CLOSING THE BOOK: 2019 Roosevelt Rough Riders

Roosevelt's Aalona Monteilh(5) celebrated his touchdown with fellow senior Myka Kukahiwa(21) in the second quarter against Kaiser. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

>> 10-3 overall, 7-1 OIA Division II

>> Kui Kahooilihala is 28-15 in four seasons with the Rough Riders.

>> DB Joshua Maikui, 5-10, 175, Jr.; DE Kaeo Akana, 6-4, 180, So.; QB/WR Kolea Pa-Macalino, 5-11, 130, Jr.; OL/DL Kaipo Kaimikaua, 6-1, 215, Jr.



The 2019 Roosevelt Rough Riders fell short of their ultimate destination and lost the OIA title in the process, but they can take heart that they have won 10 or more games in successive seasons for the first time since Tiki Vasconcellos ruled the land and went 34-1 in the old ILH from 1955-57.

Last year head coach Kui Kahooilihala built an offense that was better than any at the school in a generation. His team earned two fewer victories this season but put up an outstanding 33.4 points per game, the most at the school since Lester Parilla‘s 1999 crew and a full touchdown over the previous edition. Vasconcellos is the only other Roosevelt coach to build a better offense.

Kahooilihala has only been in charge for four seasons, but in those four years he has matched the legendary Vasconcellos by winning 70 percent of his games.

As high-scoring as the offense was, the defense and special teams had a large part of it. Kahoohilihala’s crew allowed 11.5 points per game, a slight dip from last year’s 11.3, but still among the most outstanding units in the state. It was the first time the defense has allowed under 12 ppg in consecutive years since Rodney Iwasaki‘s defense did it three years in a row from 1984-86 to prop up a struggling offense.

Despite losing three games, this year’s Rough Riders had a higher point differential than any Roosevelt team since Vasconcellos’ undefeated champions in 1957 crushed foes for a 27.7 mark.

Kahoohilihala saw another year of growth out of quarterback Sky Ogata and trusted it, trumpeting a run-and-shoot approach after allowing Ogata to pass the ball only 36 percent of the time in the championship season. Runs and passes were split down the middle this year, with sacks counted as running plays, and they ran the same number of plays per game (53) as the previous year so they still moved the chains.

Ogata relished his new responsibility, throwing for 1,492 more yards and 16 more touchdowns than the previous year on 102 more attempts. Ogata closed his campaign with 2,677 yards, more than anyone in Division II other than Kaimuki’s Jayden Maiava. His 23 touchdown passes are 13 more than the entire team threw in the title season. Ogata started his season off with a bang, torching McKinley for 401 yards in the season opener to join Andrew Kamanao (1991) and Chris Mols (2001) as the only Rough Riders to break 400 yards in a game. Ogata continued the streak, throwing 12 of his 23 touchdown passes in the first month before slumping at mid season and reviving for the OIA playoffs. He regressed once the state tournament began, following his 71-percent completion rate in the OIA playoffs with a 37-percent mark in two games at states including a four-interception game against KS-Hawaii and a 4-for-17 mark with a season-low 47 yards against eventual state champion Lahainaluna.

For all of the dips on the roller coaster, Ogata was still the most productive quarterback Roosevelt has had in a generation, throwing for more than 200 yards six times on the campaign, the most since Mols in 2001 and the most in a career since Aaron Ho in 1995.

Ogata led the team in rushing in the championship season but pretty much left that part of his game on the shelf in 2019. Ogata led the team in carries, with sacks included, in 2019 but rushed for a single touchdown after breaking the plane 14 times the previous year. With Ogata concentrating on moving the offense on the strength of his arm, Myka Kukahiwa was tasked with holding the ground game down. Kukahiwa only got limited carries (88) in the new offense, but turned them into 488 yards and 11 scores, second only to Kaimuki’s outstanding Naomas Asuega-Fualaau in points in Division II on Oahu. Kukahiwa didn’t miss a game and had his top performance in the playoff opener against Waialua when he toted the load 13 times and turned it into 131 yards and a touchdown. He got 13 carries in that game and only 10 in the next three games combined, two of them losses. Mitchell Camacho was Roosevelt’s most effective runner down the stretch, gaining 413 yards on only 55 carries with three scores and going over the century mark twice including 102 yards on 10 carries in a state-tournament win at KS-Hawaii. Kalei Wahilani was part of the share-the-wealth philosophy in the run game with 261 yards on 51 carries and Shepherd Kekahuna scored five touchdowns, four of them during the postseason, despite only 18 carries.

