Scrimmage to Ponder: Kamehameha-Mililani

Kamehameha's Nakoa Pauole (84) made a big stop on a Mililani running back during Saturday's scrimmage at Mililani. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kamehameha’s Nakoa Pauole (84) made a big stop on a Mililani running back during Saturday’s scrimmage at Mililani. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Well, it was just a scrimmage, and that means most everybody on the bench played.

But you can learn a lot of stuff. You can see where teams are at with your own eyes.

For instance, you can finally meet Kamehameha first-year head coach Abu Maafala, who you’ve only spoken to on the phone. You can learn what he is up to as the Warriors head man.

Then, you can get reacquainted with the guy you’ve known for about six years, Rod York, and see what he thinks about his Mililani Trojans this year, minus three offensive superstars and a cast of other seniors that got them as far as the state semifinals a year ago.

His answer about the guys who have moved on? “What guys?” He’s in the “now” moment and thinking about the future. The past, which brought great memories indeed, doesn’t concern him at all this fall.

So, what did we see on the field on a sunny Saturday at Mililani?

Two quarterbacks who suffered injuries last season are back — Boogie Yam of Kamehameha and Dillon Gabriel of Mililani.

The way he carries himself on the field, Yam, wearing No. 18 and in blue, looks like a young Peyton Manning with the Colts. Not comparing, mind you, just sayin’. There is obviously a long way to go for Yam, but he certainly has potential to be a good one. He showed that last season before the injury.

Kamehameha likely won’t have to worry at QB. Justice Young, the backup, did a fine job in relief and showed off a strong arm.

Gabriel, the son of former UH star Garrett Gabriel, has a good grasp of the offense. He showed strength of arm and touch. Oh, and there will be weapons. Roman Tovi caught a touchdown pass. Jalen Olumua had some tough runs up the middle, including a 19-yard touchdown, and Andrew Valesderes made a bunch of nice catches and had a long gain on an end-around.

Defensively, the Trojans’ Kainalu Wong, a safety, had a big hit on a Kamehameha receiver after a catch.

Also, Cy Kuboyama, who plays receiver for Mililani, went in as a second-string quarterback. He started some games in the postseason in 2015, when McKenzie Milton and Gabriel went down with injuries.

The Warriors got some mileage out of running backs Kanoa Shannon and Braden Akima, but did not find the end zone with the starters out there. Defensive lineman Nakoa Pauole, who has multiple Division I FBS college offers, got some loud cheers from the Kamehameha fans when he dropped a Mililani running back with a pad-clanging hit.

Both of these teams will look different next Saturday in nonleague season openers. No. 5 Mililani is home against Saint Louis, and Kamehameha entertains No. 8 Waianae. The rankings of Saint Louis and Kamehameha are not known because the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Top 10 preseason, 10-day countdown series is ongoing.

Here’s today’s story on No. 5 Mililani.


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