Kumoku Noa is not being recruited by colleges.
“No.” That was his answer, when asked near the South end zone at Aloha Stadium shortly after No. 5 Kamehameha’s 51-36 loss to No. 2 Saint Louis on Thursday night at Aloha Stadium.
The 6-foot, 180-pound senior wide receiver had just caught nine passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. It’s possible that colleges don’t know what kind of talent Noa has. He did it against one of the hardest-hitting defenses in the state.
Noa’s brother, Kanawai Noa, is a freshman playing for Cal and Hawaii’s all-time leading receiver with 3,510 yards. He was a major part of Punahou’s state championship team two years ago and state runner-up team last season.
But Kumoku gave a second surprising negatory answer in less than five minutes, when asked if he learned anything from his big brother.
A flat, “No.”
“Everything I learned is from my coaches,” he said, specifically mentioning Warriors wide receivers coaches Kenric Pai and Ricky Lumford. “He (Kanawai) tells me to go out there and play hard.”
Kamehameha (4-3, 1-3 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I) is in a deep hole, having lost twice (31-27 the first time) to Saint Louis (5-1, 3-1) and once to top-ranked Punahou. The Warriors are in a must-win situation next Thursday at Aloha Stadium, when they have a rematch against the Buffanblu (6-0, 3-0). A loss there would eliminate Kamehameha from league-title contention.
Noa, who has 39 catches for 932 yards and 13 touchdowns so far this season, isn’t giving up.
“I think so,” he said, when asked if there is a way back into the playoff picture. “It’s a new week. We’ll be studying for Punahou and getting ready for them. We’ve still got a chance. I’ll never give up on my team.”
With his 195-yard performance against the Crusaders, Noa now holds four of the five best single-game receiving marks in school history.