Kahuku starts out No. 39 nationally; No. 1 by fans

Pua Falemalu ran into the end zone for a touchdown in Kahuku's 39-14 win over Saint Louis in the Division I state championship game last season. The Red Raiders start 2016 at No. 39 in the nation and No. 1 in an online voting contest. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Pua Falemalu ran into the end zone for a touchdown in Kahuku’s 39-14 win over Saint Louis in the Division I state championship game last season. The Red Raiders start 2016 at No. 39 in the nation and No. 1 in an online voting contest. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Things move pretty fast in football these days. The season is a few months away, but CBS MaxPreps already has its national rankings out and Kahuku is ranked No. 39.

The Red Raiders went 13-0 a year ago and won the state Division I championship, its eighth title since 2000. They finished the 2015 season as No. 37 in the nation.

The possibility is there for Kahuku to make a national statement. On Sept. 17, the Raiders visit Las Vegas to play No. 3 Bishop Gorman, the nation’s No. 1 team from last season.

St. Thomas Aquinas of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is the top-ranked team.

Two schools ranked in the top 30 have played against the team Kahuku beat 39-14 in last season’s state final — Saint Louis — this century — No. 9 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) and No. 30 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).

The Crusaders lost to De La Salle 31-21 at Aloha Stadium on Sept. 21, 2002, and then lost to St. John Bosco 63-14 on Aug. 22, 2014, also at Aloha Stadium.

Kahuku is making a name for itself nationally. In January, the Red Raiders were the fans’ choice in a USA Today High School Sports online vote as “America’s Best Football Program.”

The school will receive a banner for its gym and a $1,000 prize.

“When you have a contest like this, it unites the community in support of the school and the student-athletes and brings everyone together,” Kahuku athletic director Gillian Yamagata told USA Today. “It’s all about the student-athletes. We’re super excited to have the support of our community, the surrounding community and our alumni from all over the United States.”

USA Today High School Sports “America’s Best Football Program”
Results of fans voting:
1. Kahuku, 84,610
2. Cedar Park, Texas, 71,359
3. Clairton, Pa., 41,233


  1. 88 June 10, 2016 1:20 pm

    All those hours and clicks paid off! lol

  2. 808Football June 10, 2016 1:23 pm

    Who is going to be the QB in 2016?

  3. Mahatma Gandhi June 10, 2016 6:56 pm

    “best program”? yeah, right. Just compare the facilities at St Louis with those of Kahuku. Best community support, yes. Not close to “best program”.

  4. Mahatma Gandhi June 10, 2016 7:53 pm

    Kesi Ah Hoy will be Kahuku’s starting QB in 2016. He started last year, why wouldn’t he start this year? Punahou’s starting QB last year was from the Kahuku school district. Which robbed Kahuku of its passing game last year. I can see why the ILH schools didn’t try to recruit Kesi Ah Hoy. He is not a great passer, but is just good enough to keep defenses honest. He is a very good running QB. Punahou also robbed Kahuku of its Div 1 running back, Wayne Taulapapa. That’s why Kahuku had to go wildcat 100% of the time.
    Kahuku had no Div 1 players on offense last year. Their Div 1 players were playing for Punahou. Yet somehow they were able to move the ball against St Louis in the championship game. They couldn’t run against Waianae in the state semis.

  5. Hahashandah June 10, 2016 8:18 pm

    QB was #30, when passing. Ah hoy was basically running the ball the whole time. What makes a program great? Facilities? I’m thinking coaching. Yup better coaching at Kahuku right now they took the talent and strengths they had and did a PERFECT job with it. That is completely undisputable, 13-0 is fact everything else is opinion.

  6. KaaawaCountry June 10, 2016 10:00 pm

    Lol proves we win with what we have here in our community and now hopefully Vavae will move our kids to the next level and help them progress in the next level as well. Facilities don’t mean anything. We have the support of coaches,community, and family which shows. And I’m pretty sure our boys on defense proved all haters wrong. #noflyzone

  7. OHHREALLY June 11, 2016 5:08 am

    A great program isn’t based on “facilities” but by success and lets be honest for a “public” school with “no facilities” kahuku football is definitely on the top. A few achievements worth noting: Led the country with players in the NFL, led college with most active players and a bunch of players currently coaching big programs in college.

  8. 88 June 11, 2016 11:46 am


  9. Ackrite June 11, 2016 3:16 pm

    Kesi is playing LB n Safety this year! He may play RB sparingly but QB is out of the question unless it’s wildcat but then they have a handful of RBs to pummel down defenses… Big surprise coming for QB

  10. OHHREALLY June 11, 2016 11:30 pm

    88 ok now you really sound like you from kahuku hahaha

  11. Setu taifane June 12, 2016 12:33 am

    So if you have the best facilities you have the best program? Lol. You stupid

  12. 90 June 12, 2016 10:08 am

    88 is just a wannabe! A Burger,

  13. Hauula93 July 27, 2016 9:00 pm

    As of 2015, KAHUKU has the best freckin program in the state of HAWAII…Facilities!! We could care less…Old school is how we do in KAHUKU…HARD WORK AND EFFORT IS WHAT WE PREACH IN LAND OF NO FACILITIES….PLUS NUMEROUS STATE TITLES FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL..I CALL THAT IMPRESSIVE. .RR4L…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.