Kahuku football featured by Sports Illustrated

Kahuku football is the subject of an in-depth article published on SI.com on Wednesday. In photo, the Red Raiders' Samson Reed got around a Leilehua offensive lineman to pressure quarterback Kona Andres in the first quarter of an Aug. 11 game. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The Kahuku football team is prominently featured in a Sports Illustrated story on si.com.

An in-depth story, written by Austin Murphy, was posted on SI.com Wednesday and can be read here.

Murphy calls the Kahuku football program “the most interesting, exotic, surprising football program in the U.S.” And he proclaims it with apologies to Texas, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

There are quotes from Red Raiders head coach Makoa Freitas, assistants Sola Soliai and Faasea Mailo as well as from former Kahuku quarterback and assistant Darren Johnson, who is now the head coach at Campbell.

Murphy visited Hawaii a few years ago to write a story on Punahou as the top athletic program in the country.

The Red Raiders (9-1) play Mililani (10-0) in the OIA championship game Nov. 4 at Aloha Stadium. They’ve already qualified for the Division I-Open state tournament and are striving for a record ninth title in the top tier.


  1. Good Story October 25, 2017 12:26 pm

    Proud to Bleed Red, Proud of our Community. Getting some National attention…Ofa Atu to all.

  2. 808 sports fan October 25, 2017 12:49 pm

    Congratulations to the Red Raider Nation. No need any negative comments. Don’t got anything good to say keep it to yourself. Show Love not hate

  3. rrforlifebaby October 25, 2017 1:10 pm

    Loved the article, although I thought Father Damien came from Europe(not a graduate of St Louis as the article says).


  4. Good Story October 25, 2017 1:16 pm

    Kahuku=The Dos Equis of High School Football

  5. ??? October 25, 2017 1:28 pm

    Loved the story and Kahuku football.
    However, how can a school have that many Mormons, NFL players and parents donate a good portion of their life savings to the Morman church and still have the worst football field, bleachers and score board in the Island? Where is the help from the Billion dollar “Tax-exempt” church to upgrade the Islands Top football schools facilities?

  6. Awrite!! October 25, 2017 2:12 pm

    ??? – those billions of dollars are spent on more important things like helping victims of hurricane, earth quakes and other natrual disasters/ catastrophes around the world. The LDS church is sometimes the first to arrive and provide aid even before the red cross. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qzNnv97WMk

    Kahuku alumni have tried to donate money to the schools facilities but various conflicts with the state and DOE have stunted every effort.

  7. PlayaHatersAnonymous October 25, 2017 2:49 pm

    Yes it’s not a perfect scenario with the Red Raiders of Kahuku and their field situation, but that’s why the Boys of North Shore are very successful because the focus isn’t on what they don’t have but what they do have they work on perfecting it. That’s the least of their worries is a turf field! That’s the attitude of gratitude and Mormons preach that principle, ?’s your as dumbfounded as your name so please go buy a vowel before you ask about buying a new field! I hate dumbfounding people with ?’s as their name!

  8. DiamonHead October 25, 2017 2:52 pm

    Article was spot on, could have easily been in a video documentary format but his writing skills painted the picture perfectly.

  9. RR72 October 25, 2017 3:10 pm

    PROUD TO BE AN ALUMNI. #redraidernation #rr4l #gobigred #wecanweshallwewill

  10. tommytime October 25, 2017 3:26 pm

    Things at Kahuku are not a bed of roses…….its a can of worms that need to be opened and dumped out so we can get to the bottom of everything that is or is not being done at Kahuku! Why have there been so many coaches in the last seven years? Kahuku brings in the most money of all oia schools they should have upgrades to the facilities. Find that can of worms and dump it out!

  11. atbbatman October 25, 2017 4:58 pm

    Kahuku used to have the best Grass field around, when they built the new Gym in 1979 they redesigned the water runoff now the field floods more than it should. If they can divert the water when it rains that field would be just like the grass fields from the 60’s and 70’s

  12. Coach C October 25, 2017 5:24 pm

    Wow that was a beautifully written story. The writer hit all the notes when talking about the rich community culture of the North Shore. You know what. They don’t need Astor turf there. Just to play on Weimer field is sacred enough. The sweat,blood and tears that their fathers,grandfathers and even great grand fathers lay there. There is no other sacred grounds then that.