That philosophy carried over to the receiving corps where Ogata had a lot of mouths to feed. Chase Akana did the most with his targets, catching 39 passes for 731 yards and eight touchdowns, the top numbers in those two categories in Kahooilihala’s tenure as coach. Akana started the season on fire with seven catches for 138 yards against McKinley and was steady throughout, but didn’t have a catch in the blowout loss to Lahainaluna. Scott Chung led the team in receptions with 40, giving him 83 over the past two seasons. His yardage jumped from a team-leading 318 last year to 535 this year and he added six scores after being shut out in the title run. Chung didn’t miss a game and failed to break the century mark but came close with an 8-96 line against Kaiser’s stiff defense. Devin Naihe was the third musketeer, hauling in 37 offerings for 443 yards but he was held down for just two catches during the state tournament. Brandon Teixeira, Kirk Calinao and Camacho were the other leaders of Roosevelt’s deep receiving group, but their opportunities were limited late in the season when the Rough Riders tried desperately to get the ball to athletes like Kekahuna and Camacho.

Kahooilihala will have quite a challenge on his hands next year, with standouts like Camacho, Kekahuna, Ogata, Aalona Monteilh, Naihe, Chung, Teixeira and Akana all graduating. That leaves Pa-Macalino and a whole lot of coaching to be done before the fall.

Roosevelt’s Mitchell Camacho ran the ball during a game against Waialua. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.


Sky Ogata13205-330-182,67723
Kolea Pa-Macalino108-12-0702
Chase Akana123-4-0270
Myka Kukahiwa138848811
Mitchell Camacho10554133
Kalei Wahilani9512612
Sky Ogata13922031
Kolea Pa-Macalino1015460
Izen Antolin-Kalewahea76400
Shepard Kekahuna1318375
Keneke Gusman133370
Kevin Davis11270
Aalona Monteilh81171
Brandon Teixiera122130
Kaulana Koki2190
Kirk Calinao5100
Chase Akana12397318
Scott Chung13405356
Devin Naihe12374431
Brandon Teixiera12242651
Kirk Calinao5101221
Mitchell Camacho10101080
Isaac Kaleikau47862
Sole Laloulu48860
Wesley James58792
Kolea Pa-Macalino107732
Shepard Kekahuna137650
Myka Kukahiwa136530
Aalona Monteilh82471
Izen Antolin-Kalewahea77461
Andrew Minton22140
Kaulana Koki21130
Keaka Tripp-Willis1180
Roosevelt’s Sky Ogata pitched the ball to running back Mitchel Camacho during the first round of the state tournament at Kamehameha-Hawaii. Photo by Tim Wright/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt defensive lineman TJ Posulai, left, celebrated a touchdown made by wide receiver Chase Akana (80) against Kaimuki. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt running back Myka Kukahiwa (21) rushed for 11 touchdowns in his senior season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt senior Shepherd Kekahuna (4) played both ways, getting more touches on offense later in the season. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt quarterback Sky Ogata (8) looked for room to run against Pac-Five. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt’s Scott Chung (22) was congratulated by Chase Akana (80) after scoring a touchdown against Waialua. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt defensive lineman Kaeo Akana (51) worked to bring down Pac-5 slotback Bryson Ho (2). Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.


  1. KoleaBred December 6, 2019 7:45 pm

    How can we be ok with any of this being 1-6 vs Kaimuki in last 5yrs? That’s ridiculous and that’s on the coaches. I don’t give a rats on what any one wants to say but Kaimuki is every proof that coaches have the biggest effect. If that’s not the case for us, we gotta get rid of them and find better. So sad we settle for surface crap. Cmon people we eat better than what we’ve been. So sickly disappointed

  2. RoughRiler December 6, 2019 7:49 pm

    Roosevelt had their shot this season. I’m cringing on how bad they’ll be in the upcoming g season. I hate to see what teams will do at no cost to Roosevelt. Like Kaiser. Kaimuki will be right back where they left if Coach Tautofi comes back. We gotta do something tho. Anything but sit around and settle for less like KoleaBred said. I totally feel the disappointment

  3. Miki Tolentino December 7, 2019 5:40 am

    Myka Kukahiwa #21 Roosevelt Rough Riders


    A definite MVP !!!

