Lahainaluna’s Joshua Tihada looks to pull off a state slam — in football

Lahainaluna's Joshua Tihada is looking to complete his high school career with a fourth state championship. Photo by Rodney Yap/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Joshua Tihada loves his football.

A determined player who doesn’t have college offers, he is the that type who he could walk on at the next level somewhere and make an impact.

Tihada is a four-year Lahainaluna contributor. Mainly a running back, he has also been a stalwart at the defensive back/linebacker hybrid position.

One time last summer, Tihada went on a mainland trip in which he went to five different football camps.

“It was crazy,” he said. “We got to visit the University of Utah, BYU, Utah State and Dixie State all on that one trip.”


Tihada, who scored the winning touchdown two years ago in the Division II state championship game — a 75-69, seven-overtime classic against Konawaena — also plays basketball as a point guard for the Lunas. As a freshman, he participated in track and field.

The biggest thing on Tihada’s mind now, however, is how the Lunas finish up this year. Lahainaluna (9-1) is going for a fourth straight D-II state title. On Nov. 23, they host the winner of this week’s Roosevelt at Kamehameha-Hawaii first-round game. If they can get past that one, they’ll earn a spot in the Nov. 29 state championship against either Kapaa or Kaimuki.

Tihada’s best memory is seeing the final seconds tick away on a 21-14 state title-clinching victory over Kapaa his freshman year and noting the elation on the faces of teammates, coaches, past players and community members. It was the Lunas’ breakthrough first koa trophy.

Just as much as that memory, he will always hold dear the moments he spent with teammates Bryson Rickard, Tre Rickard, Treven Tihada (a cousin), Derek Perez and Neil Agbayani.

“After every practice, we are the last ones to leave, sitting on a wall outside the locker room,” Tihada said. “We talk about all the special moments or what frustrates us in practice. What’s working, our personal problems. To this day, the coaches every night will tell us to go home, saying, ‘Go home already’ and ‘Time to go home.’ But we stay and talk all night.”


  1. Louis November 14, 2019 5:37 pm

    Out of all the teams in the State tourney, Lahainaluna needs to move up.

  2. Jay November 14, 2019 7:02 pm

    Louis…It’s not thier choice. All the school principals and Athletic Directors have to vote for them to move up! Lahainaluna coaches, AD and principals been wanting them to move up. It’s up to rest to do that. Us lahaina people have heard it the past couple years.

  3. ILH_Matters November 14, 2019 10:36 pm

    @jay Surrrre they want to move up lol I heard every year they don’t want to move up..they have boarding to house recruited kids too! Out of all the schools, Lunas is the most sandbagging school lol

  4. Watson C November 15, 2019 1:03 am

    You guys trashing the team for not being in D1? Man just like Iolani you guys give them hate. I don’t know what you heard but I assure you knowing them the boys would love to move up. Lunas ain’t that type of group who love dominance.

    If it makes you happy, the coaches and players were trying to come up with a plan in the near future to send the first place team in the league to D1 while the second place goes D2. All of them overwhelmingly agreed to this but nothing is set in motion. Hoping the AD would meet up with them and at least agree.

  5. MK November 15, 2019 1:20 am

    Just asking. Would you and many others be happy if they do? Say if Lahaina would win D1 states numerous times would you and many others trash them and demand them to move up to Open? (where they’ll get crushed easily). I going bet this hate ain’t gonna stop until they do.

    And I know I sound stupid but still……

  6. ILH November 15, 2019 11:51 am


    In other words, another year of underachieving for you guys.
    Btw, if the OIA and ILH were to use that formula, everyone would scream bloody murder. Get outta here with that safety net bs.


    Cannot put yourself in the same category as Iolani. We no longer hate on those guys, they did their time and earned respect. Two years straight of catching cracks, but they competed and in some games, made it close.

  7. Jay November 15, 2019 12:27 pm

    ILH_matters…. I guess your source is a joke! Lmao. You can even ask the maui sports reporters and they will say the same thing… LUNAS cant move up D1 until theres a unanimous vote. But yes keep the hate. You must be fun a parties.

  8. ILH November 15, 2019 12:43 pm

    Beat Baldwin twice, handily.
    In the two games they played, the Lunas outscored the Bears 60-23.

    Going to state tournament representing Maui:
    Division 1- Baldwin
    Division 2- Lahainaluna

    Has there been a motion entered for HIADA to vote on? Or is it just the Maui peeps have to make the decision?

    Its pretty obvious that there needs to be a change. Dont you think so?

  9. Dr bug November 15, 2019 1:42 pm

    Whoever is number 1. On Maui. Best record Should be the D1 representative. Period. Why the Luna’s playing D2 this year. Apparently did t they beat Baldwin twice this year?

  10. Makuli Kane November 15, 2019 1:44 pm

    Jay and ILH you guys are very informative, got your facts straight yet keep the comments humorous and classy yet bring diverse perspectives. Good Job!

  11. Riders November 15, 2019 5:17 pm

    I gotta say this we played them last year and we had a significant more amount of players then they did. If we’re basing it off that then yes Lahainaluna should stay down. Do I think they can be d1 hell yes. They are very talented and well coached. I don’t think that concept makes sense though, first place goes d1 second goes d2. With that formula, in OIA, Moanalua would represent d1 and leilehua d2? That’s nonsense. BUT on a side note I have a lot of respect for Lahainaluna, the coaches and players are very classy and seem like overall good people.

  12. ILH_Matters November 15, 2019 9:21 pm

    All I have to say..Lahaina beat Baldwin twice pretty convincing and Leilehua just smashed Baldwin…so like I said..”sandbagging” team indeed! I guess the saying is correct..”Truth hurts”… just give the D-2 state championship to Lahaina..they definitely deserve it! Lol

  13. Watson C November 15, 2019 10:19 pm

    ILH_Matters, Riders
    You guys misinterpreted a little. The Coaches Proposal I mentioned is only for the MIL league. For them. Not all the leagues in the state. So i hope that help you understand. And Riders thanks.

  14. ILH November 18, 2019 9:13 am

    No misinterpreting, just stating an opinion.

    Using that formula would not sit well with the some of the other leagues as they are required to declare the division before the season.

    Good luck to both teams this weekend.

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