Kahuku to play Nevada power Bishop Gorman

Kahuku will play natinoal powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas in September. In photo, Pua Falemalu celebrated his touchdown late in the first half against Saint Louis in a 39-14 Division I championship game win over Saint Louis in November. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku will play natinoal powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas in September. In photo, Pua Falemalu celebrated his touchdown late in the first half against Saint Louis in a 39-14 Division I championship game win over Saint Louis in November. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku is not taking its Division I championship trophy and resting.

The Red Raiders are going to Las Vegas to face Bishop Gorman on Sept. 17, Kahuku offensive coordinator John Hao confirmed Saturday.

For the last two years in a row, the Gaels have won the Nevada Division I state championship and finished at No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25. They were also No. 4 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national poll and No. 7 in the MaxPreps national computer rankings this season. Kahuku finished 37th in the computer rankings.

In November, Kahuku head coach Vavae Tata, in his first year at the helm, led the Red Raiders to a 13-0 season and a 39-14 win in the D-I state championship game over Saint Louis.

“They want to be national champs again,” Hao said about the Gaels. “They’re trying to schedule everyone who is ranked. They’re playing the state champs from Florida, Texas and Hawaii all this year.”

Hao said the Red Raiders have two or three games before they visit Nevada on the week that otherwise would have been a bye.

Quarterback Tate Martell is a highly-recruited prospect for Biship Gorman. He will be a senior.

The Red Raiders have a bunch of top players returning, including quarterback Kesi Ah-Hoy and defensive backs Kekaula Kaniho and Stokes Botelho.

Kahuku has won eight Division I state championships. Bishop Gorman has 14 state titles in various divisions, including five in Division I.


  1. ilh January 23, 2016 9:23 pm

    Good Luck RRFL, NOW LET’S SEE HOW GOOD YOU REALLY ARE, i’ll say 44-7 Bishop Gorman.

  2. OHHREALLY January 23, 2016 9:24 pm

    Good enough to beat the “ILH”

  3. Pukateet January 23, 2016 9:46 pm

    Hahaha good one ohhreally, ILH still salty about the beat down. Get over it, now people can’t complain how easy Kahuku’s schedule is because I gotta admit it was pretty easy , all the way to the end.

  4. Tanoai Reed January 23, 2016 9:51 pm

    Wow, Sad when a local person from Hawaii is going for a mainland team. No Aloha or faith. Must be a HATERRRRRR.
    I say 44-7 Kahuku. #RepresentThe808

  5. Tutu Kane Ale January 23, 2016 10:20 pm

    How come ILH paid commenteers cannot be humble losers damn your finger pointing and bad mouthing and it’s basketall season too;..must be VOG falling in your reservoir or mixed with the Manoa showers?
    RR4L/Class of 63er

  6. jkwg January 23, 2016 10:21 pm

    Hahah. Bishop Gorman is going smack Kahuku, Kahuku cant even win a game in Utah what makes them think they stand a chance against Bishop Gorman. Hahahaha cant wait just stay in Hawaii.

  7. jkwg January 23, 2016 10:36 pm

    ***Why cant they just stay in Hawaii. Haha they cant hang with the mainland teams. Our junior varsity teams would beat Kahuku.

  8. OHHREALLY January 23, 2016 11:10 pm

    Jkwg – and who would that be??? Or would it be to hard to come to hawaii play us at home? Anyone from Utah interested?? I’m still waiting for the excuses from east high..

  9. Action Jackson January 23, 2016 11:18 pm

    Da best mainland Hawaii Hs game was St. Louis vs Morse in 1989. 30,000 people in attendance. Morse was the first ranked mainland Hs team to come down, and they got smoked.

  10. OHHREALLY January 24, 2016 1:38 am

    Bishop Gorman will play 3 of the best teams from Texas before coming home to play kahuku. It will be a huge challenge physically and mentally for bishop gorman to successfully beat all three teams and should they come home physically drained against a physical team like kahuku.. Should be a fun game!!

