CLOSING THE BOOK: 2019 Waialua Bulldogs

Waialua's Justin Lorenzo (4) celebrated with Jonah Baker (25) after catching a pass for a touchdown against Vincent Massey (Canada). Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

2019 TEAM RECORD
>> 5-6 Overall, 4-4 OIA Division II

HEAD COACH
>> Lincoln Barit is 48-102-1 in 17 season with the Bulldogs.

KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2019
>> WR/DB Kai Hoekstra, Jr.; QB/LB/SB Kyler Dicion, Jr.; WR/DB Hunter Apau, Jr.; SB/DB Dylan Yadao, Jr.; SB/DB Justin Lorenzo, Jr.


WAIALUA THROUGH THE YEARS: 1973-2019

HISTORICAL EQUIVALENT: 1990 Damien

With the field named after legendary Toshi Nakasone, the time for naming something after Lincoln Barit may be nearing.

Barit and the 2019 Waialua Bulldogs finished 5-6 this season, another losing season that became so in the first round of the OIA playoffs. Barit has been at the helm of the school since 2003 and has collected 48 victories over that time. That leaves him three away from tying Nakasone, who won four championships in the 1950s and had the field named for him in 2005.

For all of Nakasone’s accomplishments, he never slipped enough to put together the comebacks Barit has. Barit took an team that hadn’t won a game on the field since 2016, a string that grew to 18, to five wins and a playoff opportunity. 

Barit overhauled his offense this year, averaging 26.5 points per game after woeful marks of 6.8 and 4.3 the previous two seasons. That added up to Waialua’s best offense since since 2006 when quarterback Caleb Fore was at the height of his powers. 

The defense gets some credit for the scoring outburst, but that is about all it can be credited with. The stoppers improved by a field goal per game over last year but still allowed 31.5 points per game to give it a negative differential for the third straight year. Wailua hasn’t put together successive seasons of scoring more points than it allowed since 2007 when it featured a stout defense.


That Barit’s offense went boom after two busts is no surprise considering how pass heavy it is. Waialua put the ball up 60 percent of the time after 66 percent of the time the previous year with the same platoon at quarterback.

Quarterback Kyler Dicion‘s improvement was one of the biggest reasons for the success of the offense, compiling 1,276 yards and 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions for the school’s largest passing yardage total since Tevesi Toia‘s 1,456 in 2016. Dicion took over for Toia midway through the 2017 season and split duties with Justyce Lacar but finished each of the last three years as the starter. Despite the platoon, the two-headed monster combined for 4,105 yards over the last three years with Dicion returning next season. Lacar started 2019 with four touchdowns and no picks against Nanakuli but slowly ceded the action to Dicion and threw just a single pass in a month.

Dicion had a big game against Vincent Massey (Canada) but really reintroduced himself with a 283-yard, three-touchdown game against McKinley when he rose to sixth on the school’s single-game passing chart. He threw nine of his touchdowns in the three games before Roosevelt forced him into a 4-for-20 performance for just 22 yards in the playoff. Lacar was much more effective at 11-for-16 for 173 yards and a TD. Neither quarterback threw a pick.

The quarterbacks were more efficient and allowed the offense to run three more plays per game than last year, but the main reason for that was that they had a stud running back for the first time in what seems like forever. Storm Quilenderino only got 86 carries, but turned them into 797 yards and six touchdowns to put together Waialua’s best rushing season since Donovan Matas ran wild for nearly a thousand yards in 2006. Quilenderino could have threatened the magical 1K mark if not for missing the Vincent Massey game (which Blitzen Benz took over and gained 150 yards on 11 carries). He started slow but became a true threat by the end of the season with three straight games over the century mark to join Wayne Borges from 1992 as the only Bulldogs to do so since 1973. Quilenderino only got one carry in the playoffs to end that streak. Benz only had three carries in that game, but he was usually a reliable sub for Quilenderino and finished with 213 yards and three touchdowns on only 25 carries. Dicion was effective as a running quarterback, gaining positive yardage even with sacks counted in.