  13. DiamonHead October 25, 2017 8:15 pm

    According to the early Morman settlers in Laie they prophesied of future flooding. They dont want to fix the field or else the prophesy will not longer be true.

  14. TooMeke October 25, 2017 8:16 pm

    ??? – to answer your uneducated question – those alumni WANT to donate to the school…but the DOE has clearly told them that whatever the Kahuku Alumni donate to the school for those types of upgrades will have to be spread out evenly among ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

    So…no. No can donate just to Kahuku. Babogum rules in a Blue state governed by idiots. Now you don’t have to ask such ignorant questions…k?

    Ironically…IT DOESN’T MATTER what kind field we get! We still dose everybody even with crappy facilities… Go ahead and let everybody else upgrade… We’ll take the championships instead.


  15. TooMeke October 25, 2017 8:18 pm

    DaimonHead – already had plenty flooding in Laie – so that prophecy has already been fulfilled…many times over.


  16. ??? October 25, 2017 10:06 pm

    Ashlie Lelie donated $25,000 for Radfords scoreboard a few years back without donating to other schools. There’s your uneducated response!

  17. ??? October 25, 2017 10:16 pm

    When it rains, Kahuku’s field is a natural disaster! “Flood zone” so what’s your point?
    Those Billions you speak about bought up half of Laie & Kahuku’s “Hawaiian” Lands for the Morman churches, Temple and PCC/BYU. So what’s the big deal about fixing Kahuku’s field and stadium? I know, Blah, Blah Blah..

  18. ??? October 25, 2017 10:19 pm

    That’s your name and you’re talking about dumbfounding people. Look in the mirror idiot. LMAO..

  19. TooMeke October 26, 2017 6:00 am

    Then Ashlie Lelie get better connections and paid somebody off. It’s in the bylaws. There’s your educated response.

  20. RRALUMNI October 26, 2017 9:11 am

    Maybe the Star-Advertiser should do a story on whyKahuku and other rural schools have little or no upgrades to their facilities. The recurring theme at Kahuku is that it is in a flood zone. Some of the issues that have been shared with the community are the liabilities if there is a flood, impact studies that need to be done by the Army Corps of Engineers, costs incurred for addressing flood control and drainage issues, and even looking for an alternative sight to build a new stadium, which of course would cost millions. There have been alumni who pledged to put up money for improvements with other businesses matching them. However, the state did not go for that because of , again, the flooding issue. But if you look at the big picture, the state wants to control the money and go through the protocol of hiring consultants & engineers just to do the assessments. Of course it’ll go to state friendly companies and the end result would be too high of a cost and can’t allocate millions to just build a stadium and facilities.

  21. RRALUMNI October 26, 2017 9:20 am

    Part 2: McKinley has a new turf field. But they don’t have any games there, except for scrimmages, because they don’t have lights or bleachers. However, studies are being done to look at adding lights, bleachers, and even locker rooms, essentially a new stadium. Kalaheo had bleachers installed but again no games played there. This past season Castle wasn’t going to have home games because of lighting issues, but somehow money was allocated to make the repairs. Hmm?

  22. Lowtone123 October 26, 2017 9:28 am

    Kahuku could practice on a bed of rocks and still win championships and churn out DI athletes. Maybe it makes them hungry to strive for those things and earn it and not have it given to them.

  23. For the Community October 26, 2017 9:31 am

    Monies can be earmarked for specific sports, clubs, etc. in the past my organization has donated money specifically for upgrades for specific facilities for band, theater, sports facilities, locker rooms, etc.

    It’s up to the administration if they want to accept it and where they want the money to go.

    In this case it looks like it’s a Kahuku rule. This is clearly not a DOE rule.

  24. Kahuku Alum 2015 October 26, 2017 10:55 am

    When did the people of Kahuku become so arrogant and angry? It really saddens me how so many adult from our community talk the way you do. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but our elders teach us to show humility and act with class. It kinda seems many of you missed that lesson or are not from Kahuku. None of my aunties or uncles act this way. And my aunties and uncles are probably your aunties and uncles too. Why do you guys act this way? We are role models for the younger kids growing up.

    This was a great story and nice piece to showcase our community. And the same people come on her and ruin it with their negativity. We are not taught to act this way. I hope as adults you will look at yourselves and realize that we all are role models all the time.