  11. Mahatma Gandhi January 24, 2016 4:32 am

    I had hoped Kahuku would have ignored the offer to play the game. Bishop Gorman is one of those win-at-all-costs football programs. Just like the St Louis Crusaders football program in Hawaii. Why legitimize the Bishop Gorman football program by playing them?! I was saying back in the 1990s that ALL Hawaii schools should forfeit their football games against St Louis. If St Louis was that obsessed about winning, and they didn;t want to have to fight for their state football championships, then give them want they want: forfeit all the games against them and give them the state championship without even playing a game. I think one Nevada legislator went as far as submitting a bill to ban BIshop Gorman from the Nevade state championship tournament. I don;t think they voted on it., but that’s why Bishop Gorman has to go out of state to try and find other teams to play. I always cheer to Kahuku to win it all. Maybe one good thing does come out of this game. Samoans and Tongans on the mainland will then want to move to the Kahuku school district for their senior year to play for the Red Raiders. Almost all mainland Polys have relatives in Kahuku who will gladly take them in for a year.

  12. Northshore January 24, 2016 5:40 am

    Despite the negative response from jkwg and ilh, we’re (RRFL’s) proud of the accomplishments and support from everyone who are associated with Kahuku. It would be a challenge and a life time opportunity to compete with a powerhouse like Bishop Gorman. It will be an educational trip not only playing football but also provide time for the players to bond and see what the big apple has to offer. Not saying that we’re going to win, but hopefully we will be able to give them a good game. Not making excuses but when a school like Bishop Gorman is able to recruit from as far away as Hawaii, the level of talent will always make them a much better team than the public schools, especially a small country school like Kahuku, with their home grown athletes. And why are they playing other schools from other states during the football season is because they do not belong to an organized public high school football conference in Las Vegas, they’re independent. Hopefully, many supporters (RRFL’s) will make the trip from Calif, Utah, Arizona and from other states and jam the bleachers with “RED”. Can’t wait for September 16th when we all are able to reunite with all the Red Raiders.

  13. Mahatma Gandhi January 24, 2016 7:39 am

    Northshore, how is Bishop Gorman able to recruit Polys from Hawaii? That’s what I want to know. No way I leave the islands for Las Vegas. I have to wonder if they are setting up the parents with good jobs in Las Vegas. The reason I say that is St Louis assistant Vince dos Passos made a comment when losing a player to Bishop Gorman that the player “had to do what’s best for him ANF his family”. That made me wonder if the parents are set up in good paying jobs over there. Bishop Gorman stole Haskell Garrett form St Louis and Nela Otukulo who signed with Fresno St last year. Which is good because I hate St Louis football and I love Kahuku. They also got Isaac Slade-Matautia to tansfer from Kaiser after his freshman year, but he came back right away and transferred to St Louis. I guess he didn’t like it in Las Vegas. Another school in Las Vegas was recruiting Samoans out of Farrington for their senior year. One had the last name of Pritchard. I can’t remember his first name. UH has offered him. That is win-at-all-costs mentality I hate. Recruiting in high school from across the Pacific is excessive recruiting, especially for just 1 year.

  14. Education First January 24, 2016 7:44 am

    Good thing this isn’t a competition of the minds (test taking). I could see the score something like Bishop Gorman 150, Kahuku 3.

  15. hi808 January 24, 2016 7:46 am

    With out the St.Louis of the 90’s you wouldnt have Kahuku today. Yeah Cal Lee was “win at all cost” and had all kinds of advantages but that just forced Kahuku kids to work harder to rise up. Now that the rules have prevented St. Louis from playing 5th year seniors, Cal is reaching out to neighbor islands to recruit. No other public school can compete with that, but Kahuku will consistantly have athletes to hang with St.Louis.

    BG is on a whole nother level, they recruit all over the country, this will motivate the Kahuku community to step up their game and be an even more powerful force in Hawaii.

  16. Mahatma Gandhi January 24, 2016 8:05 am

    hi808, Kahuku kids worked as hard back in the 1990s as they do today. I think Kahuku has more good players now than they had back in the 1970s. Central Oahu got split into 2 schools when Mililani was born, same as Kailua High when when Kalaheo came along. Kahuku hasn’t been split like that. I don’t think St Louis is recruiting as many players as they did back from 1985 to 2000. I think Punahou had 3 offensive starters last year from the Kahuku school district. Their QB, RB and a O lineman. So effective was ILH recruting that I say not a single Kahuku offensive player is Div 1 material. Punahou took their passing QB, so Kahuku had to play pure wildcat. I never seen a team do that before, 100% wildcat. Kahuku could not run against Waianae in the state semifinals. They shouldn;t have been able to then run against St Louis. I say it was the steadfast support from the Kahuku faithful that made them play like people possesed with an iron will that allowed them to just eke out enough yards on St Louis to be able to move the ball. Kahuku was not blowing St Louis off the line in the state championship game.

