Carter Kamana put up numbers in 2018.
He collected 84 passes for 959 yards and eight touchdowns during his junior season as ‘Iolani went 8-3 overall and reached the Division I state tournament.
There is urgency for Kamana, who has interest from Division II colleges. At 6 feet, 2 inches, he will be one of the focal points for opposing defenses. He could have a 10-catch game one week and a two-grab game the next.
“The main goal is winning, getting to the koa trophy,” Kamana said after a recent practice. “It’s a little different because I was the young guy for three years and I had good receivers like Geno (Justin Genovia) … Jonah Miyazawa that I learned from. I’m trying to take everything I remember and help our younger guys. The main thing is getting to know your plays perfectly so you can get on the field. That’s one of the bigger things I had to work with, too.”
One key, as quarterback Jonah Chong puts it, is to avoid being greedy. To take what the defense gives. That mentality also applies to the wide receivers and slot backs. Kamana could draw the lion’s share of first looks and bracketed coverage just the same.
“I’d say watch out for Cole Ichikawa this year, and Noah Gaudi,” Kamana said.
After dominating Division II with eight state titles from 2005-14, the Raiders struggled in the rugged ILH D-I division during the ’15 campaign. In ’16, Open Division play began in the state tournament, giving the state’s football teams three levels. ‘Iolani ousted Moanalua and Campbell before falling to Mililani in the D-I final.
In ’17, the Raiders returned to D-II and lost to eventual state champion Lahainaluna 35-27. Last year, ‘Iolani traveled to Waipahu in the first round and lost a nail-biter, 20-19. Waipahu went on win the D-I crown.
“Especially in this middle division, we’ve done so well over the years,” Kamana said. “People who think that we should be winning the state title for this division or even competing in the upper (Open) division, that’s a fair statement to make about ‘Iolani with the championships that we’ve had in the past.”
For more on the Raiders, check back Wednesday as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser begins its preseason Top 10 countdown both in the newspaper and on Hawaii Prep World.