Kahuku a unanimous No. 1 in Football Top 10

Kahuku celebrated its victory over Saint Louis to win the Open Division state title. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku collected all 12 first-place votes and is No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Football Top 10 for a 10th week in a row.

The OIA champion overwhelmed ILH champion Saint Louis, 49-14, on Thursday to capture the Open Division state title.

‘Iolani, the Division I state champion after a 38-0 shutout of MIL champion Lahainaluna, bumped one notch higher to No. 5.

Kapaa, which will play Kamehameha-Maui for the D-II state crown on Thursday, entered the poll at No. 9 this week.

Football Top 10
Week 18: Dec 27

Rank School (1st) Pts LW
1. Kahuku (12) (10-0) 120 1
2. Saint Louis (6-4) 106 2
3. Mililani (5-3) 97 3
4. Kamehameha (3-3) 76 4
5. ‘Iolani (11-0) 63 6
6. Campbell (5-4) 62 5
7. Punahou (1-4) 47 7
8. Waianae (3-5) 19 9
9. (tie) Kapaa (7-0) 18 NR
9. (tie) Lahainaluna (7-1) 18 8

No longer in Top 10: Konawaena (No. 10).

Also receiving votes: Aiea 13, Kamehameha-Maui 9, Moanalua 6, Konawaena 4, Maui 2.


  1. Good Story December 27, 2021 3:15 pm

    So proud of this team, players and coaches. One year of bragging rights. Lol.

  2. Bleed Red December 27, 2021 3:20 pm

    Very proud of our boys and our team!!!!

  3. mjthegoat99 December 27, 2021 4:15 pm

    Did STL head coach walk off the field without shaking hands like in 2015 all salty poor sport? We know they dont like loosing to Kahuku.

  4. Eddie K December 27, 2021 7:20 pm

    I dont know if post game hand shaking is in the Championship game. Did see the St.Louis boys accept the Runner up trophy and applaud the Kahuku championship. That’s class. Some times you need to see others celebrate a victory.
    Also glad all the diehard pollsters finally excepted Kahuku as #1.
    I know it’s hard to let go.

  5. Tan Tan December 27, 2021 7:38 pm

    I knew they were a special team after watching their scrimmage with Kamehameha back in October. Congrats Big Red! 2021 Hawaii State Champs!!

  6. mjthegoat99 December 27, 2021 11:35 pm

    This scamdemic is really doing its damage to the smaller football schools on Oahu. Heard STL will get more stud transfers. Seems like the gap is widening from the top 3 Open division programs and everyone else.

  7. ILoveHawaii December 28, 2021 8:36 am


    They already have 100 players at each level.
    As a parent, when is it time to cut the line and say we going to another school.

    Some of these players may not be able to start at Lulu but would be starters elsewhere.
    Maybe, without the Koa trophy, we might see an exodus of players.
    Sounds like an effective strategy. Lock up all the studs so that other teams cant compete.

    The ILH need to abolish this private school transfer rule and also allow under classmen to participate in “full-pad” football after the season. All OIA are allowed, why not ILH?

    Also wondering, who from Division 1 will move up to the open?
    I think Gov’s convinced us that they need to go down along with the Mules.
    Waianae showed some sparks this year which should keep them up.

    My opinion on which teams should move up:

    Teams that could move up:


  8. ??? December 28, 2021 8:56 am

    Iolani should be forced to move up to the Open division no matter how much coach/AD Look cries!
    Once again, keep all division ranks separate & just do Top 5’s for each through the season.
    Ranking Iolani ahead of Punahou, Waianae & Campbell without even playing an Open team is ridiculous.

  9. Yahearme December 28, 2021 9:20 am

    Mililani is the oia recruiting team.

  10. HailFromDaNorth December 28, 2021 10:40 am

    Iolani in the open!? Pfff! They have a left tackle who was 5’4”! They would get slaughtered! If leilehua could keep its kids home they’ll be a solid program, if Farrington had a passionate coach, who’s willing to put in the work on and off the field, that program would be one of the top in the state! Campbell is still young, they’ll definitely be one to watch for. Waianae, with Bobby George out there, they got talent out west! Kahuku needs to keep at it with their pylon thing going, it definitely opened up the books out there. Start the kids when their younger, build up solid QB’s! It was an awesome year! Congrats boys! You earned it!

  11. RR4L80 December 28, 2021 1:19 pm

    Congrats to the Kahuku Football team, Coach Sterling and the rest of his Staff..Awesome job..
    Small school doing Big things..GO BIG RED…

  12. ??? December 28, 2021 2:23 pm

    @ HailFromDaNorth
    Iolani won the DI championship with their 2nd string QB & gave up ZERO pts in the state playoffs!
    Yes their tackle was 5’4 but Aiea & Lahainaluna had guys over 6ft & those so called undersized guys won their battles.
    It’s not the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog!!!!
    Hard work beats Talent every day….

  13. mjthegoat99 December 28, 2021 3:17 pm

    St.Marys and Sacred Hearts Academy have a sister…her name is St. Iolani. Forget about St. Iolani ever playing with the boys in Open division.

  14. ILoveHawaii December 28, 2021 3:42 pm

    They can compete with the teams in the Open.
    Division I is like punching down for these guys.

