SUMMER summary: Castle Knights

The Castle Knights under new coach John Hao are getting ready for the 2017 season. In photo, a Knights running back carried the ball against Mililani last season. Jamm Aquino / 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: 4-5 (3-4 OIA Red; lost 49-7 to Moanalua in the first round OIA Division I playoffs)

>> Number of returning starters: 5 offense, 6 defense

>> Number of returning seniors: 23

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Jeremy McGoldrick, second-team utility

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None

>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Jaylen Lee, QB; Makana Smith QB/WR; Kauka Umiamaka, OL; Matthew Kapu OL; Codi Silva OL

>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Ezekiel Rombawa, DB, Damien Fauolo, DL; Kekai Ukauka, DB; Justin Lopez, LB; Kekoa Martinez DL

>> Knights with Division I FBS college offers: None

>> All-time state championships: None

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

>> All-time OIA championships: 1 (2002, D-I)

>> 2017 conference: OIA D-I

>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open

Head coach JOHN HAO on the Knights’ outlook for 2017:

“Kaneohe always has great athletes, especially at the skill positions. And we have some bigger kids this year. We’ve made a lot of progress over the summer, but you can never be satisfied at where we’re at. We’re working hard to get better every day, and we’re trying to teach and mentor our athletes to become better athletes and better football players and better students. We’ve got approximately 55 on the varsity and 53 on JV.

“We’re trying to make sure we work hard and give effort and execute on every play. In order to win games, that’s what we need. We’ve got a new sysatem on both ends of ball, so it’ll be a long road ahead of us. I see a lot of great knowledge being passed down from the coaches.

“I was out of my element at Kahuku (assistant coach under Vavae Tata). I did the best I could with what he wanted. We’re going to throw the ball (unlike at Kahuku) and try and make sure we’re sound overall on defense, especially pass defense and getting to the quarterback. We’ll run a base four.

“I’m a Saint Louis guy, so we’ll run the same formations as they run and what June Jones ran at Kapolei when he was there. The run-and-shoot.

“We started setting goals the first time I met with the kids, and I’ve seen some real good progress throughout the summer. We as coaches need to get them ready and prepared mentally. Physically, they’ve got it. It’s just a matter of getting on the same page as us.

“We have the potential to be very competitive. Our kids are aggressive and hungry. They have the talent. We as coaches need to put things together and see what the strong and weak points are and keep working.

“The hardest thing is starting from scratch. The kids know that this is what the new coaches want and so now it’s figuring out what they’re going to do to get to that point. And once we as coaches get it across, it’s going to be an automatic reaction.”

2017 Castle football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Friday, July 28
>> Castle at Waipahu

Saturday, July 29
>> Campbell at Castle

Aug. 5
>> Damien at Castle (nonleague)

Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Castle at Radford

Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Castle at Kapolei

Saturday, Aug. 26
>> Mililani at Castle

Friday, Sept. 1
>> Castle at Nanakuli

Friday, Sept. 8
>> Leilehua at Castle

Friday, Sept. 15
>> Kailua at Castle

Saturday, Sept. 23
Castle at Farrington

2017 Castle varsity football staff
>> Head coach: John Hao (first season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Abraham Kamanao
>> Defensive backs: Jonah Lakatani, Arnubi Bruhn
>> Linebackers: Keani Alapa, Ikaika Soares
>> Defensive line: Ernest Aliksa, Billy Pieper
>> Offensive coordinator: Ricky Lumford
>> Wide receivers: Donald Fialkowski, Nick Love
>> Offensive line: Keoni Steinhoff, Kamu Judd

Projected next up: Campbell Sabers


  1. anywaaaays!! June 26, 2017 12:55 pm

    Best wishes to Castle and Coach Hao, thank you for your time at Kahuku but we do things backwards out here and thats why we are enemy of the state.

  2. Hmmmm? June 26, 2017 2:36 pm

    Hope Castle gets more W’s than last year. That’s what Admin. and parents want, but good luck! I see them getting 3 W’s at most…..

  3. Mahatma Gandhi June 26, 2017 6:28 pm

    Look the turnout, 55 kids. Glad to see that. I don;t want to see kids twiddling their thumbs after school with nothing to do. I respect previous Castle head coach Nelson Maeda. But if kids don’t want to play for him, then the Castle admin gotta make a change. Nelson Maeda belongs somewhere on a varsity football staff. I think he is a better fit at an ILH school.
    Yeah, Kaneohe turns out great athletes. Problem is, either they don’t turn out for sports or the ILH recruits them.

  4. ??? June 26, 2017 7:11 pm

    I heard Maeda “Good Coach” is helping Aiea.
    I think Hao got shafted at Kahuku but he will turn Castle around which he already did with the increase in turnout of 55 kids on vars.

  5. Jeezy33 June 26, 2017 8:56 pm

    I think ??? Is BG grad aka education first…lol

  6. Outlaw June 27, 2017 12:33 am

    I hear 55 kids but only 11 can play at once. How many of them are quality FB players?
    Time will tell, in 2015, Castle had about 30 players and beat Campbell with 70 plus players.

  7. ??? June 27, 2017 8:36 am

    Stop Hating.

  8. Chubby Bruhn June 27, 2017 7:17 pm

    John Hao along with Timmy Chang, George Ornellas along with Brendon Agbayani have been my favorite Crusader players of the past. Jonah Lakatani also and though I am a huge supporter of Mr. Maeda, it is refreshing to see new young talented coaches taking the helm and bringing their knowledge to help in crea ting better players and more importantly better people out of these students. Let’s not expect a miracle and a championship, but I do believe this program is in good hands. Discipline, trust, cohesiveness and execution is ingredients for a successful season and I believe Hao and company will instill that. uKNIGHTed we stand, divided NO CAN!

  9. BK June 28, 2017 3:37 am

    I hear a Pac-5 coach is working at Castle and an Asst. AD at Castle. Is that allowed????

  10. BG Grad July 3, 2017 9:37 am

    Jeezy: No retard. We’re three different people. Nice try though. I would accuse you of being other user names here but not many people come off as dumb as you.

    Good to see John Hao trying to turn castle around. switching to a spread/run and shoot makes much more sense for them. not every team is built like kahuku

  11. MP July 3, 2017 10:21 am

    Best of luck to Coach Hao. Excited to see this team in the field!

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