SPRING-ing into FB season: Kapolei Hurricanes

Kapolei wide receiver Jaymin Sarono returns as a senior receiver for the Hurricanes. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kapolei wide receiver Jaymin Sarono returns as a senior receiver for the Hurricanes. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Next: Mililani Trojans


>> 2015 record and finish: 6-4 (4-3 OIA Blue); defeated Castle 41-0 in the first round of the OIA D-I playoffs; lost 56-10 to Kahuku in the OIA quarterfinals
>> Number of returning starters: 12 (6 on offense, 6 on defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 21
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 10
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 22
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Sean Auwae (first-team OL), Ty-Noah Williams (second-team REC), Johnny Morrison (second-team DT), Jay Amina (third-team S)
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> OIA Blue All-Stars lost to graduation: Ty-Noah Williams (first-team WR), Sean Auwae (first-team OL), Johnny Morrison (first-team DL), Jay Amina (first-team S), , Timmy Choi (second-team LB)
>> OIA Blue All-Stars returning: Omar Mareko (first-team LB)
>> Among 2016 key offensive returnees: Taulia Tagovailoa (QB, So.), Jaymin Sarono (WR, Sr.), LJ Esperas (RB, Sr.), Donte Keliiholokai (OL, Sr.), Akoni Kapihe (OL, Sr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (DL), Omar Mareko (LB), Rocky Savea (LB, Jr.), Leonard Lee (LB, Sr.), Tyler Vasega (LB, Sr.)
>> Hurricanes with Division I FBS college offers: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (DL, Sr.), Ezra Savea (WR/S, Sr.) Rocky Savea (LB, Jr.), Taulia Tagovailoa (QB, So.)
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: None
>> 2016 conference: OIA Red (D-I)

Head coach DARREN HERNANDEZ on the Hurricanes’ outlook for 2016:

“We started this transition to a passing team a few years ago. Up until then, we still ran the ball primarily. It was with Jason Cauley as our OC that we started to pass a little more. Then with Darren Johnson as the OC, we reverted back to the I formation in 2014. Last year, we committed to throwing the football and I really like the results we had. This is nothing new for me. Back in the 1990s, as head coach at Campbell, we threw the ball all over the place. In 1995 and 1996, Kaleopa Kaleopa led the OIA in passing. We were a four-wide passing team and we had a very good team in 1997, when we won the Red Conference with Rodney Tavui as the quarterback. So, as a head coach, I do have experience in a throwing offense. At Kapolei, we have been mostly an option team, that was our identity until last season.

“In 2015, with the shotgun offense and with Taulia Tagovailoa at quarterback and Galu Tagovailoa, his father, as the OC, we made that passing commitment. Taulia put up incredible numbers. He had 534 passing yards against Castle with six TDs, the second most passing yards ever in a high school game in Hawaii. He was a freshman when he did it. That’s amazing stuff.

“We’re hoping to build on that and take this to the next level, with a quarterback like Taulia and our new offensive coordinator, you might have heard of him (former NFL and University of Hawaii head coach June Jones). Most of our players were born after the year 2000, so some came up to me after he was hired and said, ‘June Jones used to be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers.’ I told them, ‘Yeah that was before you were born.’ They were stoked.

“We’re used to playing that gauntlet at the start of the season, that tough schedule of three in a row — at Kahuku, the next week Farrington and the next week against Mililani. We did that two or three years in a row, and most were on the road. It was an eye-opener. We were 0-3 for like three years in a row because that’s how tough our schedule was. It’s a short season and it’s tough to climb out of that hole. Last year, we beat Farrington, and that was the only OIA team Kapolei had not beaten up to that point. Our schedule is not exactly a patty cake schedule this year either. We play campbell first week, and the second week is Waianae. Campbell will be better. Last year was kind of a fluke with injuries. Waianae is just getting tougher and tougher.

“One of the things we want to do is make it to states. We made states in Division II in our first year (2002), but after that, we moved up and haven’t made it to D-I states. So, obviously finishing in that top three, that’s a goal. Every (team) wants to win the championship and we want to win it.

“For me, those goals are a byproduct of what we do on the field. We as coaches take a lot of pride in helping our kids get to college and get to the next level. For me, that’s my championship, watching them go to college or go to the next level. Success can be a byproduct. of that. A long time ago, I looked at coaching and thought, ‘What if we go to the championship and win or lose?’ It would still be hollow if all you are going to gauge everything on is wins and losses. The journey is what makes it worthwhile. I believe football is a process of education and a vehicle to the next level. There are so many colleges out there.

