Sometimes the toughest path leads to the highest heights.
For the Kamehameha Warriors, competing in one of the nation’s toughest divisions means that the highs and lows can be dizzying. There’s tradition. History. Expectation. Senior Tiger Peterson knows them well.
Peterson, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back, committed to Hawaii on June 26. He also has offers from Air Force and Utah State. He chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Wednesday about tonight’s ILH playoff game with Punahou and the process of senior year.
HPW: What’s been the main focus for your team?
Peterson: Coach Abu (Ma‘afala) has been talking to us about finishing games.
HPW: You guys were tied at 14 against Punahou at the half the first time.
Peterson: Against Saint Louis, it was 14-7 at halftime. We know we can keep up with them.
HPW: So what will it take at this point of the season? You have one of the best defensive units in the state.
Peterson: On defense, we’ve got to give the offense the ball. Take one for the team and go balls out. We’ve got to score on defense. They like to throw it up so we’ve got to make plays like that.
HPW: A versatile defense has a better chance against Punahou. Has there been a lot of that versatility?
Peterson: I’ve been playing every position. I’ve been playing nickel. Hoku (Arias), too, we’ve been playing him all over the place.
HPW: Hoku is one of the most active linebackers I’ve seen. A big motor. Could he play some safety if he had to?
Peterson: I think so. Hoku, for a LB, he can cover.
HPW: So you think a touchdown by the defense is a must.
Peterson: If we don’t score, we’ve got to give the offense the ball. We want to get sacks.
HPW: What are you going to miss most about being a Warrior?
Peterson: Mostly just the bonding with the players. I’ve had some relationships I’d never have, never have these friends if I never played football. I’ll miss having fun after practice.
HPW: Has Hawaii stayed in touch with you since you committed?
Peterson: Every week, I’ve been getting contact from Coach Craig (Stutzmann). When I got to the games I talk with the coaches. In the summer, when I went to the practices, I talked to the coaches.
HPW: Is what they run on defense at UH similar or different?
Peterson: It’s not really different. It fits me, the nickel package we run at Kamehameha, it shouldn’t be that hard changing to college. It’s just the speed that’s different.
HPW: Is your plan to redshirt or to get on the field right away?
Peterson: I’m graduating early, so I’m planning to play my first year.
HPW: How much do you weigh now?
Peterson: I lost a little weight. Right now, I’m 190. I plan on putting on muscle, not too much bigger and working on my change of direction.
HPW: Who do you work out with?
Peterson: I’m working with Coach Kenny Patton. I just started working with him this offseason. And getting some speed work in with Coach Asai Gilman.
HPW: Father of Alohi, who’s at Notre Dame, and Alaka‘i (Punahou). What’s it like when you’re at UH games.
Peterson: When I watch the game, I watch the game with my friend Dylan Toilolo.
HPW: Dylan was a great player at Saint Louis and Kapolei. I was surprised he didn’t get more offers, but it worked out. That guy could play and he could hit.
Peterson: Yeah, he’s redshirting this year.