SUMMER summary: Campbell Sabers

Running back Tasi Faumui, left, returns at running back for Campbell in 2017. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prep World will be releasing summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.



>> 2016 record and finish: 7-5 (5-2 OIA Blue); lost 25-7 to Farrington in the OIA quarterfinals, beat Moanalua 2-0 by forfeit in an OIA consolation playoff game, beat Waiakea 48-0 in the Division I state tournament first round, lost 35-12 to ‘Iolani in the D-I state tourney semifinals

>> Number of returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense

>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 14

>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 28

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Kishaun Ki, first-team DT

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa, third-team S

>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Tasi Faumui, Sr., RB, 5-8, 190; Vernon Etrata-Daite, Sr., SB, 5-8, 135; Gabriel Colon-Valentin, Sr., SB, 5-9, 170; Sir-Wallace Chanel, Jr., OL, 5-11, 260; Dylan Ursua, Sr., SB, 5-11, 165

>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Tyrese Tafai, So., LB, 5-11, 200; Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa, So., S, 5-11, 170; Jeremiah Tauai, So., LB, 6-1, 190; Dane Esprecion, Sr., LB, 5-6, 190; Nathaniel Thompson, Sr., DL, 6-1, 210

>> Sabers with Division I FBS college offers: Linebacker Tyrese Tafae, LB (Nevada)

>> All-time state championships: 1 (2004, D-II)

>> All-time Prep Bowl era (1973-1998) championships: None

>> All-time OIA championships: 2 (2004, D-II; 2008, D-II)

>> 2017 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)

>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open

Head coach DARREN JOHNSON on the Sabers’ outlook for 2017:

“The turnout is really good. The kids are consistently being where they’re supposed to be and are buying in and are working hard. And the new coaching staff is working hard.

“There’s been progress with the two new systems, offense and defense. We’re looking at a roster (for the season) of about 65 varsity and 65 JV. Right now, it’s 90 on varsity and 80 on JV. Rules will have to be followed or guys will get let go. A lot of it has to do with grades. We’ve installed mandatory study hall. If you don’t take care of business in the classroom, you can’t play football. If you are not a student first, then you’re not serious about your athletic high school career.

“We brought in a new defensive coordinator, Mika Liilii (formerly at Aiea), and he’s bringing in his system. He’s really good, and I want to know that system. MIka Liilii. It’s a base four-down, and we’ll do things off of it.

“Offensively, the kids gotta learn what I’m bringing in. I’m teaching discipline, assignment football and doing your job and paying attention to detail. We teach everything step by step and detail it so there isn’t miscommunication. We try to make sure the players have that true football IQ and are understanding what our system is all about.

“My coaching will be different here and there (compared to the days as a Kahuku assistant and Kailua head coach). I’ve tried to improve in areas that I’ve looked at and evaluated. We will definitely mix it up real good (run and pass). I’ve looked at how we can block better, with better blocking schemes and assignments and getting the right personnel out there and making sure you’re giving kids opportunities.

“I tell them: We’re coaching for today. You still build for the future because you need to. We’re not going into the season hoping to be a good team. We are going into the season with the goal of winning every football game. I think it’s realistic when you understand the kids at Campbell. They’re tough kids. They want to play and they want to win. If there is any kind of setback, we’ll be disappointed of course. But we are out to mold character and win. That’s why I coach. Winning makes it more fun.

“What I’ve seen from some other sports at Campbell, softball and baseball, is consistency, rules, fairness and understanding offseason preparation. They put the time into it with their athletes. That’s what we’re trying to do now with the football athletes, putting extra time into it to be better.

“The previous coaches, including Amosa Amosa, have already set the mold. We hope to be the final chapter for the history book. Be bigger and better. That’s the goal. I thought I was retired, but now I have another chance. This is something that I go after every day. The kids laugh because I look forward to going to practice. This is going to be a fun-packed season. It’s getting hot at Campbell.”

2017 Campbell football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.

Thursday, July 27
>> Campbell at Saint Louis (scrimmage)

Saturday, July 29
>> Campbell at Castle (scrimmage)

Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kapolei at Campbell (nonleague)

Friday, Aug. 11
>> Farrington at Campbell

Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Aiea at Campbell

Saturday, Aug. 25
>> Campbell at Waianae

Friday, Sept. 1
>> Kaiser at Campbell

Saturday, Sept. 9
>> Campbell at Waianae

Friday, Sept. 15
>> Campbell at Radford

Friday, Sept. 29
>> Kahuku at Campbell

2017 Campbell varsity football staff
>> Head Coach and offensive coordinator: Darren Johnson (first season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Mika Liilii
>> Quarterbacks: Scott DeSilva
>> Running backs: Kimo Alo
>> Wide receivers and slots: William Wilkinson
>> Offensive line: Tai Utoafili and Jojo Napeahi
>> Defensive line: Rocky Savaiigaea and Keoni Fontanilla
>> Linebackers: Samita Vaoifi
>> Defensive backs: Derek Mailau and Kawe Johnson
>> Kickers: Etu Baravilala

Projected next up: Kahuku Red Raiders


  1. Mahatma Gandhi June 28, 2017 4:25 pm

    I remember when Darren Johnson was the Kahuku starting QB. I think 1983 was the season. He had huge success at head football coach at Kaimuki and Kailua. He got Kaimuki into the state Div 1 semifinals. I think 2001 was the season. Why was this guy not a head football coach somewhere the last 8 years?!