  17. 88 January 24, 2016 10:50 am

    Good opportunity for Kahuku to gain experience. Especially for their younger players moving up from JV. Yes Kahuku lost in Utah to East High. They got their lunch handed to them. But the players that played in that game gained valuable experience. Players like Atuaia, Santiago, Latu etc… And we all know how those players used that experience this past football season. To be the best you need to play the best.

  18. Action Jackson January 24, 2016 12:50 pm

    Like Coach Miano said, no one complains when a transfer comes along for the band, chear, or tennis program. Whoa, but kids from Palolo, Kalihi and Kailua wanna play @Kaiser, all of a sudden the Admin wants to make a new “sit out for one year” rule.

  19. AOK January 24, 2016 3:53 pm

    Red Raiders you got a game vs #1 congrats. Now are you prepared to lose some talented sophomores to them? Because it will likely happen.

  20. jason Keuma January 24, 2016 5:12 pm

    Mahatma Gandhi,
    Kahuku racked up enough yards to score close to their season average. St Louis did not, why? Because St Louis did not face anybody with a defense. Yes Wainaie stopped Kahuku (13-0) during the playoffs, and Mililani held Kahuku to just 20, and scored only 7, but the ILH let Kahuku rack up 39 and only scored 14. So much for their “high powered” offense.
    As far as Kahuku School area has not been split in two. Check the numbers, there is only 1500 students at Kahuku, and that includes 7th and 8th graders. There is not enough student to split the school into two. Look at all the other schools enrollment, they only have 9-12 grades, and more students.
    But recent history aside. If Mililani, Punahoe, or St Louis were playing Bishop Gorman, I would be pulling for the Hawaii team. But when they play Kahuku, In old Kahuku stands……

  21. OHHREALLY January 24, 2016 5:18 pm

    AOK- that sophomore you speak of left a long time ago and played for Orem before transferring to bishop. Fortunately kahuku will have an elite Qb that choose to stay home and will keep them in the for titles in the near future. I’ve also heard a few are returning home for the ilh to play for big red..

  22. Action Jackson January 24, 2016 5:24 pm

    Yes, the ILH is played out like a broken record. Go back to the old ILH format so teams can gear up for exciting games. Can’t keep playing same Iolani’s and Punahou’s over and over again that’s not exciting football.

  23. Hauula93 January 24, 2016 7:27 pm

    @AOK.. It don’t matter how many talented players we lose, we jus come up with 10 more players ready to step up… So we not worried, cuz we in the hunt for that state title every year…

  24. GATA January 24, 2016 8:31 pm

    Good on Kahuku. Why settle for just Hawaii teams? I believe they’ll do great (not gonna comment on whether they will win or lose). Just for clarification, Kahuku requested the game, not BG, like the Hawaii sports writers are trying to suggest. It was a phone call from Coach Tata to BG, and not vice-versa; just ask him. So it isn’t an issue of accepting any challenge from BG, it’s an issue of Kahuku showing its true Polynesian fearlessness to the nation. No fear. BTW, I’m not a Red Raider supporter, but I respect the heck out of what they are doing. Good luck. GATA!!!

  25. Education First January 24, 2016 11:53 pm

    Instead of traveling, how about using that money for some SAT prep classes. Or maybe KUMON. Or hiring some tutors.

  26. rrfl January 25, 2016 8:10 am

    c’mon guys, isn’t it nice to just have the opportunity to play one of the best team in the nation. I think the players are excited just to have this opportunity. GO BIG RED!!!

  27. Nick Abramo January 25, 2016 12:25 pm

    GATA, I think you misunderstood the story. It doesn’t mention who requested the game. It just states a fact that Bishop Gorman has scheduled three state champions. Thanks for reading.

  28. Reality January 25, 2016 1:32 pm

    I hope this game isn’t played at BGHS. It’ll be a complete blowout. Opposing teams just walking to the stadium (yes, they play in a real stadium) are already beaten mentally and instilled with extreme intimidation. BGHS is the definition of powerhouse. The training facility, locker rooms, equipment etc rival top tier D1 colleges thanks to the Fertittas. Hopefully it’s a decent game and hopefully Gorman doesn’t steal half of the Hawaiian kids for the next few seasons.

  29. Kamu Ellis January 25, 2016 2:11 pm

    In a football game I have Kahuku winning 42 – 24. In an academic bowl I have BG winning 203 -1.

