Kahuku is the top football team in Hawaii this preseason, according to MaxPreps.com.
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).