  2. Hmmmm? June 28, 2017 6:51 pm

    Try ask people at Kailua and Kaimuki what happened? It’s amazing Campbell hired him. It’s RISKY for the Sabers.

  3. ??? June 28, 2017 6:53 pm

    Darren Johnson & Mika Li’ili’i with Campbell’s talent equals a “Sleeping Giant”.

  4. Mahatma Gandhi June 28, 2017 8:46 pm

    Hmmm, that’s all people say about Darren Johnson. They say “you don’t know what he does”, but give no details at all. No clues to “what he does”. What Darren Johnson does is win big, and win at schools that have no business winning big: Kaimuki. Look at what happened to the Kailua football program after he left.

  5. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate June 28, 2017 8:55 pm

    me name give u hint?

  6. Hmmmm? June 28, 2017 10:17 pm

    If DJ did it right, then he would stay at schools longer than 5 and 3 years. I don’t see any State Champ on his resume. Time will tell….

  7. BK June 29, 2017 12:30 am

    @Mahatma Gandhi….the rumors range from money handling, swearing at players, not following Athletic Dept. policies, to name a few. There are other rumors but they are for R-rated. Of course, these are rumors but you wanted to know…

  8. bumbuchas June 29, 2017 4:46 am

    OIA Insiders know the true stories of why he was let go at both Kailua and Kaimuki. Reasons are not printable for the press as one never wants to tarnish one’s reputation in public. Much baggage, many and I mean many, are surprised he was hired at Campbell. One just shakes your head at the OIA AD’s who speak with fork tongue. They talk publicly of character development as the athletic goal of the program but their actions reflect that it’s all about the WINS. They have no right to complain about the ILH, they just as bad, do anything to win. Just as surprising as the AD’s decision to let Amosa go. Amosa leaves HUGE shoes to follow in terms of Integrity, Character development, Community Leader, Educator, Pastor, Youth Leader, etc. Hope at the end of the day it all works out well for the Ewa community. In 2001 he was at Kailua where he led Kailua to the OIA semi finals, not in the state Tournament. It ended up in an abbreviated season where both Kailua & Kahuku were named co champs as the championship game was not held. Good Luck to Campbell, all Hawaii wish you well.

  9. 88 June 30, 2017 5:09 pm

    You guys sound like some bitchez….

  10. OGRRFL June 30, 2017 7:48 pm

    Bunch of haters! Same people talking s $@!t If you don’t know, shut your mouf! And I can shut your mouf if Hmm brave enough to come out of hiding! All you fags!

  11. MP July 3, 2017 10:23 am

    Say what u like about DJ. But none of you can deny the fact that Braddah can flat-out COACH! Good Luck DJ!

  12. bumbuchas July 3, 2017 12:01 pm

    No Haters, No Bitches, no one talking S…….t, just the Truth. If one as a parent is ok w/their kid being sworn at, yelled at, coached to inflict bodily harm, etc. then that’s their choice. Try attend of their practices and hear/see for yourself. Obviously we have some DJ supporters, more power to all of you. If the school Admin allows and tolerate his coaching methodology, so be it. I don’t live in Ewa.

  13. 88 July 3, 2017 1:27 pm

    Swearing, yelling and inflicting bodily harm is all a part of football. Coach Johnson isn’t the only one who does this. Go to ANY practice on this Island and you will hear “kick his ass” or “what the fuk” or ” Faka how many times I gotta have tell your ass” just to name a few. Hate to break it to you but they ain’t out there hugging and kissing.

  14. bumbuchas July 4, 2017 9:02 am

    That type of behavior was tolerated back in our small kid days. Today, coaches are getting fired/reprimanded for allowing such on the field. Parents are the 1st to complain cuz their go home and tell Mommy & Daddy what the coaches said or did. The pampered enabled kids of today and the helicopter parents trying to live their dreams through their kids, cannot handle. Combine this with incompetent Administrators who cannot handle the job duties of dealing with bonehead parents, and you end up with the great game of football, eroding away. It becomes all about the “ME” and not the TEAM concept.

  15. bumbuchas July 4, 2017 9:06 am

    BTW, if and when Campbell & Kapolei meet up in post season play, it should be a great matchup with extra spices added in (Amosa at Kapolei). You’re either Teal or Orange.

  16. BK July 5, 2017 1:11 am

    bumbuchas….You the MAN!!!

  17. 88 July 5, 2017 5:04 pm

    Grind him then……

  18. Hmmmm? July 5, 2017 7:54 pm

    88–Who’s the hater now?

  19. 88 July 5, 2017 8:25 pm

    “Grind him than” is a jab at BK. Its intended to poke fun at the fact that BK is massaging bumbuchas saks with his “You the MAN!!!” post. Your post of “Try ask people at Kailua and Kaimuki what happened? It’s amazing Campbell hired him. It’s RISKY for the Sabers” is what you call hating. See the difference.

  20. BK July 5, 2017 10:41 pm

    That’s a good reply considering you spelled bitches wrong, in another post.

  21. Hmmmm? July 5, 2017 11:14 pm

    Haha….I can defend myself.

  22. 88 July 6, 2017 4:37 am

    Thats a terrible reply since your post ” there are other rumors but they are for R rated.” makes absolutely no sense.

  23. Hmmmm? July 6, 2017 1:10 pm

    88 and BK…you 2 should kiss and make-up, you are missing the concept of this forum. On the other hand, you are cracking me up.

  24. 88 July 6, 2017 7:24 pm

    She wish…..

  25. BK July 7, 2017 2:42 am

    You wish???

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