Kapaa aims for 1 of 2 state D-II football byes

Christopher Yam, Kapaa wide receiver, against Kauai. 2015. Courtesy photo.
Kapaa wide receiver Christopher Yam went down after a reception in a game against Kauai High earlier this season. Courtesy photo.

Kapaa clinched its second straight Kauai Interscholastic Federation football championship three weeks ago, but the Warriors (7-0, 5-0) have some unfinished business on the Garden Island.

They want to end the regular season strong in an effort to show they deserve one of the Division II state tournament byes.

On Saturday, Kapaa closes its KIF campaign with a 2:30 p.m. game against Waimea at Vidinha Stadium.

“We’ve been posting some shutouts on defense and have been a little banged up on offense,” head coach Phillip Rapozo said in a recent phone interview. “I expect we’ll be healthy coming into the playoffs and that’s great.”

In five league games, Kapaa has not given up a point while scoring 189.

Even more impressive, the Warriors’ defensive unit hasn’t given up a touchdown all season. In the two nonleague games, Nanakuli scored on a safety in Kapaa’s 20-2 win. Against Lahainaluna, the Lunas scored on a field goal and a kickoff return in Kapaa’s 14-10 victory.

Rapozo’s roster is made up of 25 seniors, 25 juniors and one sophomore. Four more sophomores are being brought up from the junior varsity squad.

“We’ve had great senior leadership,” the coach said. “I’m excited about our chances (at states).

If the Warriors get a first-round bye, they would jump right into the semifinals on Oahu the weekend of Nov. 14-15.

A year ago, Kapaa defeated Pearl City 30-22 in the first round at Vidinha Stadium before losing 29-24 to eventual D-II state champion ‘Iolani, 29-24, in the semifinals.

The Warriors use a spread offense and mix it up on defense out of a 4-3 base.

“That’s the biggest thing — we fly around to the ball on defense,” Rapozo said. “They’re very active and well-coached by (defensive coordinator and former UH safety) Mike Tresler.”

Senior inside linebacker Mosese Fifita, junior outside linebacker Mana Kupihea, junior defensive lineman Kapena Texeira and senior safety Bryce Dato have been among the productive and steady playmakers and leaders on defense, the coach said.

Junior quarterback Kurt Napoleon, senior running back Justin Deforge, senior wide receiver Les Aki and junior tackle Morris Unutoa are among the players who make the offense click. Deforge, one of the players nursing an injury, will sit out the regular-season finale against Na Menehune.

“They’re hungry,” Rapozo said about the whole team. “We’re charged up on offense and defense. We’ve got a year of (state tournament) experience under our belts. Our goal is to be state champions and we’ll be trying our best to do that.”


  1. Papakoolau October 21, 2015 6:47 pm

    Good luck Warriors!

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