CLOSING THE BOOK: 2019 Kailua Surfriders

Kailua receiver Kamryn Kahoonei (8) attempted a catch in the end zone against Radford. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

>> 4-7 Overall, 3-3 OIA Division I

>> Joe “Hauoli” Wong is 20-35 in six seasons as head coach

>> QB Cameron Friel, 6-4, 205, Jr.; WR Landon Clevenger, 5-11, 185, Jr.; LB Hastings Yee Hoy, 5-9, 185, Jr.; LB Elijah Laufili, 6-2, 225, Jr.



The 2019 Kailua Surfriders were a .500 team in everything except wins and losses.

Joseph Wong‘s group finished the season 4-7 but was 3-3 in its league before falling by a touchdown to Moanalua in the playoffs. The Surfriders played nearly every game close, and came up on the short end more often than not.

When it was all said and done, Kailua averaged a clean 20.7 points per game and gave up 20.4. Five other teams have shared Kailua’s point differential of 0.3 since 1970, winning between three and five games. 1971 ‘Iolani (3-6-1) under Eddie Hamada, 1972 Kaimuki (4-6) under Charley Miyashiro, Francis Claveria‘s 1987 Waipahu team (4-6), 1971 Kalani (5-4-1) under Tony Ah Yat are the teams that have been down the same path as this year’s Surfriders. The other one occurred in Darren Johnson‘s first year at Kailua in 1996, when he went 3-5 and celebrated 10 wins just two years later. Among those teams, only Wong’s Surfriders averaged more than 20 points.

The offense had decreased its production in each of the last four years before improving by nine points per game this year and the first time scoring over 20 since 2015. The defense improved over last season with a 20.4 differential, improving by a field goal and finishing what was statistically the best defense in Wong’s tenure and the best at the school since Gary Rosolowich‘s 2011 squad put up a 15.6 mark in a losing campaign.

Wong has suffered a losing season in four straight years, the longest streak since Rosolowich lost more than he won in each of his first six seasons.

Wong opened up the playbook this year for quarterback Cameron Friel, going with a more balanced offense with 48 percent of the snaps being passing plays after a 65-35 split for the run in 2018 with Raynen Ho-Mook under center. The durable Friel made all but three of the team’s passing attempts this year, compiling 1,694 yards with 19 touchdowns and a disappointing 15 interceptions. He was the first Surfrider to throw for more than a thousand yards since Noah Auld went for 2,090 in 2015 and had more than a grand more than Ho-Mook’s 590 last year. Friel threw at least one touchdown pass in each of his last nine games but was done in with five interceptions against Moanalua in the playoffs. He went over 200 yards just three times, but two of them were in the final two games capped by his 20-for-44 effort against Na Menehune with a furious comeback.

Samson Rasay was the leader at running back for the third straight year, the first Surfrider to do so since Jarrin Young ruled the roost in 2012, and will be missed. Rasay took a while to get going, getting only 11 carries in the first month, but finished with 593 yards and three touchdowns to end his varsity career with 1,647 yards and five scores. All of Rasay’s touchdowns came in victories this year, and 411 of his yards came when the Surfriders celebrated a win. His biggest game came in Kailua’s final win, a career-high 24-182-1 effort against Castle that was the most for a Kailua running back since Young rumbled for 266 yards against Kaimuki in 2012. Friel had nearly as many carries as Rasay this year, including sacks, and six different Surfriders scored on the ground. Brian-Allen Kamanu was the top backup, gaining 212 yards despite being bottled up for 35 yards on 10 carries against Moanalua with Lahaina Kane contributing 98. All three of them are seniors.

Koali’i Kohatsu led the balanced receiving corps with 419 yards and six touchdowns on 37 receptions, but Friel had a lot of options. Kohatsu had the most yards for a Surfriders receiver since Martin Tigilau in 2012, but so did Landon Clevenger. Kohatsu scored in each of the team’s last five games before the playoffs and went over the century mark once, in a blowout win over Buckeye Union. His absence in the second game against Moanalua opened the door for Clevenger, who victimized one of the best defensive backfields in the state for 100 yards on eight catches, many of them on the final drive when Kailua gave itself a chance to pull off a miracle. Clevenger finished the season with back-to-back games with more than 99 yards receiving, the first Surfrider to do that since Eric Lum in 2010 with Kahaku Iaea throwing to him. No Surfrider has ever hit the mark in three straight games.

Five different players had more than 10 catches, and three had four scores. Clevenger (30-382-4) led the way among that group with Kamryn Kahoonei (16-280-4) and Raynen Ho-Mook (26-254-4) contributing. Rasay did his part with 20 catches out of the backfield for 246 yards and a score.

Friel can expect to have Clevenger and Kohatsu to return to receive his passes next year, but Rasay will be gone after his steadying presence. The program loses 16 seniors who never got to taste a winning season on the varsity but set the program up for good things to come.

Kailua’s Kamryn Kahoonei dove for a pass against Moanalua. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.


Cameron Friel11142-289-151,69419
Landon Clevenger61-3-030
Samson Rasay11935933
Brian-Allen Kamanu9652122
Cameron Friel11861742
Lahaina Kane743981
Landon Clevenger66641
Hastings Yee Hoy510142
Elijah Laufili1230
Ramsey Ieae1120
Max Basque-Taumaldo2110
Kaillou Bernadino2100
Raynen Ho-Mook92-70
Koali'i Kohatsu9374196
Landon Clevenger6303824
Kamryn Kahoonei8162804
Raynen Ho-Mook9262544
Samson Rasay11202461
Lahaina Kane73430
Nainoa Peters11220
Seth Pettit12150
Brian-Allen Kamanu82110
Max Basque-Taumaldo2270
Brandon Kohatsu1150
Kaillou Bernadino21-10
Kailua quarterback Cameron Friel scrambled under pressure by Moanalua’s Kainalu Pereira. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kailua’s Hastings Yee Hoy sacked Buckeye Union’s Angel Macedo during the first half. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kailua’s Brian-Allen Kamanu (15) scored a touchdown against Buckeye Union. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kailua quarterback Cameron Friel rolled to his left looking for receivers against Moanalua. Photo by Jay Metzger, Special to the Star-Advertiser
Kailua’s Landon Clevenger (4) caught a touchdown pass against Waipahu. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kailua’s Samson Rasay (5) led the Surfriders in rushing. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kailua receiver Kamryn Kahoonei (8) went high to haul in a pass against Castle. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.


  1. Kailua_Fan November 4, 2019 1:09 pm

    Offense was up and down this year, very inconsistent. When Clevenger got to play after the first few games he made a huge difference.

    Unfortunately no mention of this terrific Kailua Defense in this article. I think 9 of 11 starters are back next year? This was a great defense that will be better next year with hopefully not so many short fields to defend. Kailua should be in the mix for the top 2 OIA D1 teams in 2020.

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