“I always tell the guys that you only get 48 games in college. That’s 12 per year. It doesn’t matter what level you’re on. I always challenge them to go anywhere they want to go. My own children went to college in the East, New York. I don’t put geographical limits on going to college. If you have an opportunity in Maine, you gotta go. Hawaii will always be here.

“That’s why I like to bring back former players who have had success to talk to the players so they can see the models of players who have made it.

“Every year as a coach and loving it so much, there is always that brand-new team and hope springs eternal. And you always think this is the buy-in group, the special group that will take it to the limits. We have the talent this year to do it. It’s all on all of us, the players, the athletes, the coaches. If we buy in and everyone understands their role on the team, then magical things can happen.”

2016 Kapolei football schedule
Check here for the latest schedule updates: http://bit.ly/2958rWe
>> Aug. 5: at Campbell
>> Aug. 13: Waianae
>> Aug. 20: at Leilehua
>> Aug. 26: at Castle
>> Sept. 3: at Mililani
>> Sept. 9/10: Bye
>> Sept. 16: Kailua
>> Sept. 23: Farrington
>> Sept. 30: Nanakuli

2016 Kapolei varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Darren Hernandez (70-63, 15th season)
>> Offensive coordinator: June Jones
>> Defensive coordinator: Brad Hewahewa
>> Special teams coordinator: Dennis McKnight
>> Offensive line: Al Kaaihue
>> Offensive line: Denver Keliiholokai
>> Quarterbacks: Kevin Wilson
>> Running backs: Kimo Alo
>> Running backs: Jay Amina Jr.
>> Slotbacks: Ricky Lumford
>> Slotbacks: Andrew Manley
>> Wide receivers: Tino Palacio
>> Wide receivers: Mason Koa
>> Defensive ends: Patrick Ena
>> Defensive tackles: Mose Tuia
>> Inside linebackers: Alika Manners
>> Outside linebackers: Jon Thomas
>> Cornerbacks: Chris Broome
>> Safeties: Elliot Helenihi
>> Strength and conditioning: Mike Ioane


  1. 88 June 18, 2016 12:11 am

    Always well spoken and gifted as a coach but its seem like he just made an excuse about not being able to win with all that talent at Kapolei..”A championship is hollow if you guage success on wins or loses”. Way to teach your kids to settle for less. The byproduct of winning is your kids get that additional exposure and the college offers will roll in. He seems to take a jab at Kahuku for their win at all cost smash mouth playbook, that worked by the way and they did have 5 seniors get a scholarship…or is he taking a jab at St. Louis for their win at all cost recruiting tactics, which worked by the way sending them to the D1 title game and getting a few of their kids college scollys.

    I would rather have a team of average joes that play united and understand the strength in numbers theory then to have several blue chippers on a team that is only .500

    Yes I am RR4L and yes he did insinuate that Darrens I-formation offense was a step backward in progress. haahaa

  2. Mahatma Gandhi June 18, 2016 2:04 am

    How is Kahuku “win-at-all-costs”?! That is St Louis, not Kahuku

  3. 88 June 18, 2016 1:22 pm

    When you over hear two women in a bar say “Kahuku is doing a disservice to Kesi by running him to the ground like they ran Aofaga to the ground” you know they get that from their husbands and other males in football circles. Nobody in the news and media wants to say it publicly but smash mouth is not good for a kids brain.

    Kahuku should have the talent to open it up a little more this year like how they were back in 2010. If they can pass good then I predict no smaller then a 21pt spread win over anyone in the state.

  4. 88 June 18, 2016 5:43 pm

    Your an idiot. Do not speak on things you know nothing about. You heard to women….. C’mon man

  5. 88 June 18, 2016 5:58 pm

    Oops look like im the bigger idiot, its “two” not to.

  6. 90 June 18, 2016 10:52 pm

    88 you’re killing everyone, shut yo mouf!

  7. 88 June 19, 2016 12:21 am

    90, you better shut your mouth before I shut it for you. You like act bad, ah? Come out La’ie and I show you how bad you are.

