SPRING-ing into football season: Radford Rams

Safety Jonah Soakai, pictured preparing for the Division II state championship game last November, will be a key returner for Radford under new coach Lon Passos. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Safety Jonah Soakai, pictured preparing for the Division II state championship game last November, will be a key returner for Radford under new coach Lon Passos. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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RADFORD RAMS

>> 2015 record and finish: 13-0 (8-0 ILH D-II); defeated Wailua 35-0 in the OIA-D-II semifinals; defeated Kaimuki 28-6 in the OIA D-II championship game; defeated Konawaena 48-46 in the state D-II semifinals; defeated Kapaa 30-16 in the state D-II championship game
>> Number of returning starters: 5 (3 offense, 2 defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 13
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 16
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 26
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation or transfer: Ace Faumui (second-team U), Jordan Walker (third-team LB), Aaron Faumui (third-team DT)
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Sipa Leafa (third-team CB))
>> OIA D-II All-Stars lost to graduation or transfer: Ace Faumui (first-team RB, first-team U, second-team DB), Blaise Manabe (first-team WR and first-team U), Tayvis Passos (first-team OL), Talatonu Von Koppel (first-team OL), Dillon Sunday (first-team DL), Aaron Faumui (first-team DL), David Faletoi (first-team LB), Jordan Walker (first-team LB), Sipa Leafa (first-team DB), Quintin Iriarte (second-team QB)
>> OIA D-II All-Stars returning: Jonah Soakai (second-team DB)
>> Among 2016 key offensive returnees: Darius Oribello (OL, Sr.), John Pabalate (OL, Sr), Talatonu Von Koppel (OL, Sr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Sipa Leafa (DB, Sr.), Jonah Soakai (DB, Sr.)
>> Rams with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: 1 (2015, D-II)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 1 (1981, D-I)
>> All-time OIA championships: 8 (5 in D-I — 1960, 1961, 1968, 1976, 1981; 3 in D-II — 2005, 2012, 2015)
>> 2016 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)

Head coach LON PASSOS on the Rams’ outlook for 2016:


“We’re doing all right (in spring drills). We’re working with what we have left (from the D-II state championship season), with the guys who wanted to stay here. Overall, the team, spriit-wise we’re doing very good. The kids are good. Jordan Walker (transfer to Silverado in Las Vegas) and Aaron Faumui (tranfer to Orem, Utah) are big losses. Jordan was a three-year starter going into this, his senior year. We gotta move on

“On the varsity, we’ve got about 40 — we had about 50 last year — and the JV team is in the 40s. We’re young varsity-wise, with only five returning starters. There are other guys returning, but they didn’t play much so this is a new and young team.

“For us moving up (to Division I) now, it’s not an ideal team. We lost a all this talent to graduation and Jordan and Aaron. One thing that we’re striving for is having that team thing going, that commitment. Me and the assistants talked to the kids about commitment. We’re in (Division I), so that makes coming to practice every day a must. Everybody we play against is going to be good and so it’s important that they believe in what we’re trying to teach them.

“On the offensive side, we have many of the coaches we had last year under (departed head coach) Fred (Salanoa). On the offensive side, I was on the O-line, Jaocb Sur was on receivers, Alan Salanoa was the running backs coach. The new guy, (quarterbacks coach) Tom (Tereschuk) teaches at school and he coached baseball this past season and we’re getting to know him. Shaun Masaniai was the JV head coach, and (linebackers coach) Thor (Salanoa) has been with Redford for many years. I wanted guys that have been here with us and that I know. I know that they will have my back and I can depend on them. I’m really looking forward to this new year, with this being my first year as head coach. I wouldn’t want assistants that I don’t know.

“There will be some people up from the JV who will be a big help. Both were brought up to varsity last last year. Darrellson Masaniai is going to be good one on the D-line and may play O-line. Kyle Sudog is smart and loves the game and will be a linebacker for us.


“The five returning starters and the other returning guys, I will put a lot on them. We won (D-II) states last year so they know what it takes. I’m going to be harder on them. If they miss practice, they run extra. If they come late, they will roll 50 yards, bear crawl back 50 yards, army crawl 50 yards and crab walk 50 yards.

“We’ve got the majority of kids at summer practice now. We’ve got to move ahead with the people here. We can’t teach them today what they (were supposed to) learn yesterday. We don’t have the biggest guys, but I tell them size don’t matter. It’s who has the bigger heart.

“For me, it will be a success if they can become better men. The game of football is about life. It’s not always X’s and O’s. We want to build and work as a team, and so they can go into their lives and know how to work as a team, trust other people and become better men.

“Being (in D-I) is a whole different world. Every week, it’s going to be a dogfight. There won’t be teams that are easy matchups.”


2016 Redford football schedule
Check here for the latest schedule updates: http://bit.ly/2958rWe
>> July 29: at Kailua (scrimmage only)
>> Aug. 6: vs. ‘Iolani, at Aiea High field
>> Aug. 12: at Castle
>> Aug. 19/20: Bye
>> Aug. 26: Kaiser
>> Sept. 2: Moanalua
>> Sept. 9: Kahuku
>> Sept.16: at Waianae
>> Sept. 23: at Aiea
>> Sept. 30: at Campbell

2016 Redford varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Lon Passos (first season)
>> Offensive coordinator/running backs: Alan Salanoa
>> Wide receivers: Jacob Sur
>> Quarterbacks: Tom Tereschuk
>> Defensive coordinator/defensive backs: Eric Lalau
>> Linebackers: Thor Salanoa
>> Defensive line: Shaun Masaniai

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