Kahuku still No. 22; Kaniho nominated as Top Star

Kahuku's Toalei Lefau, left, and Codie Sauvao helped the Red Raiders pick up their sixth shutout of the season against Waianae. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku’s Toalei Lefau, left, and Codie Sauvao helped the Red Raiders pick up their sixth shutout of the season against Waianae. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

A sixth shutout for the Kahuku defense in a 38-0 win over Waianae in the OIA D-I semifinals on Saturday night wasn’t enough to move up in the latest USA Today Super 25 rankings released Monday.

The Red Raiders (9-1) remained at No. 22, but did have one of their standout defensive players recognized for his play.

Senior defensive back Kekaula Kaniho, who had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown, is one of 11 players around the country nominated for USA Today’s Top Star of the week. You can vote for Kaniho here.

Kaniho had his third interception return for a TD in his last four games.

Teammate Stokes Nihipali-Botelho won the USA Today Top Star award earlier this season.

Kahuku’s run against Hawaii teams right now is incredible. The Red Raiders have won 22 in a row and allowed only one touchdown in their last 30 quarters. They have shut out Waianae in each of the last four meetings and have scored 10 touchdowns on defense this season alone.

Kahuku is allowing only 70.8 yards per game against Hawaii teams this team this season, including minus-16 total yards rushing in those games.

The Red Raiders will attempt to win their second consecutive OIA D-I championship on Friday night at Aloha Stadium against Farrington.


  1. Good Story October 24, 2016 10:16 am

    Haven’t they learned…don’t ever put it up for a vote. Red Raider Nation and the 808 showing some love for Kaniho. Last I looked Kaniho had over 2000 votes, the next closest was still in the hundreds. Let’s do this for Kaniho! GO BIG RED!

  2. Manley October 24, 2016 10:34 am

    Gatorade POY should be Kaniho or Nihipali-Botelho. These two dismantled Tui last year in the States. Kaniho even had a block six. Hitting,interceptions ,pick sixs,run backs,field goals,pat,even on wr when needed. Well discipline,not even finger waging the opponent. Oh plus no tats and good grades along with looks.

  3. AUWE October 24, 2016 11:11 am

    The boy definitely deserves recognition, along with the rest of the Defense…

  4. ??? October 24, 2016 11:37 am

    Lets vote…

  5. Homegrown October 24, 2016 12:03 pm

    USA Today getting their click rate up using Hawaii football fans. More clicks more advertiser $$.

    Kahuku got a good opponent in front of them this week, hopefully they come prepared. Farrington showed that despite numerous boneheaded “football” plays, they have the desire to win this year.

  6. USMC October 24, 2016 12:07 pm

    For family reasons my loyalties are split between the OIA and ILH and Kahuku isn’t my OIA connection. But, anytime we have a player or team from the islands competing against a mainland team….I’m all in. So I went to the link and voted for Kaniho and he had 3,500 votes. His closest competitor….550 votes. Get the word out so the IMG Academy doesn’t make a fourth quarter comeback. 🙂 Best of luck to Kekaula.

  7. Searider86 October 24, 2016 12:42 pm

    Congrats to Kahuku on another impressive win! To MyYoungSeariders: KEEP WORKING! We’ll always be very proud of you guys! And Kaniho is well deserving of his accolades, the kid is a BALLAH!

  8. anywaaaays!! October 24, 2016 1:04 pm

    Good morning Kahuku faithful – vote for Kaniho he is the man along with stokes.

    Farrington up next in the OIA title game IF Kahuku goose eggs them like they been doing all year the argument remains that the OIA is not up to par with the ILH – only Kahuku is on that level. The HHSAA rushed into this conference re-alignment thing too fast, using Mililani’s dominance two years ago along with Kahukus dominance last year to justify their case that the OIA is catching up to the ILH. Where is Mililani now? They didnt even qualify for the division that was created with them in mind (the Open division). I can tell you one thing that if the idea of conference realignment were discussed right now it wouldnt fly with the OIA because of the clear disparity of Kahuku and the rest of the OIA and thats why it was rushed at the beginning of the season.

    Which leads to the fact that the ILH Big3 aint looking for competition via unification of the leagues, the OIA cant compete period…they are looking for friends to add to their boring 3 team regular season schedule AND they want to eliminate their fairytale belief that Kahuku has a cakewalk in the OIA and advantage in the state tourney because they are not being tested. The ILH people dont whine and cry about their problems…they change policy because they have the power. Kahuku people, like myself, have no power other then voicing the facts on social media. While the rest of the OIA public schools bend over and let the ILH screw them, Kahuku fans expose the truth…along with litto bit kine conspiracy theories. LOL!

    …and can somebody please tell Felipe Ojastro “who cares where players are born” He keeps rambling on about a Kahuku player that was born in Tonga or California….hes trying to create little white lies that Kahuku recruits when in fact its all alumni kids that want to move back to Hawaii and play for Big Red. at least be fair and tell us where the other schools players are born too.

  9. Paper Crane October 24, 2016 1:07 pm

    Kaniho even bacaloose on paper; my 2 senses made the total 3,686 for Kekaula.


  10. AUWE October 24, 2016 5:42 pm

    5,221 vote and counting lol

  11. Andrew Hopoi October 25, 2016 9:19 am

    Well, if Kahuku can pull it off this year, they’ll have to go through the Puns and the Saints! What a well deserve championship that will be if they come out champion! I just can’t wait to watch, these games are gonna be awesome! I love watching good football and we going to have some!

  12. rrfl October 26, 2016 10:33 am

    so are you saying that last year was not a well deserved title because we only spanked one ILH team.

  13. USMC October 27, 2016 7:27 am

    It’s official, congratulations Kekaula.

    Kekaula Kaniho of No. 22 Kahuku (Hawaii) voted Super 25 Top Star


  14. Simple Simon November 2, 2016 3:39 pm

    ILH is so overrated

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