Intense rehab leads to payday for Kaimuki’s Lucero

Kaimuki's Enzo Lucero has battled back from what was thought to be a season-ending injury to play in the Bulldogs' last two games. Photo courtesy David Tautofi.

Enzo Lucero‘s football season was over in July.

But because of his hard work in rehab, he’s back in business on the football field for Kaimuki.

Lucero had two sacks and batted down a pass in the Bulldogs’ 30-14 victory over Kaiser in the OIA Division II semifinals.

The win locked up a berth in the state D-II tournament. Now, Kaimuki (9-2, 8-0) gets Roosevelt for the league’s D-II title on Friday at Aloha Stadium.

Lucero sounded like he was singing and still breathing hard moments after the win. His voice went up on every last syllable:

“I mean playoff game … to win this … make it to the championship … that’s our goal this year … and yeah let’s go Dogs. It’s been a while (since qualifying for states), but we were aiming for it. We’re going for it. I wanted to push myself to do the best. I try to do better each and every day.

Lucero, a right defensive end, gave props to his friend on the defensive line, Sama Paama, a tackle who is committed to Washington.

“Sama did a great job today,” he said. “That’s my boy.”

Bulldogs coach David Tautofi talked about Lucero’s travails since July.

“It’s a miracle story,” he said. “He had a season-ending injury in the summer. But his progress just exploded. His first game was last week. And now coming in this week and doing this, it’s just crazy. He tore his meniscus and had a slight dislocation of his knee. I’m not sure of the exact details. He worked, he had the faith, he was believing and he stuck to it and now it’s paying off. The good thing is we got him back for next year.”

Tautofi was ecstatic, despite being on crutches with a basketball injury.

“Every victory is big for us. This one is a little more special. We play a whole season for this to get to this point. To see where we’re at today, hat’s off to the coaches and the kids and the family and the fans. This is definitely something we needed in the community and the school. We’ll do film Sunday and get back to work Monday and focus on the game next Friday.”


  1. ??? October 21, 2018 3:30 am

    It takes HEART & GUTS to comeback from an injury like that so quick. Good job kid🤙🏽

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