Malepeai leads Star-Advertiser All-State team

all state

Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai left Aloha Stadium disappointed last month after his Trojans fell short of another state title, but he had to know that one game does not define a career.

The Oregon commit broke Joe Igber‘s touchdown record this year and has accepted a haul of awards. But other than the Hall of Honor, today’s might be the biggest. He is the Star-Advertiser’s Offensive Player of the Year. Kahuku’s Keala Santiago is the defensive player of the year and his coach, Vavae Tata, was judged the coach of the year.

Here’s the complete all-state team (subscription required) that appeared in today’s newspaper.

Malepeai has been checking the names of legends off his list throughout his career, but now he joins a truly elite list not bound by position. He is the third player since 2012 to be named first team all state by a newspaper in Hawaii three times. How about these names?

Adrian Murrell, 86-88 Leilehua
Gerald Welch, 97-99 Saint Louis
Blaze Soares, 02-04 Castle
Kennedy Tulimasealii, 10-12 Waianae
Aofaga Wily, 10-12 Kahuku
Vavae Malepeai, 13-15 Mililani

Malepeai follows teammate McKenzie Milton as offensive player of the year, the first time since Timmy Chang and Pesefea Fiaseu of Saint Louis followed each other in 1999 and 2000 as teammates to win the award in back-to-back years.

Santiago follows a long tradition of Kahuku defenders to be named player of the year, the most recent being Kawe Johnson in 2012. Others are Benny Fonua, Hauoli Jamora, BJ Beatty, Walker Vave, Jonathan Mapu, Chris Kemoeatu and Kautai Olevao. The newspapers began giving out All-State teams in the early 1970s, otherwise there would be a long line of Santiagos on that list.

Tata is the coach of the year after only one season, but has started an interesting trend. For the second year in a row Hawaii’s coach of the year had been previously a first team all-state selection. Tata was named first team for Saint Louis in 1992 and 1993 and last year’s coach of the year, Rod York of Mililani, was a first teamer out of Iolani for the Honolulu Advertiser in 1990.

Here are a few other interesting notes about this year’s team:

>> Baldwin has its first first teamer since 2010 and its first defensive first teamer since Mana Rosa in 2008
>> Farrington was shut out of the first team for the first time since 2007.
>> Kahuku’s eight first teamers on defense is the most since 2012 Kahuku and 1997 Saint Louis each had seven.
>> Christian Mejia is Kailua’s first first teamer since Chauncey Makanainai in 2008 and the first defensive player on the first team since Derek Mailau in 2003.
>> Kamehameha’s three first teamers are its most since it had nine in 2009.
>> Kapolei has had a first teamer three years in a row, the first time in program history
>> Mililani has has at least one first teamer every year since it missed out in 2002.
>> Punahou has had at least one first teamer every year since it was shut out in 2010.
>> Saint Louis has had at least one first teamer every year since it was shut out in 1982.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi December 25, 2015 5:31 am

    Looks like Kahuku High school grounds. They made Vavae Malepeai drive out there with his uniform for the photo shoot. Who knows how Mililani got him to transfer from St Louis?

  2. hi808 December 25, 2015 11:53 am

    Congrats to all, it just goes to show that if you can be on a team that goes deep into the playoffs (aka surround yourself with good players) increases your chances of getting recognition. Look for more players to transfer to the elite schools, the strong get stronger, weak get weaker.

  3. Manley December 25, 2015 12:19 pm

    With Kahuku landing all those D players on the first team, I would believe this is the best Defensive unit ever. They are not just physical but play like a college unit. Tata has been impressive. To shut out Mililani then dominate St.Louis, that is impressive. If Tata stays, Kahuku will see single digit national rankings in the future. All those ILH kahuku recruits can return back with no sit out punishment. The dynasty is starting. It’s all up to Tata and Hao. Much aloha to those coaches.

  4. Lhamo Dundrob December 25, 2015 5:09 pm

    Mahatma Ghandi – the word was that Vavae would not start as a sophomore at St. Louis due to the fact that St. Louis’ returning starter, Adam Noga, was still ballin out so Vavae’s dad took him to Mililani. As we can see it worked out for the best. 🙂

  5. hi808 December 25, 2015 9:07 pm

    With concussion awareness growing nationally with not only the parents but kids too I got to believe that a smashmouth team like Kahuku that continues to blast its way up the middle will continue to see success simply by the opposing teams defense not wanting to bang heads for a full 4 Quarters. Simply not worth the risks.

    Championship titles at Kahuku have come at the expense of their runningbacks suffering concussions which have not surfaced until after high school, case and point Aofaga Wily. I see Kesi Ahoy following the same fate if he continues the wildcat offense next year. Im positive that Tata is mindful of the dangers and as soon as he can develop a passing game they will balance it out and use the smash mouth as sparingly as possible.

  6. 88 December 25, 2015 9:30 pm

    I think your right. Faga-Man carried the ball way too much… Those carries took a toll on his body. I remember Kesi out running defenders in the open field his 10th grade year, something he couldnt do this past year. Hope these kids take the time to heal this off season. I know a lot of them are training already for rugby….. Wish all of them the best

  7. Manley December 26, 2015 10:32 am

    Concussions happen more in open space, thus the defenseless penalties. Your telling me that a run and shoot has less then a run? Aofaga’s injury can be attributed to the failed prep rations of Chows bad coaching. Lakalak should have gone to UCLA. Wily should have gone to BYU.

  8. 88 December 26, 2015 9:03 pm

    Im telling you that a kid who carries the ball 30+ times a game facing 9 guys in the box every game for 3 years is probably carrying the ball way to many times.

  9. AOK December 26, 2015 10:17 pm

    Hmm didnt know Kesi was carrying the rock as many times last year that he did this year lol

  10. EwaEwa December 27, 2015 1:55 pm

    Joey Iosefa played a full year under chow and is now in the NFL so I dont think we can blame the poor coaching of Chow but rather we should compare the athletic ability/durability of Joey/Faga/Laka. Joey is just physically more gifted and in the case of Faga I believe as do 88 and Hi808 all those years in Big Boy and HighSchool knocking heads just took a toll and finally ended his football career early at UH, unfortunately he will be suffering the rest of his life with those migraine head aches. I feel for him and his family.

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