The fact is simple enough.
Mika Makekau is the new record holder for the longest field goal by a girl in state history. Her 44-yard FG was one of three successful kicks in a 30-19 win over Damien two weeks ago. The win is key to ‘Iolani’s post-season qualifying chances, and she might get a shot at the national girls record of 48 yards before her prep career is done.
Makekau, younger sister of current Navy starting wide receiver Keoni-Kordell Makekau, followed his footsteps to ‘Iolani. The Raiders are 5-1 in ILH Division I play (6-2 overall). Makekau chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Friday.
The win over Damien was significant to ‘Iolani’s postseason ambitions. In this new era of OIA-ILH crossover games, all results against OIA opponents count in the ILH standings. There is no playoff for ILH Division I, and with two games remaining, ‘Iolani at 5-1 has the edge on Damien (4-2). Makekau’s skill has become a key part of the team’s strategy, one that isn’t commonplace for most high schools.
Makekau leads the state, regardless of gender, with eight field goals. Last year’s Star-Advertiser All-State placekicker, Akoni Tom-Makue of Leilehua, has seven FGs. Micah Fonoti of Kapolei has six. Moanalua’s Griffin Motas has, perhaps, the strongest leg in the state, but is one of several placekickers with four 3-pointers.
The OIA-ILH schedule has opened a new world for kickers like Makekau. Instead of two or three playing sites in an ILH-only slate, she has adjusted to fields across Oahu and play in many more games.
“I like the experience for the whole community. The environment is so different. Coach (Wendell) Look always tells us we’re spoiled with our field,” she said. “The fields have longer grass and the wind is different. All I can do focus.”
When Makekau became a kicker on the varsity, she was regularly booming kickoffs inside the 10-yard line with a Jim Asmus corner location every time. Often, her kicks landed inside the 5.
She chuckles as she verbalizes mom’s command. Look believes Lupe Makekau is a supermom.
“Her parents, especially her mom, is the key why they’re here. She works two jobs and puts education first. They have a great family atmosphere. It’s something that’s very special and she has to be commended,” Look said. “I think Mika appreciates what her parents and family have done for her. There’s sacrifices all of them make. Appreciation. That’s a word that’s not used enough, kids and teenagers appreciate their parents.”
She was also featured in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which you can read by clicking here.
‘Iolani football, soccer, track and field
Class of 2019
Q&A / Favorites
Athlete: Serena Williams
Team: San Diego Chargers
Food (at home): Tacos
Food (eating out): Spicy ahi don from Gyotaku
Hobby: hiking and hanging out with friends
TV Show: The Fosters
Video Game: Super Mario Bros.
Music Artist: Drake
Teacher: Mrs. Amy Yonashiro
Place to relax: Sandy’s
Motto/Scripture: “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
What your mom (Lupe) says that you can’t forget: I will never forget when she told me “Do good or you’re walking home.”
What your dad (Sam) says that you can’t forget: I will never forget when he told me “everyone has a purpose in this world, yours is to eat.”
What your coaches say that you can’t forget: “Back on that grind? No. Football is not a grind. If it’s a grind, you don’t enjoy doing this, and to play you gotta have that passion.”
How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason? Football has taught me many things, but most of all it taught me discipline. Coach Look always makes sure we are in check, and that we are disciplined to respect the game and everyone else. Offseason, we are left with lessons that help us remember how to act off the field even when we aren’t in season.
What middle and elementary schools did you attend: Ewa Makai Middle School/Saint Patrick’s and Holomua Elementary School.
What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round? I played soccer for Abunai, Rush, and Leahi Soccer Club. I no longer play soccer, but the commitments year-round were practices three days a week, and a game every weekend.
Where have you travelled for your sport(s): I traveled to Las Vegas, Colorado, Arizona, San Diego, and North Carolina
What do you like to do — or what’s something else you’re good at — that would surprise most people? I like to hang out with friends by going on adventures. I can fit a quarter in my belly button.
What is your ultimate dream/bucket list? Where would you like to travel, what life would you like to have as an athlete? And away from sports? My ultimate dream is to go to a great college by scholarships, and come out successful. I really want to go to Japan and Greece! I want to inspire other girls to do and play things that are unusual for girls to do. I would like a life with no student loans, my own house, and a happy family.
What is the history and background of your name? My grandma’s middle name is Mika, and so my dad wanted me to have her name.