  8. irizary June 19, 2016 12:33 pm

    88, 89, and 90 walk into a bar and order one drink, which one of the three get to have the drink?

    …all three of them because 88 89 90 are the same person! ROFL

  9. 99boiz June 19, 2016 1:46 pm

    88 walks in a bar with his german shepard dog and the bartender says “no dogs”
    the german shepard says, hes not a dog he’s an idiot!

    89 walks in the bar with his poodle and the bartender says “no dogs”
    the poodle says, hes not a dog he’s an idiot!

    90 walks in the bar with his chihuahua and the bartender says “no dogs”
    the chihuahua says, hes not a dog he’s an idiot!


  10. Ackrite June 20, 2016 4:35 am

    Any of you got a chance to check out Kahuku pass league yet??? They playing a lot of other schools like Kam, Waipahu, Roosevelt, Lelaihua, Cambell…

    Had a chance to check it out this past Friday and in my best Chris Tucker voice, “D@@@MMNN!” I was surprised to see that their was only 1 QB throwing! The FRESHMAN… Kid is the “TRUTH!!!” Not sure where the other QBs for Kahuku are, maybe camps but I gotta say… That Maiava kid can make all the throws! I was impressed how he commanded the offense, even telling the upper class men where to line up and John Hao looks comfortable with him…

    I Heard the kid killed it also when Kamehameha came down, killed it when Waipahu came and just smoke Roosevelt! Kesi looked awesome also as WR and in the slot… Pua Falemalu is gonna be a weapon at TE for whoever QBs!

    I’m calling it right now Kahuku takes it to the air this season more then ever! Highly likely they repeat as state champs again! Das a d@mn football factory I tell you! It don’t matter how many kids leave for private schools…. How is this never a problem for them? Lose kids left and right and still raise that trophy at the end of the season!

    Nick Abramo you betta get on this Freshman QB! Not mention the Kaniho brother is a freshman DB that is just shutting down WRs! OMG!!! Can we have football back already!

  11. Ackrite June 20, 2016 4:38 am

    Sorry guys there are a lot errors but I don’t give a d@mn I’m using a phone n main thing u guys get what I’m saying! Lol

  12. 90 June 20, 2016 7:00 am

    88 lmao, Laie! You guys only know how polish helmets at the mix. Sole take it easy, I’m right here on Moana st. You fuam! I going be at the mix tonight with my red shirt! I’m tired of your negative comments. Come and can shut deeznuts in your mouf !lmao 90 rules, you better ask somebody! Lmao

  13. 90 June 20, 2016 7:06 am

    Kapolei will be the team to beat! TAulia has more swag than Tua, he will break every passing record.

  14. rrforlifebaby June 20, 2016 11:33 am

    three funny some of you guys.
    if nothing bad happens between now and august, i’m hearing really good things about Big Red’s D.
    I’m looking forward to seeing Kapolei’s Offense
    But, come November, BIG RED All Day!!

  15. red x June 20, 2016 1:14 pm

    I’d say any top 5 oia teams have a chance against eachother. Kapolei might have the best future QB but how good is there oline? Same for kahuku which is not known for having good pass blockers. Kapolei defense needs take there game to another level for them to win it all because the other 4 oia teams has dominating offense too.

  16. 99boiz June 20, 2016 7:03 pm

    90 why you numbah one FEFE cause all the boyz at the mix is wearing a red shirt, how about you just say look for the one with the pink G-String panty!

  17. 90 June 20, 2016 9:45 pm

    Lmao^^because you already wearing it! Chee huu and fuam I’ll where my bright green florescent!! And you can where your hot pink panty,then I’ll give u the claw! Lmao chee huu

  18. Hahashandah June 21, 2016 8:40 am

    Kapolei’s problem is that they seem to always get matched up with Kahuku in the OIA Quarter finals, that’s been the kiss of death for them except for 07.

  19. TooMeke June 21, 2016 9:21 am

    no comment.

    except… I’m just waiting for the ‘experts’ to come out with their predictions of Kapolei/Mililani/anybodybutkahuku taking the OIA and St Louis taking the ILH and States.

    Broken record… cuz Big Red breaks it every year

    other than that… no comment.

  20. 88 June 21, 2016 10:54 am

    No one plays defense in Hawaii, thats why as long as both teams are scoring 50 points the 1st stringers are playing all 4 quarters padding their stats.

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