength, has been a different lineup every week with not a lot of continuity. At receiver and running back, we’ve got a lot of new guys so it’s been a different year offensively for us.”

With a long layoff (Baldwin finished its season Oct. 25 with a 40-0 victory over King Kekaulike), the team has time to fully prepare for the war ahead.

On Friday, the fourth-seeded Bears host unseeded Leilehua (9-2) in a Division I play-in game at War Memorial Stadium. The winner of that gets BIIF champion Hilo (12-0), last year’s runner-up and the D-I state champ two years ago, the following week.

“I’m glad we have time to prepare, three weeks,” Lee said. “We’ve had a lot of time to do film work and work more on fundamentals. It’s a long time to sit out.”

In addition, Baldwin visited three-time defending Division II state champion Lahainaluna for a scrimmage last Wednesday night.

“(In the Lunas), we got under the lights and saw a quality team and in good shape,” Lee added. “We don’t see many teams with that kind of speed and it gave us a different look, rather than just seeing ourselves.”

Lee is also happy about having a home game.

“When we get to this point, everybody is good,” he said. “The four other teams — Hilo, Moanalua, ‘Iolani and Leilehua — are very tough. We know Leilehua has their system in place and (offensive coordinator) Andrew Manley does a lot of good things schematically. On defense, they’ve got a lot of good athletes who get to the ball with speed. We expect a tough game. We’re fortunate we don’t have to worry about traveling.”

Some of the Bears’ weapons on both sides of the ball include wide receiver/defensive back Kapena Kamai, quarterback Laakea Asuega-Stark, defensive lineman Nephi Laga, defensive back Jedidiah Nerpio, and linebacker Jacob Sniffen.

“Kamai has been with us for three years and has really matured,” Lee said. “He was the leading receiver in the MIL in terms of receptions. A very good kid. I’m hoping he has a big game. Asuega-Stark, who also started at QB last year, and all of the newcomers he’s had have come a long way throughout the season. Laga is all over the place, an undersized kid, but really active and has made a big difference up front. Nerpio is really underrated and is someone who doesn’t back down against the biggest receivers. And Sniffen has made a lot of plays in terms of scoring defense. He’s returned a couple of fumbles for TDs. He’s very physical for his size (5 feet 11, 170 pounds).

Baldwin is 5-14 overall in state tournament games, including a 5-8 mark before reaching the semifinals. The Bears are 5-7 in home state games, but they are 0-4 against Leilehua, with losses to the Mules four years in a row, from 2007 to 2010.

2019 Baldwin Bears (5-4)
>> Aug. 16: Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 52, Baldwin 0, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Aug. 23: Baldwin 27, at Kamehameha-Maui 23
>> Aug. 31: At Lahainaluna 34, Baldwin 9
>> Sept. 13: Baldwin 33, Maui 0, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Sept. 20: Baldwin 24, King Kekaulike 21, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Sept. 27: Lahainaluna 26, Baldwin 14, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Oct. 12: Baldwin 27, Maui 21, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Oct. 18: Kamehameha-Maui 17, Baldwin 14, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Oct. 25: Baldwin 40, at King Kekaulike 0
>> Nov. 15: Leilehua vs. Baldwin, at War Memorial Stadium

Baldwin Bears
All-time Division I state tournament appearances
1999
>> Quarterfinals: Baldwin 25, Farrington 19, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Semifinals: Kahuku 27, Baldwin 12, at Aloha Stadium

2002
>> Quarterfinals: McKinley 28, Baldwin 14, at War Memorial Stadium

2003
>> Quarterfinals: Baldwin 20, Kailua 13, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Semifinals: Saint Louis 48, Baldwin 6, at Aloha Stadium

2005
>> Semifinals: Punahou 30, Baldwin 7, at Aloha Stadium

2006
>> First round: Baldwin 22, Mililani 17, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Semifinals: Kahuku 22, Baldwin 20, at Aloha Stadium

2007
>> First round: Baldwin 26, Farrington 14, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Semifinals: Leilehua 41, Baldwin 34, at Aloha Stadium

2008
>> First round: Leilehua 34, Baldwin 15, at War Memorial Stadium

2009
>> First round: Leilehua 48, Baldwin 12, at War Memorial Stadium

2010
>> First round: Leilehua 35, Baldwin 26, at War Memorial Stadium

2011
>> First round: Baldwin 28, Farrington 24, at War Memorial Stadium
>> Semifinals: Punahou 35, Baldwin 0, at Aloha Stadium\

2012
>> First round: Mililani 24, Baldwin 13, at War Memorial Stadium


2013
>> First round: Farrington 21, Baldwin 3, at War Memorial Stadium

2015
>> First round: Waianae 21, Baldwin 6, at Aloha Stadium

2016
>> Miililani 49, Baldwin 28, at War Memorial Stadium

Baldwin Bears state-tournament career leaders
Rushing attempts (single game)
1. Waylen Costa, 27
2. Keelan Ewaliko, 23
3. Keelan Ewalilo, 21
4. Keelan Ewaliko, 20
5. Kamaki Gouveia, 18
5. Waylen Costa, 18