    Please stop.

  25. Dafun October 26, 2017 11:22 am

    What I’m trying to figure out is why there’s an article on Kahuku when obviously st Louis is the number one team in the state

  26. There is only one Me October 26, 2017 12:06 pm

    I noticed the article makes no mention of academics or GPAs. Good thing it didn’t if you know what I mean. LOL!!!


  27. Envy October 26, 2017 12:11 pm

    @Dafun, if you noticed, the writer of the article took a not to subtle swipe at the private schools, Other than that, and a few historical errors, I enjoyed reading the article.

  28. TooMeke October 26, 2017 12:12 pm

    @Dafun – cuz that’s just a temporary status for StL.

    2015 – ahhhh, never mind… come talk to me in about 30 years when you’ve had enough life experience to truly talk about what humility really means…

    Until then – all of this is just for fun – try not to take it too seriously (another mark of youth). Let’s enjoy the ride and have some fun…it’s only football…not life.


  29. Dafun October 26, 2017 1:19 pm

    For what I know toomeke, St. Louis had had the greatest high school football history in Hawaii.

  30. Kahuku Alum 2015 October 26, 2017 1:19 pm

    Mr. Too Meke, so what you are telling me if because you have lived longer you have the write to be negative, insult others, and show barely any class or humility. If that’s true I don’t want be your age.

    Also I really don’t believe you are from our community. I don’t know anyone who acts like you do.

    You might think it’s fun. But I don’t see how representing a community and acting like a child behind a made up name teaches any of the kid anything.

    Since you try to defend yourself it really just shows how naive and ignorant you are. I really hope you are not one of my uncles. My mom Tina S, would be very ashamed.

  31. HBoy October 26, 2017 1:24 pm

    To Dafun:
    The article speaks about Kahuku (if you read it) is not about who the number one team is because (that can change at any point in the season) but rather how a rural school with a small population and pool of athletes are able to put out the amount of athletes that it has and how they’ve been successful because of that. We have just over 200 per grade and still able to keep up and even beat schools with much larger numbers and most likely far better facilities. The problem we here in Hawaii have (especially in these type of forums) is the crab in a bucket syndrome.
    We should be excited to play each other and celebrate the wins and losses but even more important is to push all of our youth to go beyond high school and Hawaii. Take your game, skills and passion and share it with the world. When you have done that and if it is in your abilities, come back and continue that legacy with the next generation(s).
    As passionate as I am over this game of football, it is after all still just a game. Life is far more important and has many more lessons to learn and kuleana we must take care of. Keep the game fun and leave the drama out of it. The ones that cause the most dramas are the adults and not the kids.
    Finally, cheer on our kids, and as announced at all games. Let the player play, the coaches coach and the officiators officiate.

  32. dafun October 26, 2017 3:16 pm

    football is everything when you graduate from st. louis so yeah

  33. 88 October 26, 2017 5:24 pm

    Football is everything at St. louis? The past 17 years must have been really s#!ty for you……

  34. rrfl October 26, 2017 6:35 pm

    well mr dafun if you are so sour about this article then maybe you should contact sports illustrated and see if they can come out and do a story about your st louis football team.

  35. anywaaaays!! October 26, 2017 7:28 pm

    Even sports illustrated talked about how the ILH recruits all our athletes away and turns them against their communities. Sports Illustrated understands but hawaii prep world doesn’t even publish a single article about this because they’re a part of the ILH agenda too

  36. anywaaaays!! October 26, 2017 7:33 pm

    Kahuku Alum 2015 is Education First. it’s so pathetic that he would create multiple user names to trash Kahuku fans and promote the ILH agenda. Nice try, Education First

  37. Choloropicrin October 26, 2017 9:35 pm

    Great story!!

  38. RR4LIFE living the lie October 26, 2017 11:11 pm

    Here’s something many of you don’t know. In the early 2000 St. Lulu hired the Japanese Broad who was trying to make the school more like Iolani and Punahou and go with education first. This dumb broad tried to put sports on the back burner and focus solely on education. When that happened their football program took a dive. When that happened enrollment started dropping. Alumni stopped donating to the school. It took years to finally get her dumb ass out. When that happened, football was king again, Cal came back and started to rebuild the program. Low and behold championships are rolling in back at Kalaepohaku. As long as St. Lulu keeps football a priority, I don’t see them losing for a long time. As long as football keeps bringing in more students, St. Lulu will be on top. More students = more leeway to grab kids from Kahuku.

