SPRING-ing into football season: Kalani Falcons

Kalani's Payton Awaya recovered a fumble with help from teammate Keali'i Lopes in a game against Pearl City last season. Photo by Krystle Marcellus/Star-Advertiser.
Kalani’s Payton Awaya recovered a fumble with help from teammate Keali’i Lopes in a game against Pearl City last season. Photo by Krystle Marcellus/Star-Advertiser.

Next: Kamehameha Warriors


>> 2015 record and finish: 4-5 (4-4 in OIA D-II); did not qualify for OIA D-II playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 10
>> Number of returning seniors: 13
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 12
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 19
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: None
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> OIA D-II All-Stars lost to graduation: Micah Iaea (first-team OL), Sione Vea (first-team DL), Sean Silas (second-team RB), Kai Reed (second-team WR), Payton Awaya (second-team LB)
>> OIA D-II All-Stars returning: Hunter Benson (second-team DB)
>> Among 2016 key offensive returnees: Seth Tina-Soberano (QB, Jr.), Jaemi Harris (RB/SB, Sr.), Jeremiah Titialii (OL, Sr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Gage Quinabo-Reis (SS, Sr.), Hunter Benson (DB, Sr.), Scout Benson (DL, Sr.), Cody Uehara (DB, Jr.), Justin Gatewood (DB, Jr.)
>> Falcons with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: None
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1999) championships: None
>> All-time OIA championships: None
>> 2016 conference: OIA D-II

New head coach SCOTT MELEMAI on the Falcons’ outlook for 2016:

“I’ve been with the kids for a long time as a coach, teacher and a parent and I’ve seen these kids grow up, so the transition wasn’t too bad. Without pads, everything was OK this spring. We usually limit contact anyway. We got a lot of fundamentals in without worrying about putting the pads on. We got our base defense and our base offense in.

“Last year, there were a couple of games we let it slip through. This group of kids, being young and a part of it last year, they’re working harder. They’re working in the weight room and putting in the work on the field. Things are looking better.

“One of the things I want to accomplish this year and future years is for them to feel a sense of a pride at Kalani, being the part of the community, and making lifelong relationships with each other.

“I was the JV head coach (last year) and I’ve been a defensive coordinator here. I’m looking for a strong defense that minimizes big plays and flies to ball … very sound in techniques and schemes so that they can play fast. Offensively, we’ll take what they give us and maximize all of the opportunities given to us. I’ve learned from coach Ron (Lee), Howard Pertalta, Kanani Souza and coach Cal (Lee), guys that have been here before), and a lot of the strategy and schemes I’ve learned are from the run-and-shoot.

“We will be trying to get everyone on the same page. Everyone on same page. I’ve known these boys from the Pop Warner days and have been around their families. We’ll be continuing to preach what we preached to them as JVs. It’s a great feeling to see them grow and now have the opportunity to play at the varsity level.

“Our goal is to be competitive and make the top four to make the playoffs and go from there and see what happens.”

2016 Kalani football schedule
Check here for the latest schedule updates: http://bit.ly/2958rWe
>> July 28: St. Francis (scrimmage only)
>> July 30: Damien (scrimmage only)
>> Aug. 5/6: Bye
>> Aug. 13: vs. Pearl City, at Aiea High field
>> Aug. 20: vs. Kaimuki, at Kaiser Stadium
>> Aug. 27: at Waialua
>> Sept. 3: vs. McKinley, at Kaiser Stadium
>> Sept. 10: vs. Roosevelt, at Kaiser Stadium
>> Sept. 16/17: Bye
>> Sept. 24: Bye
>> Sept. 30: vs. Kalaheo, at Kailua High field
>> Oct. 7: vs. Waipahu, site TBA

2016 Kalani varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Scott Melemai (first season)
>> Defensive coordinator and defensive backs: George Lumpkin
>> Defensive backs: Radford Dudoit
>> Linebackers: Derek Saiki
>> Linebackers: Tui Vaeena
>> Defensive line: Brandon Victor
>> Offensive line: Taiga Titialii
>> Offensive line: Jarrett Hew
>> Offensive line: Paul Kumashiro
>> Running backs: Andrew White
>> Wide receivers: Sean Soberano
>> Quarterbacks: Jason Fujioka


  1. Mahatma Gandhi June 14, 2016 4:38 pm

    I remember George Lumpkin when he played DB at UH early 1970s when UH football was still Div1-AA. Longtime football assistant at UH. Assisted Kanani Souza at Kamehameha. George Lumpkin was the one bringing in top popolos to UH. Mahalo for all his good work.

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