Kahuku’s Carvalho recalls 1991 Red Raiders

Newly appointed Kahuku football coach Sterling Carvalho led Kauai to a KIF title in 1991. Courtesy photo.

Different island. Different Red Raiders.

Sterling Carvalho was a key component of the Red Raiders in the early 1990s, but that was the Kauai Red Raiders.

Carvalho is now the head man with a different Red Raiders altogether, the Kahuku kind.

Same colors. Same nickname. Different level.

Carvalho was the quarterback for the Kauai High team that earned the 1991 Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship, the first one for the school since 1978. Little did Carvalho, his teammates and Red Raiders fans know at the time, but the team would not win a league title again for another 13 years, in 2004.

That 1991 title was under coach Bill Arakaki, who still works for the Department of Education on Kauai.

“We keep in touch,” Carvalho said last week after being named the Kahuku head coach. “Bill Arakaki, my head coach, sent me a text congratulating me. His leadership back then influenced me as a player. Macky Doi (an assistant under Arakaki) was an inspiration to me to become an offensive coordinator like him. He got me studying defenses and that’s how I learned to break it down back then. We used to have meetings breaking down defenses and that’s how I became a student of the game rather than just a player. That’s the kind of coach I want to be as well. When players leave, I want them to remember me not as just a coach, but someone who shaped their lives.”

Carvalho still remembers the play against Waimea that got Kauai High that 1991 title and into the annual, but now-defunct, Neighbor Islands Football Championships.

“It was overtime, four plays from the 10-yard line,” Carvalho said. “It was a play-action pass with a defender riding my face. I got hit as I threw it, but made the throw and Troy Refamonte made the catch.”

Carvalho even had a nickname given to him by Fig Mitchell, a Kauai radio play-by-play announcer at the time — “the magician.”

Now, after spending three seasons as Kahuku’s junior varsity coach, Carvalho will try to bring some of his magic to the Kahuku varsity team that already has large amounts of its own magic.

Carvalho, 42, works for Hawaii Technology Academy, a statewide public charter school in Waipahu. He teaches math and Spanish and he is an athletic director at the school. And while it does not have its own teams, HTA does have athletes that participate in sports at OIA, MIL, BIIF and KIF schools in the districts they live in.


  1. Red Raider Alumni January 25, 2018 11:31 pm

    Good Luck Coach…Go Big RED….RR4L

  2. westside January 26, 2018 7:19 am

    Kahuku make like they alabama or something changing coaches like changing their underwear. Stop trying to be like saint louis it will never happen. I understand that the only reason why Kahuku is acknowledged is because of Saint Louis. Saint Louis is who put Kahuku on the map. So Kahuku Fans thank Saint Louis for that one. By the way , heard Maiava is leaving Kahuku, good luck with that cause he was the only thing that was keeping kahuku alive last year. if wasnt for him, Kahuku never makes it to the end and thats real talk. But with all that said, Good luck coach carvahlo, hope you have a great season and dont let the community get to your head.

  3. Red Raider Alumni January 26, 2018 7:32 am

    Westside…Damn, so much Hate for the Red Raiders…The article is positive, add to it or take your negativity to somewhere else…Have a Beautiful Day…Go Big Red…

  4. John Soller January 26, 2018 9:05 am

    ?………what is going on here……..? First of all…….As far as I’m concerned, Kahuku along with EVERY team that represents a high school is on the map of Oahu.

    As far SINCERE clarity, SINCERE insight and SINCERETY in it’s ENTIRETY, Kahuku Football is exactly what it is….!!!

    Exactly everything Kahuku Football has accomplished in it’s ENTIRETY, everything that is being accomplished in it’s ENTIRETY and everything that is going to be accomplished in it’s ENTIRETY.

    Absolutely everything that hasn’t been accomplished…..falls into the everything that is going to be accomplished in it’s ENTIRETY category. Sincerely.

    Kahuku Football is Kahuku Football. That’s it. Nothing more nothing less. Words don’t have the capability to describe exactly what Kahuku Football is.

    Kahuku Football may have the appearance of representing a community yes. But the Kahuku Football community is only a mere part of what Kahuku Football is.

    Every game that Kahuku Football has lossed is a win…!!

    ……..”for the measure of a win have no value without a loss in its ENTIRETY”.

    Kahuku Football is exactly what it is. Nothing more nothing less. Although negative statements, negative comments or ideas will always be spoken, Kahuku Football has never played Kahuku Football with the intent to create anything negative spoken in it’s ENTIRETY.

    If we lose…..we lose. Kahuku Football.
    If we win we win. Kahuku Football.
    If we are the worst team in the state. Kahuku Football.
    If we are the best team in the state. Kahuku Football.

    What is my point…….? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  5. Deuch January 26, 2018 9:40 am

    I get that all the teams suck on the west side but it’s all good to jump on the St. Louis bandwagon. Cracka!

  6. Coach C January 26, 2018 11:48 am

    Good luck Coach C. You have inherited a great team. Your team should be in the State Ship, again.

  7. Faa January 27, 2018 2:36 am

    @westside, your comment is foolish and does not depict the Westside’s character or its perception of other teams! Like Kahuku, the Westside has a long rich football history of its own. We have our fair share of titles and will always be one of the forefronts of Hawaii football (only high school to have never dropped down to a lower division and only Hawaii city to have any kind of NATIONAL football crown).

    I’ve been around Waianae football for years and I’ve witnessed the criticism, resentment, and belittlement of our football programs for a long time. It just never bothered me much because I knew it stemmed from hatred and jealousy. And by you, chastising other teams and communities, makes you no better than them; don’t let the green-eyed monster consume you! Instead, be proud, be humble, and no grumble!

    SFE (Searider For Eternity)

  8. Red Raider Alumni January 27, 2018 11:56 am

    Faa…perfectly put.👍

  9. bumbuchas January 27, 2018 3:57 pm

    Entirety, come again?

    Wishing Carvalho well, poor Freitas, guide em to the State Championship only to be replaced. Anything less and Kahuku’s dysfunctional Admin and community pressure will replace yet another Head Coach. Interesting that 2 former highly successful Kahuku Head Coaches were bypassed. Best of Luck to Kahuku Football next season.

  10. Alpha January 27, 2018 10:29 pm

    Anyone know where Keala Santiago is transferring Too? And why he leaving UH.

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