Rushing yards (single game)
1. Kamaki Gouveia, 177
2. Waylen Costa, 143
3. Keelan Ewaliko, 115
4. Keelan Ewaliko, 112
5. Eddie Ferreira, 96

Rushing TDs (single game)
1. Keelan Ewaliko, 3
2. Nolan Wada, 2
2. Chayse Akaka, 2
4. Seven players tied with one

Rushing attempts (career)
1. Keelan Ewaliko, 82
2. Waylen Costa, 58
3. Chansi Bolosan, 33
4. Kamaki Gouveia, 32
5. Vetekina Malafu, 27

Rushing yards (career)
1. Keelan Ewaliko, 275
2. Kamaki Gouveia, 244
3. Waylen Costa, 231
4. Eddie Ferreira, 152
5. Chauncey Bolosan, 101

Rushing TDs (career)
1. Keelan Ewaliko, 5
2. Nolan Wada, 2
2. Chayce Akaka, 2
2. Kaluka Maiava, 2
5. Four players tied with 1

Passing completions (single game)
1. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 24
2. Jordan Helle, 21
3. Jordan Helle, 19
4. Jordan Helle, 17
4. Jonovan-Taie Akaka-Foster, 17

Passing attempts (single game)
1. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 50
2. Jordan Helle, 49
3. Jordan Helle, 32
3. Michael Donohoo, 32
5. Chayce Akaka, 30

Passing INTs (single game)
1. Roy Antolin, 4
1. Kalehua Moniz, 4
3. Jordan Helle, 3
3. Jonovan-Taie Akaka-Foster, 3
3. Keelan Ewaliko, 3

Passing yards (single game)
1. Jordan Helle, 303
2. Jordan Helle, 290
3. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 286
4. Michael Donohoo, 207
5. Jordan Helle, 200

Passing TDs (single game)
1. Jordan Helle, 4
1. Jordan Helle, 4
3. Jordan Helle, 3
4. Steven Hafoka, 2
4. Steven Hafoka, 2

Passing completions (career)
1. Jordan Helle, 68
2. Keelan Ewaliko, 34
3. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 24
4. Chayce Akaka, 18
4. Roy Antolin, 18

Passing attempts (career)
1. Jordan Helle, 136
2. Keelan Ewaliko, 79
3. Chayce Akaka, 52
4. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 50
5. Roy Antolin, 42

Passing INTs (career)
1. Jordan Helle, 8
2. Keelan Ewaliko, 5
2. Roy Antolin, 5
4. Chayce Akaka, 4
4. Kalehua Moniz, 4

Passing yards (career)
1. Jordan Helle, 906
2. Keelan Ewaliko, 353
3. Chayce Akaka, 298
4. Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane, 286
5. Roy Antolin, 265

Passing TDs (career)
1. Jordan Helle, 12
2. Steven Hafoka, 4
3. Keelan Ewaliko, 2
3. Chayce Akaka, 2
3. Roy Antolin, 2

Receptions (single game)
1. Kalei Kamahele, 11
2. Sheldon Leong, 9
2. Jeremi Badillo, 9
2. Jonovan-Taje Akaka, 9
5. Sheldon Leong, 7
5. Kaiana Camvel, 7

Receiving yards (single game)
1. Kalei Kamahele, 166
2. Sheldon Leong, 148
3. Sheldon Leong, 144
4. Jonovan-Taje Akaka, 139
5. Chase Nakamura, 109

Receiving TDs (single game)
1. Chase Nakamura, 3
1. Skyler Cabacungan, 3
3. Skyler Cabacungan, 2
4. 17 players tied with one

Receptions (career)
1. Chase Nakamura, 25
2. Sheldon Leong, 20
3. Kalei Kamahele, 16
4. Kaiana Camvel, 11
4. J.J. Eno, 11

Receiving yards (career)
1. Chase Nakamura, 387
2. Sheldon Leong, 313
3. Kalei Kamahele, 242
4. Shevis Shima, 153
5. J.J. Eno, 148

Receiving TDs (career)
1. Chase Nakamura, 7
2. Skyler Cabacungan, 5
3. Ro Wilson, 2
3. Nolan Wada, 2
5. nine players tied with one

Longest field goal
1. Michael Donohoo, 45
2. Ricky Casco, 43
3. Dane Fernandez, 40
3. Keelan Ewaliko, 40
5. Cee Jay Santos, 39


>> David Kaanana had Baldwin’s only fumble return for a touchdown
>> Kahai Morton had Baldwin’s only interception return, 18 yards
>> Ro Wilson had Baldwin’s only punt return for a touchdown, 59 yards

NEXT UP IN FIVE-PART SERIES
>> Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors
>> Kapaa Warriors
>> Hilo Vikings
>> Lahainaluna Lunas

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