  4. Keani Auau-Koanui December 7, 2019 9:25 am


  5. Ride or die December 7, 2019 9:27 am

    Why just complain on the internet though? Go coach if you know it all 🤷🏻‍♂️
    Good season riders and coaching staff, don’t listen to monkeys that think they can do better

  6. Debbie Soares December 7, 2019 9:47 am

    First you need kids with talent, then you need parents to encourage and not disparage. Third you need coaches that care and put in the time and energy. When you have people talking alot but not willing to put out, its time to tell them STFU. If you can do better or you can get volunteers to help coach, then you can talk ( this goes to KoleaBred). Coaches do the best they can with what they got. They see talent and they see potential,. They try their best to get the kids to put out. There will always be a few who are willing to try to do their best, and their are those who listen to parents coaching them at home and don’t follow the plays or what their position calls for. Like they say, “Don’t just talk, walk the walk” come on down and coach, and see what it takes to make a winning team. Riders are winners, they gave their all, thats all we ask for.

  7. Not From Roosevelt December 7, 2019 9:50 am

    So much deserving boys. Roosevelt should be proud of this team. I have a bunch of hammah nephews on this team. And title or no title, this Roosevelt team was legit last year and still.

  8. Caroline Toilolo-Furtado December 7, 2019 10:25 am

    I just wanted to congratulate my alumni Roosevelt for all your accomplishments in the football program & to my Son #44 KENEKE GUSMAN I LOVE YOU SON & I am & always will be your NUMBER ONE ☝🏽 FAN 😉 you made us all proud from day one & continue to do so & you’ve done your job on that football field time & time again we couldn’t be any more thankful for you Son!!! #ON2DANEKS #ROUGHRIDERSBABY 💯

  9. Ride or die December 7, 2019 2:29 pm

    sad that the past 2 articles of Roosevelt were littered with parents blaming coaches. We are the only school pulling the blame game. Be proud of your kids, coaches and team and start acting like adults. Sad I tell you

  10. YouHadOneJob December 7, 2019 9:34 pm

    Look all these coaches and they’re family members trying to defend them! Auwe! You would think we bring our kids to their program and hope they lead them in the right direction, but all we end up in disappointments!

  11. Bill hull December 8, 2019 12:55 am

    It’s so funny to read some comments on FB. My son is better the yours I never bash the coaches. Haha They would have did better if they just didn’t cave in to some of the parents. Let the champ loose on both sides of the ball.Ruffriders on top believe me. #hothawaiiancastlenight.

  12. Thee NickO December 8, 2019 3:48 pm

    Look, all I’m going to say is you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink! It’s easy for everyone to say stuff from the bleachers or even worse if you have a child on the team to be telling them (the child) that the coaches don’t know what they are doing. That creates a doubt in kids minds when the coaches are trying to get them to buy into a system. I think as coaches their is an understanding that “wins” equal praise and “losses” equal criticism. Let’s not forget that there were some key losses that contributed to how the season ended. At the beginning of the season we had depth at every position by the time we got to Lahaina things like grades, and injuries were a big factor. Remember, a lot of these kids weren’t use to playing that deep into the football season and the lack of motivation, focus and drive hit the players. Coaching staff did an awesome job this season trying to keep the kids motivated. And for RoughRiler if you’re cringing thinking of how bad the team is going to be, just wait and see. How quickly we forget a few years back player numbers were low. Kids who live in district opted to transfer out of district and attend other schools. Then the turn around started and more kids started to come out, and more kids wanting to stay in district. The amount of talent that is coming up is awesome. To have both the JV and Varsity find success are the
    building blocks to creating a successful program. What’s done is done, now we continue and work to keep building this program. The support of the alumni and community is greatly needed. Rome wasn’t built in a day! PLEASE!!! Fair weather fans, keep your negative comments to yourself. Have a blessed day Rough Rider Ohana!

  13. YouHadOneJob December 8, 2019 10:02 pm

    @TheeNickO funny you talk about dept, injuries, grades but we lost to a Kaimuki team that barely had 20 something kids, and they were in the hot sun all game smh I thought for sure we had the game, but like always same old story for our coaching staff, hard to support when it’s same old story! I know you’re one of the good coaches but everybody else gotta wake up! Like some one said, easy to coach talent but can’t coach up players smh

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