Former Kahuku star quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava is back in town.
On Thursday, the dual-threat QB was with his Team Mauka teammates practicing for Saturday’s fourth-annual Polynesian Bowl at Aloha Stadium. It will be his last high school game, and it won’t be long before he is suiting up for BYU.
“It was probably the best decision I’ve made in my life,” Maiava said at Thursday’s practice at the stadium about his choice to transfer to St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C. for his final two seasons. “The competition is great. We’re playing nationally ranked teams every week. It was good to be surrounded with a bunch of D-I type guys who helped me get better.”
The last time Hawaii fans saw Maiava in action for Kahuku was the 2017 state Open Division championship game, when he was a sophomore. That’s when Maiava drove the Red Raiders to a touchdown late in the game for a slim lead before Saint Louis came back for a 31-28 last-minute victory.
Maiava also played in the 30-14 Saint Louis victory over the Red Raiders in the ’16 state Open title game.
This year, Maiava’s Cadets went 7-5 against a tough national schedule and made the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final, where they lost 16-14 to Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). One year earlier, Maiava’s first year as the Cadets’ starting quarterback, St. John’s College High made it as far as the WCAC semifinals.
“Every football game, win or lose, is always a highlight, being with the boys and going through adversity with them,” Maiava said. “And just getting to know everyone’s story. There’s stories out there that are pretty rough, and meeting kids like that makes me appreciate the privilege to play this game. It’s a blessing.”
Maiava, who was offered by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as an eighth-grader, is headed to BYU on a football scholarship. By the time he left Kahuku after 10th grade, he had thrown for 2,380 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 675 yards and nine TDs.
“I can’t wait,” he said about going to college. “The coaches want me there as soon as possible, so I’m getting ready and getting going in the next chapter in my life.”