Moanalua quarterback RJ Javar is back in the saddle.
After being hit and suffering a concussion in the OIA Division I championship game on Oct. 26, Javar has been slowly working his way back on the field under the watchful eyes of Na Menehune’s trainers.
“He’s all set, all clear,” Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu said Tuesday. “Business as usual.”
Javar scored a touchdown in that OIA title game and was hit on a helmet-to-helmet blow as he crossed the goal line. He was knocked out and taken to a hospital while his Na Menehune teammates prevailed in a 21-20, double-overtime victory over Leilehua.
No. 7 Moanalua (10-1) hosts No. 9 ‘Iolani (9-2) in the Division I semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships on Saturday.
The winner of that game plays the winner of the other D-I semifinal — No 8 Leilehua (10-2) vs. No. 6 Hilo (12-0) at Wong Stadium on Saturday — in the state final.
“He (RJ) nor anyone on our team has ever really experienced anything like that before,” Eselu said about the injury. “It was quite the situation and he has handled it so well. We have been fortunate to have three weeks in between and a fourth week as game week. He wasn’t able to go to class for a long time. And then, he progressed. After he got back to class, we saw how he did in the mile run, then we saw how he did with his helmet on and then with his shell on. And he checked out well.
“The trainers do a tremendous job. They are the focal point for concussion awareness and concussion treatment.”
Eselu then added: “And we’re glad his arm was not concussed.”
Javar has thrown for 2,892 yards and 28 touchdowns this year. He has also run for four TDs.
Moanalua is 18-2 over its last 20 games. The OIA championship was the second in school history and first in Division I. Na Menehune won the OIA D-II championship in 2009.