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.