Pylon: Hukilau Cafe, Goat Island thrive

Two teams from the North Shore had impressive weekends at the Pylon 7v7 football tournament in Las Vegas.

Team Hukilau Cafe (high school division) and Team Goat Island (Intermediate) reached the final four of their divisions against some top competition from around the West Coast.

Coach Darren Johnson was happy and fried by the time the teams returned home on Sunday.


“All four of the teams in our pool made it to the final eight,” the former high school head coach said. “Our two losses in pool play were in overtime. It was heartbreaking, but we battled back. Kesi Ah-Hoy, all our core group of kids played good football. Taulia (Tagovailoa of Kapolei) had a heck of a tournament.”

Johnson noted that there were four teams from Hawaii. The 808 team coached by Saint Louis quarterbacks guru Vince Passas reached the third round of the playoffs.

The intermediate team, Goat Island, is comprised mostly of Kahuku-area players. That team was impressive enough to earn an invitation to the AAU Junior Olympics.

Team manager Anue Santiago, mother of Star-Advertiser All-State Defensive Player of the Year Keala Santiago, said all the planning and effort are worthwhile. She humbly referred to herself as “team mom.”

“It’s all for the kids,” she texted. “Our athletes don’t get the kind of exposure mainland kids do. When tournaments like these come our way, we have to take advantage of them and get our kids there to show coaches and scouts on the mainland that our kids are very deserving of opportunities, too. Smaller athletes get overlooked and Pylon has allowed us to help get our kids exposed.”

Team Hukilau Cafe. Photo: Anue Santiago.
Team Hukilau Cafe. Photo: Anue Santiago.

Team Hukilau Cafe reached the semifinals of the high school division, knocking off several elite opponents along the way.


Saturday, Mar. 5
W 21-20 Winner Circle
L 12-13 TMP
L 13-20 Midwest BOOM

Sunday, Mar. 6
W 20-19 Grinders
W 28-6 Energy
W 21-12 True Grit
W 19-18 TMP
W 21-12 YAC Elite A
L 6-28 Midwest BOOM (semifinal)

Roster
#1 Kekaula Kaniho, CB/WR, Jr.
#2 Stokes Botelho, CB/WR, Jr.
#4 Codie Sauvao, S, Jr.
#5 Royce Pao, SB, Jr.
#6 Kesi Ah-Hoy, SB, Jr.
#7 Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Fr.
#8 Jeremy McGoldrick, WR, Jr.
#9 Jaycob Cabunoc, SB, Jr.
#10 R.J. Kami, CB, Fr.
#11 Draeton Thompson, LB, So.
#12 Tama Albert Sula, SB, Fr.
#14 Chris Sykes, WR, Fr.
#15 Feso Malufau LB, So.
#16 Isaiah Tufaga, S/WR, So.
#17 Noa Purcell, LB, So.
#45 Miki Ah You, LB, So.
Head coach: Darren Johnson
Assistant coaches: Jarrett Kaniho, Keala Santiago, Wes Tufaga.
Team manager: Anue Santiago

Team Goat Island. Photo: Anue Santiago.
Team Goat Island. Photo: Anue Santiago.

Team Goat Island reached the semifinal round of the Intermediate Division. The team is comprised almost entirely of Kahuku district players.

Saturday, Mar. 5
W 30-6 Ground Zero YG
W 30-6 Rhare Breed
W 38-0 Rise Football Academy

Sunday, Mar. 6
W 30-0 East Elite
W 20-6 Midwest BOOMERS
W 26-20 OREM HV BOYZ
L 0-1 Team Texas (semifinal)


Roster
#1 Alex Fonoimoana, S, grade 8
#2 Lokana Enos, SB, grade 8
#2 Makoa Ah-Quin Soren, SB, grade 8
#5 Nason Coleman, SB, grade 7
#6 Kealoha Daniel Kaio, DB, grade 7
#7 Makavelli Novera, SB, grade 7
#8 Peter-John Mataira, DB, grade 8
#9 Aaron Fonoimoana, LB, grade 8
#10 Mason Tufaga, LB, grade 8
#11 Kealaka‘i Gilman, DB/WR, grade 8
#12 Rison Leong, SB, grade 8
#14 Sol-Jay Maiava, QB, grade 8
#14 Frisco Aveau, S, grade 8
#15 Kamoi Latu, WR, grade 8
#16 Kaonohi Kaniho, DB/WR, grade 8
#18 Kenai Liua, LB, grade 8
#19 J.L. Lavea, LB, grade 8
#20 Viliami Vaimoui, RB, grade 7
Head coach: Darren Johnson
Assistant coaches: Jarrett Kaniho, Keala Santiago, Wes Tufaga.
Team manager: Anue Santiago

Send information about your Pylon 7v7 team to 808-551-1054.

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