Kapolei senior Dylan Toilolo has been invited to the 2018 Polynesian Bowl. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Two weeks ago, the rich got richer.

Kapolei head coach Darren Hernandez, who led his team to a program-best 10-3 record and a spot in the semifinals of the state tournament in the Open Division last year, already felt great about his defense.

Six returning starters hold at least one Division I scholarship offer, and despite losing standouts Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Leonard Lee and Omar Mareko to graduation, the Kapolei defense has a chance on paper to be even better this year.

That’s the main reason voters selected the Hurricanes No. 6 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser preseason top 10.

They might have picked Kapolei even higher if they knew about the phone call Hernandez received that as he put it, “was like Christmas in July.”

Linebacker Dylan Toilolo, who was named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first team as a junior last year at Saint Louis, was transferring to Kapolei. Because players who transfer from the ILH to the OIA don’t have to sit out a year, Toilolo will immediately be able to start for the Hurricanes in their season opener Friday at Campbell.

“We never dreamed we would have a chance to get a kid like Dylan Toilolo,” Hernandez said.

Toilolo, who is 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, will move to strong safety. Not only does it fill a bigger need on the Kapolei defense, but it will allow Toilolo to hopefully get more looks from Division I schools since his size fits more of a safety prospect than a linebacker.

“I feel like (changing positions) will help me get a scholarship, which is my goal,” Toilolo said.

Toilolo admits it’s been tough leaving “my brothers” at Saint Louis. After spending a week practicing with his new teammates at Kapolei, he immediately came away impressed with what the Hurricanes have on that side of the ball.

“I think Kapolei and Saint Louis have the two best defenses (in the state),” Toilolo said.

Kapolei will attempt to build off a 10-win season last year as it tries to put itself into the championship picture in Division I.

The Hurricanes have never played in an OIA Division I title game or the Division I state tournament. They made the 2003 OIA Division II final losing to Aiea and advanced to the semifinals of the OIA tourney in D-I after beating Kahuku on the North Shore in the quarterfinals in 2007.

“I love the high expectations,” Hernandez said. “Nobody rises to low expectations so I want that.”

For the full Kapolei season preview that ran in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, click here.

Kapolei football: 2017
Kapolei’s all-time scores and stats


  1. Jahmon July 29, 2017 3:24 pm

    Kapolei beat Kahuku in the scrimmage today and is the team to beat in the OIA. He is correct St. Louis and Kapolei is 1 and 2 the best defenses in the state.

  2. Chloropicrin July 29, 2017 5:34 pm

    No one wins during scrimmages, all the coaches are looking for are looks and evaluating players running their base plays.

  3. Redrum July 29, 2017 6:12 pm

    Don’t be fooled, it’s only a scrimmage… when it comes to defense, Kahuku will always have the top rated squad! You calling kapolei and St. Louis the 1 and 2 top defensive squads off of scrimmages lol. Wait till the season actually starts then you’ll get the true taste of a top caliber D!

  4. JAY GATOLOAI July 29, 2017 9:52 pm

    @ Redrum, so its ok for you to make an opinion on Kahuku being the top rated defense??

  5. Rrforlifebaby July 29, 2017 11:36 pm

    Looking forward to seeing Big Red’s D in a real game. No doubt, St Louis and Kapolei have a bunch of talent on their D squads, so not taking anything away from them, but this year’s Big Red front 7 group……mm mm mm. Whoaaaaa boy! And the secondary will come around too.

  6. RR faithful July 29, 2017 11:58 pm

    Remember last year when kapolei was going beat kahuku??? Like everyone is saying …….its a scrimmage gang. Teams dont show all their cards. Seasons right around the corner.

  7. GolenHurricane July 30, 2017 10:50 am

    Kahuku fans have Nothing Better to do than Try to prove a Point ? Ok Kahuku Your the Best , your the Baddest , you have The Best Fans, You Guys just got nothing Better to do in Life lol … Nowhere to go , nothing to Do ? I like Kahuku football team I admire what They Do . They’re Good … yes … but their Fans are IRRITATING !!! Lol #Kuckfahukufans lol

  8. Jahmon July 30, 2017 11:09 am

    Lets see what the season brings but the eye test was clear that Kapoleis defensive unit was superior and is comprised of studs everywhere.

  9. Manoa#1 July 30, 2017 11:31 am

    i heard kapolei scored on kahuku’s 2nd and 3rd team Defense.!! let the Season Begin.!!

  10. Rrforlifebaby July 30, 2017 11:46 am

    Lol. So much hate. As a football fan who loves Defense, canes definitely have some ballas on D.


  11. Knation July 30, 2017 11:59 am

    If the scrimmage was only 2 hours then I missed the first half hour and the last half hour. From what I seen both defense dominated the offenses and nobody scored. Kapolei must’ve scored when I left there offense didn’t do much when I was there but look really good on defense. As for kahuku they looked lost on offense maybe because it’s a scrimmage or the new O/C playbook isn’t working out. The defense look really good as always and had few starters sitting out.

  12. anywaaaays!! July 30, 2017 12:11 pm

    Its just a scrimmage guys! Besides, if history serves us well, with all the talent out in Kapolei every year, June Jones and Taulia last year and this year the 2 STL transfers…it seems like the Coaching staff always have a Christmas in July- so please explain to me why in December the Kapolei fans have a sh!ddy Christmas?

  13. Redrum July 30, 2017 1:43 pm

    @JAY GATOLOAI Isn’t what this comment board is for? I read a lot of people’s opinions on here that try to give their negative opinions on Kahuku. I’m just stating mine!

  14. JAY GATOLOAI July 30, 2017 3:23 pm

    @ Redrum, that’s exactly what this comment board is for.. thanks for pointing that out! but your comment earlier was made based off another persons opinion as well.. I was at the scrimmage and I can honestly say that kahuku and Kapolei have an awesome group of kids on the defensive side of the ball. its both their offenses that have the ??? marks! the real season starts this week!! lets see what everyone is really made of!! Wishing Kahuku nothing but the best!!

  15. Redrum July 30, 2017 7:07 pm

    @JAY GATOLOAI Respect brother! I’m a proud alumni of Kahuku! Im just being supportive of my school. With the return of DC Sola and the amount of talent that’s on the defensive side of the ball. I have confidence that he’ll bring the best out of his players! Not saying kapolei and St. Louis don’t have great defense’s I’m sure their gonna be tuff they always are. Good Luck to all the teams this season it’s gonna be a good one!!!

  16. TooMeke July 31, 2017 9:24 am

    Kahuku “lost” choke scrimmages the last two years… Duh.

  17. Mix Da Bugget FAIYAH July 31, 2017 8:47 pm

    Its going to be a tough season in the OIA. Good luck to all the teams.

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