Can’t be at two places at the same time, but my co-workers and I are trying. I shot photos at Kaimuki on Friday, and our staff (Cindy Ellen Russell) was at Aiea, which shot at the same time.
Then, on Saturday, there was Kamehameha (7 a.m.) and I was at Leilehua (8 am). By 1 p.m. I was at Kalani, followed by ‘Iolani at 2 p.m. Nanakuli and Kailua also had photos that day.
Sunday, a beautiful drive to Waianae, where it was a little rainy and cooler than usual. Good to catch up with the Seariders and their all-state defensive tackle, Kennedy Tulimasealii. He’s slimmed down to 275, looks fast and lean. He is very close to becoming an NCAA D-I qualifier. He’s already passed Algebra II — a requirement at UH — and just needs to keep improving his grades (3.25 GPA the past two quarters) and SAT score.
Since his sophomore year, he has been the most dominant, consistent interior defensive lineman I’ve seen. There is a huge crop of talent at D-line this season statewide, and he’s the best coming in.
Made my way to Kalaheo and Kaiser for photos yesterday. Campbell also had photos, and our staff got that (I think). Kalaheo is deeper than usual and it was striking to see Nainoa Frank back in football gear. As a 6-foot-4 sophomore two years ago, he was one of the rising stars statewide as a wide receiver. Now, the all-state volleyball player is 6-6. He keeps growing!
Kaiser has a lot of enthusiasm. They’ve come into the season in top shape thanks to trainer Chad Ikei, and their confidence level is up. Even the JV team is prospering; three former varsity coaches are on that staff — Tony Gayer, Tim Seaman and Pat Samsonas. Talk about a wealth of experience.
The Cougars were in all-yellow uniforms, very Tweety Bird, but if they find success in the normally tough OIA White, those bright threads will look very cool. They will miss all-state two-way lineman Lopeti Fonokalafi, but last year’s standout sophomore, Fitou Fisiiahi, has returned.
Fisiiahi is sitting with an injured foot thanks to some stompers at a rugby tournament in Argentina two weeks ago. He expects to be back next week, giving Kaiser one of the state’s top linebackers and running backs.
Kaiser is also benefitting from an influx of players, including Kai Gonda. He was one of four players who departed for Kailua a year ago. Rich Miano’s presence is making a major difference.
Today, it’s Pac-Five and Anuenue. I hope to get to both sites. Pac-Five had one of the top defensive units in all Division II last season. Titus Failauga returns at defensive end. Anuenue has one of the top running backs in Kainalu Kaleo.
Tomorrow, it’s Kahuku. Waialua, not sure why, schedules their photos at the same exact time. Oh well.