Family before rivalry for Kamakawiwo’ole ohana

Fraternal twins, Kalani Kamakawiwo‘ole, left, of Kamehameha, and Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole of Saint Louis, will get ready for their big game Friday when the No. 1 Crusaders take on the No. 7 Warriors. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The Saint Louis-Kamehameha rivalry is not going to rip up Kila Kamakawiwo’ole‘s family.

Kamakawiwo’ole is a former Kaimuki and University of Hawaii defensive end, and his twin sons — Kila and Kalanikau — are scheduled to play against each other in Friday’s rivalry game.

The twins are seniors. The younger Kila is a linebacker for the top-ranked Crusaders (7-0, 6-0 ILH Open), and Kalani is a defensive end for the seventh-ranked Warriors (4-4, 3-3).

It’s the regular-season finale for both teams and it starts at 7:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium. Kamehameha hasn’t beaten Saint Louis since Oct. 19, 2013 — 38-24 at Aloha Stadium.

“We’re going to stick to our game plan,” Kalani said about the Warriors. “Coach Abu (Maafala) preaches that all we need to worry about is us. Play our game to the best of our ability.”

A feature story on the twins ran in Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which you can read here.

One of the younger Kila’s consolation prizes for not getting in to school at Kamehameha was that he got to play for Cal Lee, the winningest coach in Hawaii high school history, and the Crusaders.

But he misses not being on the same defensive unit as Kalani.

“It’s hard for me to play without my brother, knowing it would have been pretty good,” he said. “When we get home from practice it’s like a normal day at home. We’re kind of exhausted and like to talk about what happened during the day, what we could have done better at practice, just critique ourselves. We go to the next practice and do the same things we talked about.”

The Kamakawiwo’ole twins would like to play in college and are looking at options.

“For me, it’s more of ‘I’m going to keep playing’ and not ‘when is that call going to come,’ ” Kila said. “Patience.”

Kalani is itching to get a win over the undefeated Crusaders.

“Last season, I was mostly on special teams,” he said. “So that brings out the motor, the fire. This year, I’m trying to prove everyone wrong.”

Kila, the father, is looking forward to watching his boys’ teams play against each other.

“We don’t have any disputes about it, the school rivals thing,” he said. “This game coming up is probably going to be something different. They faced each other freshman year. That’s when Kalani was playing offense (slot receiver). It should be fun.”


  1. mommy4 October 10, 2018 7:09 am

    What an awesome story! Good luck to both this Friday! #kalaepohaku #imuakamehameha

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