  39. TooMeke October 27, 2017 6:14 am

    @Dafun – are you referring to the greatest high school recruiting history in Hawaii? Yup, you’re right…they did…especially after they held them back a year so they would all be 18 & 19-year old men playing against 16 and 17 year old boys.

    Hard to believe how that plan could even conceivably fail…and yet, the history of the current State Tournament in which the playing field has been somewhat leveled now reveals the extent to which St LuLu recruited and played men instead of boys…how many State Championships has St LuLu won since Prep Bowl ancient days???

    Exactly. Goooooooooooooooooooooood night.

  40. Dsfun October 27, 2017 7:08 am

    This whole thing is ridiculous this entire website is ran by Kahuku bandwagon fans. I cannot wait until my crusaders kill your red raiders and we’ll see who’s top

  41. Kahuku Alum 2015 October 27, 2017 8:16 am

    First of all I do not know what a Education First is. I find it very sad that people accuse others when all I’m trying to do is point out that our community doesn’t act like several of the people on here. My mom Tina and my grams Nilla didn’t reside us to act like this. As someone of the Mormon faith, we are taught to act with dignity, respect, and class. We are role models no matter where we are or what we do. I don’t get why there is so much hatred in here. I love my community but there are many great communities all over Hawai‘i. I’m starting to see there are also immature adults all over our island too. I don’t see the need to attack others, insult others, or accuse others. But if that’s what you need to do to get through the day then ok. You only have to answer to our Lord. I hope some of the posters representing Kahuku will see how words can paint a very ugly picture of such a wonderful place.

  42. broherhood October 27, 2017 8:28 am

    @dsfun, then maybe SI will do a story on your crusaders and you can stop pouting. Good luck

  43. rrfl October 27, 2017 8:43 am

    @dsfun – good luck then maybe SI will do a story on your crusaders so you can stop pouting.

  44. RR4LIFE living the lie October 27, 2017 9:31 am

    Keep telling yourself that you had to play 19 year old TooMeke. It’s ok. After 30 years you still traumatized by those ass whoppins handed to you in your hayday by St. Lulu. Still blame the Crusaders for for beating you all 4 years of your sorry high school days. I bet you blame them for you amounting to the loser you are today. The only thing you going “dose” is reality, and sad to say it sucks for you. Why take anything you say serious from a guy who can’t pay a simple bet when he loses. Keep posting so I can read your garbage and just laugh at you. You want my real name then email me jkd@gmail.com and we can hash this out. You won’t do it fuam.

  45. Kahuku Alum 2015 October 27, 2017 9:45 am

    I thought the SI article was nicely written. I recall SI also doing something on Punahou when they were rated #1 high school sports program some years back. I think it’s cool that SI has a presence in our islands and wants to do stories in our school.

  46. Envy October 27, 2017 1:25 pm

    Anybody remember when that local high school player went and played for BYU and when he returned with BYU a few years later to play UH, the fans at Aloha Stadium booed him? Many people act like success is a bad thing. If a player can get into a private school based on his playing ability and STILL have the grades to keep up with the curriculum, more power to them. Don’t be upset because they don’t play for your local community, be happy for the kid having a little help to succeed and maybe one day, that kid will return in his adult years to contribute and make your community better.

  47. RR4LIFE living the lie October 27, 2017 3:30 pm

    Well said envy. Instead you have people like toomeke and anywaaaays! who contributes nothing to their community. Who the community wishes it could take them out back and shoot them in the head but can’t because doing that to regards is frowned upon.

  48. Good Story October 27, 2017 4:05 pm

    Here we go with mr schizophrenic talking to himself again.

  49. Grabum.by.da.puppy October 27, 2017 5:02 pm

    yup edufirst talkin to himself in 4 diferent user name. Lol. talk bad one time den defend an talk bad an defen lol mr scitzo

  50. anywaaaays!! October 28, 2017 9:25 pm

    Education First/Kahuku Alum 2015/RFF4L Livin the lie/dsfun are ALL THE SAME PEOPLE. Education First, it’s really pathetic how you just want to trash Kahuku fans.

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