Kahuku’s Fisiiahi forced to move on

Kahuku's Vili Fisiiahi led the haka after the Red Raiders lost to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Photo by David Becker/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku’s Vili Fisiiahi led the haka after the Red Raiders lost to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Photo by David Becker/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

If Kahuku senior Vili Fisiiahi was trying to keep his return to Kaiser to himself, his coaching staff wasn’t having any of it.

“We kind of rubbed it in during the week that we’re going back to Vili’s house,” Red Raiders coach Vavae Tata said.

Fisiiahi was part of that 2014 Kaiser team that handed Kahuku its last loss in the OIA regular season. It was a different story on Friday night as No. 1 Kahuku coasted to a 56-6 win over the Cougars to complete its second consecutive undefeated OIA regular season. It also stretched Kahuku’s winning streak to 20 against teams from Hawaii.


Fisiiahi was the player everyone rushed to talk to after the game, both on the Kahuku and Kaiser sidelines. After taking pictures with fans of both teams, he had time to reflect on his time with Kaiser just prior to the start of the Cougars’ senior night ceremonies.

“These are all the boys I remember and played with,” Fisiiahi said. “It was great. I have plenty memories on this field but I had to move on. Coming to Kahuku is a whole different environment and we said don’t let history repeat itself. That was our mentality.”

Radford quarterback Cody Lui-Yuen was sacked by Kaiser's Vili Fisiiahi in a game in 2014. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Radford quarterback Cody Lui-Yuen was sacked by Kaiser’s Vili Fisiiahi in a game in 2014. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku’s coaching staff rewarded Fisiiahi on the first drive. Starting at his customary spot at center on the offensive line, the 5-foot-10, 260-pound senior moved to the backfield and carried the ball twice for 8 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run for Kahuku’s first score.

“We did it just for the fun of it — for the irony I guess,” Fisiiahi said.


“That was the whole plan,” Tata added. “He’s a really good kid and it was good to see him have fun with the rest of the team.”

Kahuku’s streak of 18 consecutive quarters without allowing a point to a Hawaii team ended when Kaiser’s Andrew Kaufusi took a short pass 83 yards for a touchdown.

Kahuku responded with the next 49 points, including senior Stokes Nihipali-Botelho’s fifth touchdown on defense or special teams in the last five games.

For a brief moment, Kaufusi’s long touchdown brought back memories of Kaiser’s 20-19 win over Kahuku in 2014 when QB Kalawaia Judd scored on a 1-yard TD run with 16 seconds remaining for the win.


Fisiiahi was hesitant to talk about the game, but admitted he enjoyed catching up with many of his former teammates.

“It was great reminiscing with them,” Fisiiahi said. “It was a fun night, but it’s time to move on.”

COMMENTS

  1. Mahatma Gandhi October 1, 2016 1:52 am

    He must be the brother of the other Kaiser Fisiiahi kid who signed to play for Oregon St. He must have been a Rich Miano recruit. Was he commuting all the way from Kahuku to Hawaii Kai every day? New OIA rule: no can transfer from school to school and play right away.


  2. Lua Tuiasosopo October 1, 2016 2:29 am

    Mahatma-
    Vili’s family lived in Hawaii Kai & yes
    that is his brother. When his family moved
    to Kahuku/Laie… he had no choice but to
    move. Vili is a beautiful kid & whichever
    College picks him up will be blessed.


  3. al October 1, 2016 9:50 am

    Mahatma ghandi: “He must be the brother of the other Kaiser Fisiiahi kid who signed to play for Oregon St. He must have been a Rich Miano recruit. Was he commuting all the way from Kahuku to Hawaii Kai every day? New OIA rule: no can transfer from school to school and play right away.”

    I love it when people make things up and believe their own BS. they take a single fact, then fabricate an entire backstory about it, then convince themselves that it’s true.


  4. LohuiLani October 1, 2016 10:03 am

    You are correct Mahatma the Rich Miano era did bring many recruits to the shores of Kuliouou for ONE season. The sad thing about this “Instant gratification aka Band-aid aka quick fix” apporoach is that it is not sustainable and future Kaiser teams suffer. Miano was not in it for the long run, to develop the younger kids and prep them for Varsity. Now look how much Kaiser is suffering…they wanted to forfeit last nights game but the OIA said “no”.


  5. Manley October 1, 2016 10:17 pm

    So true lohuilani, Radford did the same thing last year. This year the team is depleted. Coach left and stellar players left for other schools. All for D2 trophy.


  6. 87 October 1, 2016 11:03 pm

    So true Manley, Mililani did the same thing in amping up the amount of transfers coming in a few years ago, but the thing that seperates Coach York at Mililani is that he is invested in the community and the kids for the long haul, he started the younger big boys team at Mililani. They have a bright future.


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