Johnson won’t close door on football just yet

Kahuku's Kawehena Johnson came up huge against Farrington in 2012 with nine tackles, two touchdowns, an interception and a forced fumble. Star-Advertiser file photo.
Kahuku’s Kawehena Johnson came up huge against Farrington in 2012 with nine tackles, two touchdowns, an interception and a forced fumble. Star-Advertiser file photo.

The first Hawaii Grown section of the 2016 fall season was published in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Profiled was former Kahuku and New Mexico State defensive back Kawehena Johnson, who had to retire from football due to a neck injury.

Johnson had 130 tackles, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in 26 career games with the Aggies. At Kahuku, he was the Star-Advertiser’s choice as defensive player of the year in 2012 and went 46-2 in his high school career on the field (Kahuku eventually had to forfeit wins in 2010 due to an ineligible player) with two state titles.


Johnson suffered a neck injury making a tackle in his second game of 2015 against Georgia State and lost movement in his arms and legs for “30 to 45 minutes.” He still feels pain in his neck today, but said he has not completely closed the book on his playing career.

He also said he’s looking forward to the game this weekend between Kahuku and Bishop Gorman. He’s especially happy for the kids who get a chance to play the best team in the country.


“Of course I’m always excited for my high school to get a chance to beat up on a top team in the nation,” Johnson said. “In four years I lost a total of two times and would have loved a chance to face a team like (Bishop Gorman).”


Johnson remains at New Mexico State where he will graduate in May. He was offered a graduate assistant job on the current coaching staff but turned it down, saying. “I can’t jump right back into it completely right now.”

You can read the full story here.

COMMENTS

  1. Education First September 14, 2016 2:08 pm

    I hope he retires. Risking injury is not worth it. I coached against him several times. he is a competitor with a lot of class. I wish him the best of luck.


  2. anywaaaays!! September 14, 2016 2:23 pm

    “Sly Mongoose” is one in a long line of Kahuku Football players that was able to use the sport to obtain a free college degree worth over $130,000

    The average non-scholarship student usually saves up during high school, works full-time while in college and then is left with a big student loan after they graduate. To the few haters out there that criticize Kahuku for being TOO GOOD at football….we have 9 players on this years 2016 team with offers – thats over $1 million dollars of free college education. Football is a tool and Kahuku has learned how to use that tool more effectively then any other Public or Private school in this state…..There is nothing “dumb” about that!


  3. rrforlifebaby September 14, 2016 4:25 pm

    Love this kid. Wishing him the best. Go get that degree!


  4. Concerned North Shore Parent September 14, 2016 5:34 pm

    Ummmmm Irvin if they played back then they still would have lost. He should just hang it up for safety reasons and go be another kahuku alumni to coach big boys league. That is all.


  5. Kapahulu September 14, 2016 8:27 pm

    @anyways you better think twice about your comment that Kahuku has learned to use that tool more than any other school. The last time I checked Punahou graduates 100% of their student athlete and 100% of them go to college. They also have about 20 or more football players that have full rides to college not only for football but for them being great students. Kahuku has a great amount of lineage and talented football players and we all support them in their success but we shouldn’t put them on the top f the food chain because they are not even close.


  6. 88 September 14, 2016 8:35 pm

    Kapahulu you don’t have to lie to kick it. We would all like 100% of our athletes to make it college but what we want and reality are two different things.


  7. Sam Langi jr September 15, 2016 1:28 am

    I’m not calling anyone a liar but 100% is kinda high being that Iolani has the highest high school graduation to college ratio in Hawaii and I believe they were at 96-97% I forget the exact number I need to go look up stat again.


  8. Las Cruces Mom September 15, 2016 2:48 am

    Kawe has the potential, drive, & dedication to succeed in anything he sets his mind to do either on or off the field. He represents what all parents hope our young sons grow up to be like both in the sports arena and living life with respected morals and values.


  9. YNAE September 15, 2016 6:31 am

    JUST BE HAPPY FOR THE KIDS


  10. Education First September 15, 2016 8:04 am

    anywaaaays!! September 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm
    The average non-scholarship student usually saves up during high school, works full-time while in college and then is left with a big student loan after they graduate. To the few haters out there that criticize Kahuku for being TOO GOOD at football….we have 9 players on this years 2016 team with offers – thats over $1 million dollars of free college education. Football is a tool and Kahuku has learned how to use that tool more effectively then any other Public or Private school in this state…..There is nothing “dumb” about that!

    Wow 9 out of 240 graduating seniors? That is 3.75%. That is a huge amount of kids! And of the 9 with offers, how many will actually be eligible? Would you care to make a list for the past 10 years of all the football players who got offers but never got to use it since they were not academically eligible to participate in football at the NCAA D1 level? Some was due to SAT scores. Some was GPA.

    Your numbers paint a good picture that a very “tiny” amount of kids get to a college scholarship based on the numbers you provided. But what about the other 96.25% of graduating students? What happens to them?


  11. Education First September 15, 2016 8:11 am

    Kapahulu September 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm
    @anyways you better think twice about your comment that Kahuku has learned to use that tool more than any other school. The last time I checked Punahou graduates 100% of their student athlete and 100% of them go to college. They also have about 20 or more football players that have full rides to college not only for football but for them being great students. Kahuku has a great amount of lineage and talented football players and we all support them in their success but we shouldn’t put them on the top f the food chain because they are not even close.

    @Kapahulu, when was the last time a Punahou graduate didn’t meet the academic requirements of the NCAA Clearinghouse? I don’t have an exact number, but an educated guess would say it’s very low or non-existent.


  12. Kapahulu September 15, 2016 10:55 am

    @88 it’s not a lie Punahou graduates 100% of their students including their student athletes that’s why they are rated the best School in the nation. Not knocking Kahuku just opposed to the comment of anywayys saying Kahuku has learned to use that tool more than any other school public or private is completely wrong.


  13. 808Savage September 15, 2016 8:49 pm

    @Education First

    90% of those RB’s were ineligible to play college ball.


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