  30. jkwg January 25, 2016 3:43 pm

    OHHREALLY, When Kahuku came to Utah they got smashed by East High. Haha Hawaii football is weak. Cant wait to see Bishop Gorman run all over Kahuku. Theyve never played against Real Speed they’ll get smoked and powered in all aspects when that day comes. Wait and see.

  31. jkwg January 25, 2016 3:44 pm

    And….East high paid for Kahuku to come here and get smashed so I imagine Bishop Gorman will do the same.

  32. Mahatma Gandhi January 25, 2016 4:19 pm

    jkwg, I wonder if ESPN is going to televise the game. Is that the plan? And then have ESPN pay for Kahuku to travel? Maybe a lot of Samoans and Tongans on the mainland will then want to play in that game and then transfer to Kahuku for their senior year.

  33. Aitorahi January 25, 2016 4:47 pm

    JKWG, Kahuku played East in a year (2013) where they went 6-5. They averaged 30 points a game while giving up 25 that year. Some say it was a rebuilding year. 2015 was a different story. They went 13-0 and averaged 41 points a game while only giving up 4. Kahuku is going to be stacked in 2016 as well. They are legit.

    East went 0-2 against out of state opponents in 2015, yet they still won the Utah championship. Following your flawed reasoning, Utah football is weak. But I do know better. Utah football is good, and Hawaii is on par. Hawaii has at least 5 teams that could run with any Utah team

  34. EwaEwa January 25, 2016 4:57 pm

    Orem High School in Utah has 8 polynesian starters that moved from Kahuku to Utah in the past 5 years, Manaia Atuaia was supposed to be one of them but unlike his younger brother that starts for Orem, Manaia wanted to stay at Kahuku and play with his friends.

    You can believe that if the Orem Chapter kids transfer back to Kahuku they were homegrown from the Laie Park Big Boys League.

    At Kahuku when a kid transfers into the school they fit right in with their childhood friends and cousins, unlike transfers at Mililani or any other school on the island, they are strangers. On the oc16 scoringlive pre-season previews of 16 schools I remember Mililani and St. Louis athletes saying, “We are working on being a united team and getting to know each others names”.

    c’mon, you dont even know the names of the guy lining up next to you? Now that is what recruiting and transfers do to a team.

  35. EwaEwa January 25, 2016 5:07 pm

    Im worried about the Kahuku linebackers and DE’s for next season. I dont see any hard hitters or outstanding prospects. Other then Vimahi on the D line I think we are thin.

    Is Sio Naupoto (LB) gonna play next year?

  36. Mahatma Gandhi January 25, 2016 5:07 pm

    Aitorahi, why do you say Kahuku will be “stacked” in 2016? Who do they have coming back? Most of their defense graduates. Is St Louis trying to raid Kahuku’s JV team?

  37. Mahatma Gandhi January 25, 2016 5:17 pm

    EwaEwa, why did those Kahuku kids move to Utah?

  38. EwaEwa January 25, 2016 6:31 pm

    Mahatma, no housing, no jobs, no opportunities. Kahuku Familys are moving off the island and because they are mormons their 1st option is Utah. Lots of relatives and polynesians already live in Utah.

  39. Mahatma Gandhi January 25, 2016 6:57 pm

    EwaEwa, is that what it is? Jobs? Not for religious reasons? Just wondering, what % of Kahuku families can find work in the Kahuku area? I think only get the PCC, Kahuku High and BYU for good paying jobs. How many have to go to Honolulu or Kailua to find work?

  40. Pono January 25, 2016 7:07 pm

    All I know is that Bishop Gorman Holds
    7 Consecutive Nevada State Title’s,
    2 Back to back National Championships.
    With wins over teams like;
    Booker T, St. John Bosco, Servite, Long Beach Poly,
    Chandler Az., Bingaham UT., Bellevue, Don Bosco….Well you get the point. Sorry Kahuku, it’s a different Caliber with competing against 2x National Champs Bishop Gorman! No Smack talking here, Stats is Stats….Gorman will prevail….
    And C’mon, your predictions for a 44-7 with Kahuku up top, hahaha…Typo???? GORMAN UP TOP!!!
    GO GAELS!!!!!

  41. Manley January 25, 2016 7:13 pm

    I heard fairy tales how dey going run up on me, run up when you se me baby we gonna see. Bold prediction 49-7 for St.Louis in the States. Lol. Now some Lolo saying that with BG. Same person, different team,same hate. I got enemies, got alot of enemies.

