Blue-collar Seariders reap rewards

Waianae's Kana'i Mauga was the highest rated high school prospect out of Hawaii in the class of 2018. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t cute.

Not at all. It was all business for the Waianae Seariders. On a night when they didn’t complete a single pass, they rode their defense and smashmouth ground attack — 211 rushing yards on 46 carries — to a 29-21 overtime win over Campbell on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. Now, Waianae (7-4) has qualified for the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Championships (D-I-Open Division).

Despite losing a 13-0 lead, the Seariders made clutch plays — four interceptions by the secondary. They also benefited from the play of defensive tackle Zefften Avilla-Thompson and Rico Rosario.

Rosario, the senior running back, battled back from an ankle injury suffered two weeks ago at practice. He didn’t carry the ball until the second half, but finished with 12 carries for 66 yards and two huge touchdowns.

“I tried to push through the pain,” Rosario said. “We just had to be our best, just work and score. We didn’t want to end the season, us seniors.”

Avilla-Thompson, a junior defensive tackle, had three sacks and was a menace in the trenches for Waianae.

“It’s just the work he does,” Waianae linebacker Kana‘i Mauga said. “He proves himself in practice, and in the offseason on Saturdays and Sundays, he keeps working. He proved tonight he’s the best one.”

Avilla-Thompson is a young man of few words.

“There were times we didn’t get to them early, but we got there eventually. We train every day and push each other hard,” he said.

Coach Walter Young was pleased, a very low-key pleased with Avilla-Thompson and everyone in general.

“He’s a good kid. They all work together. When we needed them, everybody came up with a play. It was a great team effort, offense, defense and special teams. Campbell’s a very good team,” he said. “We’ll enjoy this, regroup, and Monday we’ll come back and get ready for the next game.”


  1. Choloropicrin November 5, 2017 8:09 am

    Only if they could get a somewhat decent pass game, they could be real contenders. That defense and run game is ok. Other than that without a passing game the formula to beat waianae has been out since the 80’s.

  2. ??? November 5, 2017 4:36 pm

    Recruit one!

  3. RidgeRunnerE-5 November 5, 2017 6:53 pm

    The Seariders are from Waianae, and the boys who put on the Searider uniform will be from Waianae. I’d rather see Waianae go another 20 seasons without a championship than seeing them bring home trophies every season with a roster full of transplants.

  4. Hau'ulaBoy November 5, 2017 11:50 pm

    Good luck to the Pride from the West Side. Hope for no injures on both sides and I hope its another epic battle between countryside vs. countryside. RR4L._.

  5. Hau'ulaBoy November 6, 2017 12:14 am

    And to RidgeRunner, Kahuku alumna send their kids from all over the world. So their kids can experience what it is to have pride and love of a community. It is something that if you are not from there, then it is hard to understand. Waianae also has something like this. But the transplants that you talk about are the same as to call home sons and daughters of Waianae to come home. It is as if you have a grandchild and your son or daughter is so proud of where they are from and send that grandchild to live with you in Waianae. Just so your grandchild can have that same westside pride. Thats what RR4L is. Best of luck to you and yours.

  6. RidgeRunnerE-5 November 7, 2017 2:49 pm

    I’m sure winning football games has a lot to do with it as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email