SUMMER summary: Kapolei Hurricanes

Kapolei went 10-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament Open Division in 2016. They Hurricanes have a lot of experienced players returning, but many leaders from 2016 are gone to graduation and transfer. In photo, Kapolei’s Marquis Montgomery caught a pass against Kailua’s Bruddah Spencer-Choy Foo 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: 10-3 (6-1 OIA Red); beat Moanalua 49-9 in OIA D-I quarterfinals; lost 33-27 to Farrington in OIA D-I semifinals; beat Waianae 27-15 in OIA D-I third-place game; beat Punahou 33-21 in first round of state tournament Open Division; lost 54-7 to Kahuku in the semifinals of the state tournament Open Division

>> Number of returning starters: 2 offense, 6 defense

>> Number of returning seniors: 11 offense, 15 defense

>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 9 offense, 5 defense

>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 20

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation or transfer: Jaymin Sarono, first-team REC; Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, first-team DT; Leonard Lee, first-team S; Wyatt Perez, second-team REC; Taulia Tagovailoa, second-team QB; Riley Asuncion, second-team P; Akoni Kapihe, third-team OL; Omar Mareko, third-team LB

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

>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Isaiah Ahana, Sr., WR 6-2 200; Tino Pule, Sr., OL. 6-1, 30; Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala, So., WR, 5-10 175; Keanu Barboza, Sr., WR, 5-11 190; Josh Kansana, Sr., RB, 5-11, 195

>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Kukea Emmsley, Sr., DE, 6-5 235; Dylan Naehu, Sr., DL. 6-2, 275; Teriq Lacaden, Jr., DB, 5-11 195; Bam Amina, So., LB, 6-0, 205; Junior Tuia, Sr., DT, 6-2, 275; Treven Maae, Jr., DE, 6-4. 225; Rocky Savea, Sr., LB, 6-2, 230

>> Hurricanes with Division I FBS college offers: Kukea Emmsley, Sr., LB; Aaron Faumui, Sr., DT; Rocky Savea, Sr., LB; Junior Tuia, Sr., DL; Julius Buelow Jr., OL; Treven Maae, Jr., DE; Bam Amima, So., LB

>> All-time state championships: None

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

>> All-time OIA championships: None

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

>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open

Head coach DARREN HERNANDEZ on the Hurricanes’ outlook for 2017:

“All everybody is talking about is the fact that we lost June Jones, we lost Taulia Tagovailoa, lost Jaymin Sarono and Wyatt Perez who combined for 160 catches and 32 touchdowns … so that’s a lot of production. We lost a bunch of players on the line and a bunch of coaches, but that’s the nature of high school football. People move on. Kids come and leave and there’s nothing you can do about it. You move on and try to do the best job you can with the guys you’ve got.

“On offense, we lost a ton of players and have only one returning starter, wide receiver Isaiah Ahana. Another returning starter, running back Josh Kansana, is recovering from a torn ACL and is still not ready to go. Taulia transferred. It sounds pretty grim, but that is the nature of high school football. Rarely do you have three-year, and even more rare, four-year starters. We were fortunate to have Taulia as a two-year starter. It was a great thing to have two years with a super talent like him.

“We also lost our backup quarterback, Leonard Lee, who was a safety. We’ve got Nainoa Fong returning. He played in just one game. Kukua Emmsley, who also plays D-line for us, has a really nice arm and is working at QB. We also have Kaniala Kalaola, who is a transfer from Saint Louis. We’re working with him and getting him up to speed and learning the offense.

“We lost three All-State players on defense, Leonard Lee, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Omar Mareko. Leonard had 12 interceptions, Myron had 14 sacks and Omar had over 100 tackles. Those three guys were very productive. Keanu Kelly is another starter we lost on defense. But we have a lot of guys who played a lot of minutes and have a lot of experience, even though they were not “starters.” We rotate a lot of people in and out.

“We feel like we should be in the conversation this year. We ended up on a sour note and got beat down by Kahuku and that ended our season. We had a great season. Nothing to be ashamed of. The kids played well. We are a team that can compete for the OIA and state title every year. That’s our goal, our mission. We come to practice with that on our minds. Peformance-wise, we want to be the best we can be,with that (championship) goal in mind.

“We’re fine. I’ve been coaching a long time and coaches come and go. It’s a rarity to have coaches that last a decade on your staff. I have one assistant coach who has been with me thd whole time, Tino Palacio who coaches receivers. He was my first hire here at Kapolei and he is still with me. He’s a great guy and loyal.

“Kahuku has a new coach, but they’re just reloading. They always have a defense that is impentatrable and very physical. Waianae, the same thing, always physical on defense and running to the football and wearing you out. Mililani is also very physical with a lot of skill guys that can hurt you in the passing game. Darren Johnson is at Campbell now and they’re going to be tough and running the ball well with a great scheme. Farrington has big, physical dudes that can put a hurt on you and are always good. Leilehua, even though they haven’t had the size and the size in numbers, I expect them to be very, very good, very competitive. Those are some of the classic OIA names with a lot of history behind them. I expect those teams to again be at the forefront.

“We don’t have a scrimmage set. A team pulled out at the last minute. So we’ll be going into the (nonleague) like a college team, straight into it. We’ll be scrimmaging each other (intrasquad) a couple of times. Hopefully nobody gets banged up. Aaron Faumui (formerly of Radford) is with us from Orem High in Utah. He’s got Pac-12 and Big 10 offers. He’s a two-way lineman, at tackle and defensive tackle. He will be fun to watch. He’s one of the best two-way linemen I’ve ever coached and he’ll be one of the best in the state this year.”

2017 Kapolei football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kapolei at Campbell (nonleague)

Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Kapolei at Waianae

Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Castle at Kapolei

Saturday, Aug. 26
>> Kapolei at Farrington

Saturday, Sept. 2
>> Leilehua at Kapolei

Saturday, Sept. 9
>> Kapolei at Kailua

Friday, Sept. 15
>> Mililani at Kapolei

Friday, Sept. 29
>> Kapolei at Nanakuli

2017 Kapolei varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Darren Hernandez (80-66, 16th season)
>> Defensive coordinator: Brad Hewahewa
>> Offensive coordinator: Amosa Amosa
>> Special teams coordinator: Pat Ena

Projected next up: Saint Louis Crusaders


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