Kaniho, 5 more in for Polynesian Bowl

Kahuku defensive back Kekaula Kaniho nearly came up with another interception against Farrington in the OIA title game. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku defensive back Kekaula Kaniho nearly came up with another interception against Farrington in the OIA title game. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

After initially declining an invite so he wouldn’t miss time with the Kahuku basketball team, senior cornerback Kekaula Kaniho has formally accepted an offer to play in the 2017 Polynesian Bowl.

Kaniho, who is one of the top contenders for All-State defensive player of the year honors, had five interceptions he returned for touchdowns this season, falling one short of the national record.

He currently holds scholarship offers from eight schools: Army, Boise State, Colorado, Hawaii, UNLV, San Diego State, Vanderbilt and Washington State.


Also accepting invites for the Polynesian Bowl, which will be released on Monday, are Kapolei defensive back Leonard Lee, St. Louis offensive lineman Jacob-Drew Russell, Kahuku center Vili Fisiiahi, Kamehameha defensive lineman Nakoa Pauole, Moanalua cornerback Isaiah Jackson and Punahou offensive lineman Jack-Eli Tufono.

Pauole currently holds offers from Air Force, Army and Navy while Tufono has been offered by UNLV.


That makes a total of 33 players from Hawaii currently selected for the game. Saint Louis QB Tua Tagovailoa will enroll at Alabama in early-January and is planning to play in the game, but will need to receive a waiver from the school according to a Polynesian Bowl official.

Kahuku leads the way with seven selections, followed by Punahou and Saint Louis with five each.


Here’s every player from Hawaii who has accepted an invite to the game:
Kesi Ah-Hoy, DB, Kahuku
Feleti Afemui, LB, Maui
Andrew Aleki, LB, Kamehameha
Jeff Chan, K, Punahou
Challen Faamatau, RB, Farrington
Mango Finau, OL, Baldwin
Vili Fisiiahi, OL, Kahuku
Isaiah Jackson, DB, Moanalua
Nick Kapule, QB, Punahou
Kekaula Kaniho, DB, Kahuku
Kishaun Ki, DL, Campbell
Leonard Lee, DB, Kapolei
Onesimus Lutu-Clarke, OL, Waianae
Evan Minami, K/P, ‘Iolani
Michael Minihan, OL, Saint Louis
Sioeli Naupoto, LB, Kahuku
Stokes Nihipali-Botelho, DB, Kahuku
Nakoa Pauole, DL, Kamehameha
Ryan Ramones, WR, Moanalua
Jacob-Drew Russell, OL, Saint Louis
Jalen Saole, DB, Saint Louis
Jaymin Sarono, WR, Kapolei
Codie Sauvao, DB, Kahuku
Isaac Slade-Matautia, LB, Saint Louis
Miki Suguturaga, DL, Punahou
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Saint Louis
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DL, Kapolei
Ethan Takeyama, WR, Punahou
Jack-Eli Tufono, OL, Punahou
Mo Unutoa, OL, Kapaa
Andrew Valladares, WR, Mililani
Aliki Vimahi, DL, Kahuku
Charles Watson, DB, Leilehua
*’Iolani WR Justin Genovia has been promised an invite to the 2018 game.

View the Polynesian Bowl web site here

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