  42. Mahatma Gandhi January 25, 2016 7:21 pm

    Pono, big deal. Bishop Gorman is a win-at-all-costs football program. Just like the St Louis Crusaders. I then expect them to beat Kahuku. Kahuku does not recruit. They take whoever shows up for practice.

  43. 88 January 25, 2016 9:17 pm

    Kahuku gets to play the #1 High School Football team in the Universe. How is this a bad thing?And this crap about recruiting in just that, CRAP! Its an excuse people use to justify why their team loses. I hope Bishop Gorman takes all the Kahuku kids after the game.

  44. Aitorahi January 25, 2016 10:06 pm

    Gandhi, On the defensive side we have Aliki Vimahi, Stokes Botello, and Kekaula Kaniho who are all state and returning. Add to them, Samson Reed, Miki Ah You, Tema Lindsey, Sio Naupoto, Cody Sauvau. And on offense we have Kesi Ah Hoi, Harmon Brown, Pua Falemalu, Ra Ellington, Taimane Wily-Matagi, Enoke Vimahi, J.P. Kefu, and Wesley Maiava. I know I missed some others too. That is why I say they are stacked. All these guys are beasts. Next man up.

  45. Hauula93 January 25, 2016 10:13 pm

    I like it when people are talking scores with Kahuku when we should be talking about the experience and opportunities these boys will have and how they could rank themselves personally…. Plus when Kahuku plays the sea of red follows. I’m sure if you ask people from Utah, they’ll tell you, we come strong… we don’t get intimidated, we jus support, Win or Lose… Peace..

  46. Hauula93 January 25, 2016 10:23 pm

    Kahuku is stacked… Trust me… We not state champs and OIA JV Champs for nothing… RB’S AND LB’S GALORE.. We see you St.Louis trying to come to our town… Not Happening

  47. Florida904 January 25, 2016 10:27 pm

    When did Bishop Gorman beat Booker T ??? Last I checked Booker T beat them in 2013 ( Booker T crowned national champs) in Vegas. GORMAN was supposed to go to Miami in 2014 but backed out that game both years Booker T finished undefeated but Gorman was crowned national champions on 2014 smh

  48. Polo January 25, 2016 10:33 pm

    ^^^and the BEAST returns also. VAKA #75, watch his highlights, he physically dominated the St . Louis dline. We got nothing to lose, it’s a win for and Hawaii football. Utah football is weak I can say that I lived there for many years. Kahuku traveled to utah during off years or with a coaching staff that didn’t see winning more important than playing all of his players . So he pulls his starters. But that’s the past and we’re not going to vegas for a holiday, we’re going to do wat Utah believe they can’t do. Hey you all underestimated Holly Holm.

  49. EwaEwa January 26, 2016 1:39 pm

    QB: Renaud should be a solid starter, showed some flashes of greatness this past season. Meriteragi a good backup. If all else fails the wildcat is still probably their most effective offensive system.

    OLINE: Hope #75 gets into shape this offseason, he is nasty but needs to get faster and tends to hold. TamaToa Neher was probably the best guard in the state last year but now hes graduated. Elkington got to get better, he got size, Had he done a better job Kahuku would have scored 60 pts on St. Louis. Vili Fisiahi should do well at center. Two Oline from JV might do well (Vimahi,Prescott) but I think they will peak at the end of the season and not in time for the BG game. Pua Falemalu at Tackle/TE

    RB: Kesi, Brown at RB, Lombard and JPKefu at FB

    WR: Wesley Maiava, Purcell kid from Jv? anyone else?

    Linebackers: If Sio plays that is a big plus at MLB, Tema is no Atuaia or Latu replacement but if he can play fast then that would help the defense a lot. Codie Sauvao would bring speed as an OLB

    DB: Kaniho and Stokes are returning corners. I think Miki Ahyou would replace Santiago at FS and plays like his uncle Leonard peters but as a sophmore next year might still be developing.

    DLINE: Vimahi at DT. Samson Reed and Laga Thompson at DE

    – I agree they are looking pretty stacked right now and will be favorites to repeat at State Champions and will give BG a run for their money.

  50. Peejo January 26, 2016 2:27 pm

    Red radahs going have hawd time against Gorman Gaels. Rememba last yr da Trojans got lick’ns frm liberty. And Gorman is much bettah den liberty. Aino think kahuku is dat much bettah den mililani. Going get ugly…da Vegas team get too much speed.

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