SPRING-ing into FB season: St. Francis Saints

St. Francis' Tyson Shimabukuro returns as a Saints running back this fall. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
St. Francis’ Tyson Shimabukuro returns as a Saints running back this fall. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Next: Waialua Bulldogs


>> 2015 record and finish: 4-4 (2-2 ILH D-II); did not qualify for the postseason
>> Number of returning starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 29
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 3
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 5
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: None
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> ILH D-II All-Stars lost to graduation: Kawika Cameron (first-team OL), Isaac Crichton (first-team LB)
>> ILH D-II All-Stars returning: Singilau Pututau (first-team OL), Tyson Shimabukuro (first-team RB), Supilani Mailei (first-team DL), Takaamoatoa Lautaha (first-team DL), Destin Pakele (first-team LB), Micah Kalei (first-team DB), Jonah Luis-Mateo (first team AP)
>> Among 2016 key offensive returnees: Tyson Shimabukuro (RB, Jr.), Pensimani Haunga (FB, Sr.); Micah Kalei (WR, Sr.), Jonah Luis-Mateo (WR, Sr.); Filosofia Mafua (OL, Jr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Destin Pakele (LB, Sr.), Supilani Mailei (DL, Sr.), Takaamoatoa Lautaha (DL, Jr.), Wembley Mailei (DB, Jr.), Roland Merrill (DB, Sr.)
>> Saints with Division I FBS college offers: Takaamoatoa Lautaha (DL, Jr.)
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None
>> All-time ILH championships: None
>> 2016 conference: ILH D-II

Head coach KIP AKANA on the Saints’ outlook for 2016:

“We respect the ILH D-II. It is so competitive and every team is returning a lot of players. For the first time in St. Francis history, we’ll be senior heavy. Last year, I thought we had a late start, but we got our first ILH win and put ourselves in position that if Pac-Five beat Damien, it would have been a three-way tie in the standings. Our season ended with a victory over Damien, so at least we got to end the season with a victory. We did accomplish some short- and medium-range goals. Our goal on the football team, along with the baseball team and (every sport) at St. Francis is to win the league and the state championship.

“The team as a whole is very excited and anxious for the season to begin. Toward the end of last season, the kids were all on the edge of their seats, hoping the season would continue, and it came to a sudden end. We want to pick up where we left off.

“We are still way ahead of where we were last year at this point (in the summer). Every year, and this is the fifth year of the program, we feel we’ve learned and always gotten better each year. Last year was my first year as head coach, after taking over for Mike Ulufale who did a great job getting the program off the ground. We entered the pass league this summer for the first time and that’s going well. We play Saint Louis, so we’re hoping to hang in there with the big dogs. Down the road, as we build the program, it’s not only to participate but be able to compete with the best teams in the league. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the right path.

“We’ve got 40 to 50 on the varsity and the same number on the intermediate team. The kids know that the bond and the unselfishness have to be real for us to push ahead. These seniors were eighth graders when the first senior class of St. Francis football players graduated. They know it’s more about team and if you take care of that then the individual accolades will come. They get it that all those good things need to be place for any success to happen.

“Last year, we scrambled to find a quarterback when the quarterback we had, Kawika Ulufale, transferred to Campbell. So, we were primarily a running team. We tried to find the best athletes and Wembley Mailei and Scott McLeod stepped in and did a good job playing the unfamiliar position. This year, Wembley will be able to concentrate on his position in the secondary. McLeod, a junior, and Bubba Akana, a sophomore, are at quarterback and we want to have a more diverse attack. We’re excited to show what we’ve worked on and how we’ve progressed.

“We can’t get a late start. It’s a short league season. It’s hard on a team that starts slow and expects to come in through the back door, which is what we did last year. Supilani Mailei is a two-way lineman and he was the ILH D-II basketball player of the year. Tyson Shimabukuro is one of the best running backs in the state and we’ve got some other great athletes, including (wide receiver/defensive back) Micah Kalei, running back and linebacker Destin Pakele, and Taka Lautaha, who is the first St. Francis player to get a D-I college offer.”

2016 St. Francis football schedule
Check here for the latest schedule updates: http://bit.ly/2958rWe
>> July 28: at Kalani (scrimmage only)
>> Aug. 4: at Kaimuki (scrimmage only)
>> Aug. 13: vs. Kauai, at Vidinha Stadium
>> Aug. 20: vs. Konawaena, at Oahu site TBD
>> Aug. 27: Bye
>> Sept. 2: vs. Damien, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 9/10: Bye
>> Sept. 16: vs. Pac-Five, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 23: vs. Damien, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 30/Oct. 1: Bye
>> Oct. 7: vs. Pac-Five, at Aloha Stadium

2016 St. Francis varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Kip Akana (4-4, second season)
>> Offensive coordinator: Joe Kekahuna IV
>> Defensive coordinator: Larry Luis
>> Quarterbacks: Sean Ribeiro
>> Quarterbacks: Blaze Umiamaka
>> Running backs: Francis Sua
>> Wide receivers: Bronson Kekahuna
>> Wide receivers: Layton Kaleikau
>> Wide receivers: Joey Lovell
>> Offensive line: Peter Haliniak III
>> Offensive line and special teams: Bryce Inayoshi
>> Linebackers: Thomas Masaniai
>> Defensive backs: Kekoa Paaluhi
>> Defensive backs: Kalai Kalei
>> Defensive line: Fia Mafua
>> Defensive line: Tevita Mailei
>> Equipment manager: Byron Cuban
>> Support staff: Vini Haunga
>> Team managers: Kaimi Kalei, Misiona Ribeiro, Joerdan Lovell, Laynee Paishon
>> Team mom: Destiny Pakele
>> Program manager: Charene Haliniak


  1. Mahatma Gandhi July 8, 2016 1:41 am

    Where they getting all the Tongans?

  2. Hman! July 8, 2016 6:24 am

    It doesn’t matter! ^^^lmao, nah! From Tonga of course, by way of Mr. Levi. It’s good for the kids from Tonga and good for the school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.