Q&A: Carvalho on Kahuku’s chances vs. Saint Louis

Kahuku head coach Sterling Carvalho says his team has the edge if the Red Raiders can keep it close against Saint Louis. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The record is 7-4 for the Kahuku Red Raiders.

No, it’s 0-0. The semifinal round of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division Football State Championships kick off at Aloha Stadium on Friday afternoon. Kahuku’s roller-coaster, injury-riddled season practically starts anew. Win and stay in. Lose and be eliminated.

Kahuku first-year coach Sterling Carvalho chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Wednesday.

HPW: How is your injury situation now, Coach, with the extra week of rest?

Carvalho: The two we were hoping to get back aren’t able to play. Kaonohi Kaniho had an outside shot. He got hurt in the (regular-season) Saint Louis game. He was holding out hope.

HPW: What type of injury does he have?

Carvalho: It’s a knee injury. We found out this past weekend, not going to play. He’s still not getting full range of motion. Our DB, Mana Fonoimoana-Vaomu, got hurt against Campbell and got reinjured the second time we played them. We were holding out hope on him, too.

HPW: It’s been a long season, lots game reps for your young defense. There aren’t many teams big and athletic enough to get pressure on Saint Louis. Jayden de Laura has progressed a lot at QB for them.

Carvalho: We need to rattle de Laura. This past couple of weeks, Sola’s (defensive coordinator Sola Soliai) been tweaking some fronts. Hopefully we can cause some confusion in getting to him, and in coverage.

HPW: Your defense has progressed, too, since the injury to Miki Ah You. Who’s been developing in that middle for you?

Carvalho: They’re young, doing good, our two LBs, Ilaisa Fotu is a sophomore. Allan Talanoa is a 10th grader, more of a OLB.

HPW: They’ve gotten better each time with game experience. It would be timely if they also had their best games against Saint Louis this week.

Carvalho: Hopefully that’s what will get them over the edge. They just can’t play intimidated.

HPW: I know earlier in the season, your defensive guys were spending up to an hour in film study every day before practice. Is that still the routine?

Carvalho: Everything is more on the field, walk-throughs. Hone down on that. Our field is still bad, we haven’t practiced on it for a couple weeks. Last night (Tuesday) we were at Farrington, tonight (Wednesday) we’re at Castle.

HPW: It would be worthwhile for the facilities at Kahuku and Campbell to get up to the same level as other schools in the OIA. But I don’t know if the community is willing to get politically involved. That’s what it will probably take. What do you see when you study Saint Louis’ defense?

Carvalho: 12 (Jordan Botelho), 19 (Nick Herbig) and 1 (Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole), those are the ones who stand out on all videos. We’re running and 1 is filling that hole so fast. Herbig off the edge and plays coverage. Botelho holds down that side really well. (DT Faatui) Tuitele takes up that whole middle section to. We have to be precise in how we run the lanes will be small, alleys tight, windows smaller than we thought. Their defense is great. You see Kahuku’s defense like that, but their defense is clicking on all cylinders.

HPW: If Kahuku’s defense plays its best, the kicking game is solid, and the offense helps with field position, gets a score here and there, this could become a close game.

Carvalho: I see it and we have to have our best game, the potential is there, we just need to execute the game plan. That’s what we’re hoping for.

HPW: It’s that time of year when the bleachers at Aloha Stadium are filled with fans in red. The war chant. Nothing like Kahuku fans.

Carvalho: The fans are going to be huge. These boys feed off our community and rally around who’s cheering for them. Once it’s crowded behind the team, it’s full go.

HPW: I’m going to say that your TE, Ethan Erickson, might have his best game. He hasn’t had a big game yet, but he’s maybe due for a breakout.

Carvalho: When “Alpine” came to us as a sophomore, I thought it was a basketball kid walking into a football locker room. He said he’s from Alpine, Utah. One of my friends was coaching at Lone Peak, same place, so that’s the name that sticks with him, Alpine.

HPW: Your defense with the pick-6 plays against Campbell — anything is possible.

Carvalho: If the game is close, it’s in our favor.


  1. DennisTadio November 15, 2018 7:49 pm

    Good Luck Red Raiders!!! Praying for an injury free game on both sides…

  2. notes November 15, 2018 8:42 pm

    Wow, the top 5 starters on defense (3 injured, 2 transfered) are not suiting up tmrw, yet Kahuku is in the semis. Proud of the young ones stepping up and the coaches working with what they got.

  3. Robocop November 15, 2018 10:04 pm

    Note proud of the young ones and the coaches but they embarrassed of him because he makes them look bad with his constant crying

  4. Hawaii born November 16, 2018 5:57 am

    From alpine utah?? Recruited?? At least st.louis has kids from this island, kahuku always complains of st.louis taking kids from other districts, kahuku takes from other states and uses the excuse ” oh its family”….look even at Daniel fotu for the basketball..jessiya… etc….oh and I’m not a st.louis fan just a realist from kahuku

  5. ??? November 16, 2018 6:46 am

    @ Hawaii Born
    Get your facts straight! His dad got a job at BYU Hawaii. How is that recruiting?
    Where as Cal has his crew at JPS, Big Boys League, Pop Warner & even other high schools to snatch up football talent!
    Recruit, Scholarships, Sponsorships, Financial Aid or whatever STL Academy calls it now days?

  6. outsider November 16, 2018 7:54 am

    Plain and simple, Kahuku is turning in pads by the end of the night. Better luck next year, cuz they are gonna get embarrassed tonight for the second consecutive game. All the Bandwagon guys wont be there. Thats why the fan turnout base this year is horrible. Only when they winning its all good, but when they lose, its wah wah wah, cry cry cry, Refs refs refs, recruiting recruiting recruiting.

  7. notes November 16, 2018 9:38 am

    5 defensive starters not playing, 4 kahuku defensive kids recruited and starting in the ILH.

    Star QB transfered, 2 top oline injured all year…and no district exempt fans (like robocop jumping on millz bandwagon).

    ….and still in the semi-finals. Nothing to be ashamed of.

  8. outsider November 16, 2018 9:51 am

    Of course they in the state semi finals, look at the OIA teams lol, after campbell its a big drop off. Punahou still ranked #2 and they not in tournament. Kamehameha belongs in tournament also. its a rip off lol.

  9. ahinalu November 16, 2018 9:53 am

    Win or Lose ” The Kahuku Red Raiders, The Pride of The North Shore ” !

  10. Robocop November 16, 2018 10:06 am

    Kahuku Red Raiders have nothing to be ashamed of except for people like note. He’s the biggest cry baby and makes the Red Raider fan base look bad with his garbage.

  11. notes November 16, 2018 2:52 pm

    Robocop you the type that mad because the truth hurts. All i speak is facts and you butt hurt. You probably a mililani coach that dont want people to know that you guys recruit and think your football IQ smarter then everyone else. I come across so many people in town that think they high makamaka because they associated with winning programs like STL or Mills, fact is its easy to win when u recruit talent.

    Kahuku on this down year is minus 13 starters (due to injury and transfers) and only plus one (the punter from Utah).

    Mills and STL would never survive with that kind of ratios.

    Robocop where u been all these years, you only pop up when mills start winning again??

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