    They have just as much of a chance as the Seariders and Govs, probably more.
    We have a St. Marys in Hawaii?

  15. nalohitman December 28, 2021 4:32 pm

    Congratulations to the Kahuku players and coaches for doing a great job this year. Can’t wait to see both of these young teams again in the Championship game next year.

  16. Falcon Future December 29, 2021 8:44 am

    LOL, it’s true, Iolani will NEVER enter the Open division. That is fine and on them to take that cowardice approach.

    For the voters to select Iolani over Punahou and Campbell in this poll is shameful. Does anybody seriously think Iolani would/should be favored in a game against Punahou because these rankings say so? No ways! Of course, we know it doesn’t matter because Iolani will not schedule a game with Punahou anyway. Iolani No Ka Scared!

  17. Recruited not Rooted December 29, 2021 11:08 am

    Nothing against what you guys have in house but, just say’n, if you guys had a legitimate D1 QB like JKS you guys would be IMO top 10-15 in the country next year. I’m hearing he might be looking to the OIA so he can actually get a chance to play in the state tournament before he graduates. I’d definitely be making that call Coach Sterling. The next calls I’d be making would be to Bishop Gorman, SJB, IMG and MD hoping to get a couple of them powerhouses on your schedule. I’m sure at least one would be down. When Kahuku and STL are really good, all of Hawaii football is better for it, no matter what some will say. It’s called the Tiger Woods effect.

  18. Recruited not Rooted December 29, 2021 11:20 am

    Iolani over Punahou, yeah you guys just lost all credibility right there smh.

  19. ??? December 29, 2021 11:41 am

    @ Recruited not Rooted
    I’m pretty sure Coach won’t be calling JKS cause
    Waika Crawford is more than capable of leading Kahuku to Back to Back titles.
    People like you said the same thing about Mariteragi & Kahuku passing the ball but they proved everybody WRONG.
    I really hope AKANA comes back because this defense is loaded & if teams can’t score they can’t win; simple as that.
    BTW, the Red Raiders are State Champs!

  20. ILoveHawaii December 29, 2021 2:41 pm

    Just thought of this.
    Does this years Title come with an asterisk?

  21. mjthegoat99 December 29, 2021 4:24 pm

    In 2010 Kahuku beat STL 49-27 in the preseason, rolled through everyone and finished the regular season #1 in the state. They were then DQ’d in the post season because a Leilehua players mom who is the aunty of one of the Kahuku players brought to light the fact that the Kahuku player was a fifth yr senior, meaning the kid started 9th grade for a couple months and then academically flunked back to 8th grade.

    So technically his athletic clock started that “flunked” year when he started 9th grade but returned to the 8th grade, which means his clock for 4yr eligibility was going to end his Junior year.

    This kid never played sports and finally decided to try out for football his senior year, he was in violation. No one knew this except the auntie and when Kahuku smashed Leilehua 46-16 in the playoffs I guess the auntie was jealous and snitched.

    STL won the state title with out having to play the best team that year, thats why there is an asterisk. This year 2021 Kahuku played everyone so there is no asterisk.

  22. mjthegoat99 December 29, 2021 4:44 pm

    If you want to put an asterisk this year do it because all the other teams were eating donuts during covid while Kahuku was working hard.

  23. ILoveHawaii December 29, 2021 4:47 pm

    With regards to 2010. That was a failure of the HC and the administration.
    Btw, is there really an asterisk for that year?

    I was wondering because the season – for both OIA and ILH – was not NORMAL.
    Just curious. It doesnt take away the SASA that Lulu got handed to them, for sure.

    Be careful, you talk about grades, academics and flunking and Professor Fun gonna make an appearance and talk about your guys miserable performance in the classroom.

  24. mjthegoat99 December 29, 2021 5:19 pm

    @ Recruited not Rooted
    Unlike Mililani and STL (and Leilehua of years past) Kahuku does not need the QB to carry the load, they just need a average QB that can keep the defense honest, Kahukus run game and defense is what wins them championships. Meriteragi and Crawford may not be D1 talent but they are well-above average QBs so its already a treat for Kahuku. Mililani could use JKS and give Kahuku a hard rub next year.

    Kahuku is a public school and cant recruit like the big private schools (BG/IMG/MaterDei etc..) I would never suggest Kahuku play those big schools again, stick to Utah public schools. STL is more equipped to build a stacked team to take to the mainland against the private catholic schools.

  25. 88 December 30, 2021 12:57 pm

    Kahuku should always try to schedule games between the top mainland schools. Playing down does nothing for the team. Might as well go play in the same Division with Iolani if all you going do is play easy teams and not challenge yourself.

  26. Curious December 31, 2021 1:52 am

    Just wondering why Coach Ron Lee was sitting in the stands and not on the field with the team?

  27. Eddie K January 3, 2022 12:31 pm

    St.louis cannot maintain a top notch team because a roster of 100 plus players and coaching staff and support service would equal 130 people. Try flying to California, air,transfer,hotel,food logistics…
    ..100k. California, you say? Yes, where St.John Bosco, Mater Dei, DeLasalle, Servite all top 20 teams. So, go on. Play Kamehameha 4 times, Punahou 3 times. Nick Saban secret. If I get the top 5 QBs in the country I dont worry about them because they can’t beat me if they sitting on my bench.

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