As always with Barit’s offense, there were a lot of opportunities for the receivers. Kai Hoekstra was the biggest threat for the second straight year, churning out 563 yards and 13 touchdowns, more than the rest of the receivers combined, after compiling 553 and three scores a year before. A generational talent on the North Shore, Hoekstra is the first Waialua receiver to exceed 500 yards in a season in at least 10 years and the first to pace the unit for two straight years since Brandon Aceret in 2014-15. Hoekstra caught at least one pass in every game except one and went over the century mark twice — the first Bulldog to do that since Kamalei Rosa in 2010. With one more big game, the junior can pass the immortal Burton Coloma as the only Waialua receiver to go over 100 yards in a game four times in a career. Hoekstra was far from a lone target, as Dylan Yadao led the team with 36 catches and turned them into 368 yards but never broke through for a touchdown. Lacar (19-324), Justin Lorenzo (17-222), Kayde Mahuka (11-111), Blitzen Benz (8-97) and Hunter Apau (7-96) gave the quarterbacks plenty of options.

The small roster loses Lacar and Quilinderino but gets Hoekstra and plenty of other talent back including Dicion, Lorenzo, a healthy Apau and Mahuka for their senior years. The Bulldogs are set up for the long haul, with Blazen Benz leading a strong sophomore class and freshmen like Tyson Apau, Levi Christenson and Skyson Mena getting a rare chance of four years of varsity experience before they are finished.


Kyler Dicion threw a buble screen for a big gain in the second quarter against Roosevelt. Photo by Parish Kaleiwahea/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

2019 TEAM STATS

PASSINGGC-A-IYdsTD
Kyler Dicion985-215-81,27616
Justyce Lacar1068-121-37549
Kayde Mahuka72-2-0340
Blitzen Benz60-1-000
RUSHINGGAttYdsTD
Storm Quilenderino10867976
Blitzen Benz6252133
Kyler Dicion957242
Blazen Benz32200
Jonah Baker918-31
TEAM113-170
Justyce Lacar1037-391
RECEIVINGGRecYdsTD
Kai Hoekstra103556313
Dylan Yadao10363680
Justyce Lacar10193244
Justin Lorenzo8172223
Storm Quilenderino10151961
Kayde Mahuka7111111
Blitzen Benz68970
Hunter Apau27962
Blazen Benz33471
Clarence Dabalos11280
Tyson Apau1160
Jonah Baker9260
Waialua’s Kai Hoekstra caught three touchdown passes in a win over Vincent Massey. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Justyce Lacar (2) tried to get free from the Kaimuki defense. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Dylan Yadao (1) led the Bulldogs in receptions this season. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Hunter Apau (12) gestured to his teammates after making a catch for a first down against Roosevelt. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Blitzen Benz (6) knocked down a Roosevelt pass during the first quarter. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Lincoln Barit watched the action against Roosevelt. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waialua’s Kai Hoekstra (3) returned a kickoff against Kaimuki. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTS

  1. Bryson Borges November 8, 2019 11:45 am

    Great job


  2. Lacar Ohana November 8, 2019 9:48 pm

    Great season BULLDOGS! this town is so proud of you all! You all deserve recognition you all played your hearts out every single game! #oneteam #onefamily BULLDOG FAMILY!! Small town. Big dreams. ♥️


  3. Sky I Lacar November 8, 2019 10:48 pm

    Justyce was Waialuas starting qb until Hunter Apau suffered a season ending injury. Short on WR experience, he was moved to the receiver position.


  4. Keith Awai November 9, 2019 6:03 am

    Humble team player that motivates others and remains positive.


  5. Nalei 11 November 9, 2019 5:37 pm

    Kyler is a SR. And will coach Lincoln be back? Heard the retirement word floating around. He’s the perfect coach for this team. That would be a HUGE lost.


  6. Sharon Anderson November 9, 2019 6:26 pm

    So proud of Jutyc Lacar, always play his hardest with his Team mates, He is a Team player and he makes our family proud!!


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