PREPPING for 2018: Kalani Falcons

Kalani lost its top three rushers and top four receivers from last year and has to replace three-year starting quarterback Seth Tina-Soberano. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.


It’s something high school coaches have been going through since football was invented. The cycle.

Every three or four years or so, you have a bunch of seniors and somehow the ship sails smoothly. And then, the seniors graduate and you find some rough seas.

It appears that such is the case for the Kalani Falcons this year. They’ve dropped their first two games — 63-0 to ‘Iolani and 49-0 to Kaimuki.

The second one is of more concern in the sense that the Bulldogs are ultimately striving for the same D-II championship as the Falcons. The Raiders, on the other hand, are up in D-I.

“We were a senior heavy team last year and with that we lost a lot of good leaders,” said Kalani coach Scott Melemai, who led the squad to a 4-4 mark a year ago. “However, this creates an opportunity for this year’s class to step up and leave their legacy. Being a younger team this year, many of our underclassmen have to learn and adjust to varsity speed and schemes.

“(Last year) in my second year as being the varsity head coach, many goals were reached — being a competitive team, having the players be proud of themselves, the team, and the school and community. Many of the kids are pursuing higher education and some are playing at the next level.”

Despite the two losses, Melemai said the Falcons are committed to going as far as possible.

“At the same time,” he added, “our goal is to get better every day and just keep learning and working.”

Melemai talked about a handful of Falcons leaders:

>> Javan Montiho, safety: “Good player on both offense and defense. A two-year starter with a high football IQ. We are relying on him to be the captain of our team.”

>> Jerick Robinson, slotback: “Reliable hands and understands the offense. A two-year starter. One of the key people on offense.”

>> Rimington Hew, linebacker: “Hard worker, one of the leaders on the defense.”

>> Lokahi Kanahele, tackle: “Hard worker. One of the leaders on the O-line. Relying on him to get the O-line to work together and control the line of scrimmage.”

>> Sheldon Chu, outside linebacker: “Two-year starter on defense. Good football IQ. Relying on him to be a leader on the field.”

Kalani will try to get on the winning track Saturday at 6 p.m. against Pac-Five (0-1) at Kaiser Stadium.


Next in series: Kapolei Hurricanes.


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