MaxPreps pegs Kahuku as No. 1 in Hawaii

Saint Louis won the first Open Division title in November. That didn’t sway from picking Kahuku as Hawaii’s top team entering the 2017 season. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku is the top football team in Hawaii this preseason, according to

On Thursday, the website released its list of the No. 1 team in each state, and chose Kahuku with the following explanation:

“The Red Raiders check in as the No. 1 team from the Aloha State largely because of superstar quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava. The 2020 prospect was offered a scholarship in eighth grade from Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan. You can add him to the same category as two former Saint Louis School stars — Tua Tagovailoa and Marcus Mariota — because he has all the tools to be a big-time quarterback. Kahuku will have a new head coach for the 2017 season in former Indianapolis Colts player Makoa Freitas. He served as the offensive line coach the last two seasons under Vavae Tata and now takes over for the upcoming season.”

Kahuku went into the 2016 season as the defending Division I state champion and eventually lost in the 2017 Open Division state final, 30-14, to Saint Louis in Tata’s second season.

MaxPreps usually comes out with its Top 25 Early Contenders list at this time of year. Instead, the website is first identifying the best team “on paper” in each state, and in a few weeks will offer a list of 100 teams it’s considering for its preseason Top 25.

Among the well-known schools on MaxPreps’ list of the top teams in each state are Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), and DeSoto (Texas).


  1. Alpha June 1, 2017 5:19 pm

    Oh here we go lol. . . And may this article be the first to start the trash talk for this football season….

  2. Chloropicrin June 1, 2017 7:20 pm

    1) Kahuku – They reload, new stars emerge, SolJay returns bigger, faster and smarter.
    2) Punahou – Talented, returning QB
    3) St. Louis – Defense, Defense, Defense
    4) Mililani – QB three year starter with weapons
    5) Kamehameha – Lots of returners; especially at DB’s, QB, RB
    6) Waianae – Defense returns a lot, Rico Rosario
    7) Farrington – better than the bottom 3
    8) Kapolei – Major drop off in offense production
    9) Kailua – strong defense, good coach
    10) Campbell – New coach, new energy and enthusiasm

    Just my easy now. Hahaha

  3. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate June 1, 2017 7:52 pm

    maxprep wasetime, here is fact kahuku rugby is #1 rugby in nation

  4. Hyn June 1, 2017 7:53 pm

    Defending champs number 3. I don’t know about that. Cant wait till season starts.

  5. Good Story June 1, 2017 8:54 pm

    It’s about time…let’s do this!!!

  6. Alpha June 1, 2017 9:26 pm

    I’d bump St Louis and Mililani up to 2&3 Punahou 4.
    2) St. Louis – agree, their D gonna be tuff
    3) Mililani – Gabriel returns along with last yrs starting 5 o-line, Olomua & Muasau return also.
    The rest sounds about right, but Waianae should make a big time run this year. Can’t wait for the season.

  7. Papa Smurf June 1, 2017 10:46 pm

    St Louis – Kahuku 1 & 2, let the end of the season decide who gets which spot.
    Mililani- Spoiler team, playmakers on both sides of the ball.
    Punahou- Angry birds from getting ran out of the playoffs the past couple seasons.
    Kamehameha- Young last season so lots of returners, tired of being ILH little brother.
    Waianae- Tough & will make a deep run, lack of offense will be their downfall, again.
    Farrington- New field, same story.
    Kapolei- Still solid players, too many holes to fill.
    Kailua- ??
    Campbell- ??

    Imported opinion.

  8. ilh June 1, 2017 10:53 pm

    Saint Louis should be ranked #1 until it is defeated by a local team, they won it last year, and with there DEFENSE this year they will be tougher than last year, also Cal and Ron Lee is back and there tough to beat once his team is prepared. Sol Jay Maiava has shown nothing yet at Kahuku.

  9. braddah June 2, 2017 10:52 am

    #1 St. Louis – Defending State Champs. Deserves 1 spot until proven otherwise. Supposedly best front 7 on defense coming back.
    #2 Kahuku – In the big dance last year, They always reload, new coach again. Probably will bring in more kids from the mainland to live with their uncles. LOL but as always still the one of the toughest teams in the state
    #3 Punahou – Underdogs this year? Returning a lot on defense. Did lose the Kaumatule kid to Bishop Gorman. Offensively returns entire Oline, QB (Barber), and RB.
    #4 Mililani – Won “D1 Title” Last year with a young bunch, Gabriel at the helm again with talent on both sides of the ball. We’ll see if they can make it to the open division this year. Possibly a sleeper team as well
    #5 Kapolei – Made it to the open division, but loses Taulia, Kapolei always has lots of talent EVERY single year on defense and offense, but can the coaching pull it off again this year.
    #6 Kamehameha – Always has the athletes, but hopefully the coaching can figure it out.
    #7 Waianae – Returns Rico Rosario, but not sure with the rest of their offense. Defense should be solid this year.
    Farrington, Campbell?, Kailua? to follow. We’ll see how it plays out, can’t for the season. Goodluck to all teams

  10. Outlaw June 2, 2017 12:15 pm

    I respect Kailua but they lose a lot and JV had a tough season, Leilehua should be mentioned in Top 10.
    Oh well “that’s why we play the games!”

  11. Paper Crane June 2, 2017 12:54 pm

    Just saying, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”; Making Red Raiders Football Great Again has been about new coaching
    take over, like no other way.

  12. Coach C June 2, 2017 1:21 pm

    In my opinion, Punahou will have more offensive weapons then St.Louis. I’m sure June Jones will have a BIG hand in the schemes. Yeah but what does MAX PREP know about HS football. I’m sure Scoring live polls or KHON knows better, right?÷5÷5

  13. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate June 2, 2017 3:33 pm

    2015 kahuk win state but maxprpep make stloiu 2016 preseaso #1

  14. Hyn June 2, 2017 4:12 pm

    I don’t know about punahou having more weapons then St. Louis . The Lou is loaded with receivers this year and everyone graduated for punahou.

  15. Education First June 6, 2017 1:17 pm

    Sol-Jay should change his name to Sol-Jah, after rapper Soulja Boy. I still do the “Crank That” dance that I did back in the day in my talent show act. Good times. Maybe it can take the place of the haka.

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