Waianae’s Rosario gives added zest to backfield

Waianae junior running back Rico Rosario, who is up from the junior varsity team, is having a big impact on the Seariders' offense.  Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Waianae junior running back Rico Rosario, who is up from the junior varsity team, is having a big impact on the Seariders’ offense. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Senior Javen Towne has been lugging the football out of the Waianae varsity football team’s triple option for three years now.

He’s a tough customer. He can plow up the middle. The 5-foot-8, 190-pounder can also use his speed and moves.

Then there’s senior Jorell Pontes-Borje (5-9, 175), another person in the fourth-ranked Seariders’ backfield who we in the media have written and talked about for the past three years. Speedy, elusive, can catch.

It gets deeper, with plenty of other capable carriers, including a junior who is off to a blazing start. His name is Rico Rosario (5-9, 200) and he looks like a real difference-maker so far.

Rosario rushed for 117 yards in a huge 35-14 victory at then-No. 5 Kapolei last Saturday. In two games, he has 173 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

“Rico, he’s our upcoming kid,” head coach Walter Young said. “He’s up from the JV; he’s strong and he’s got some speed to him.”

Rosario scored the Seariders’ only touchdown in a loss to Kahuku in the 2015 OIA JV championship game.

“Javen is smaller, but he’s also got speed,” Young said.

Senior Kade Ambrocio (5-10, 160) is getting his share of carries, too.

“Kade and Jorell are our open-space guys and they can catch passes out of the backfield, too,” Young added.

Solofua Grey (5-11, 205), a fullback who had also been seeing playing time, has an ankle injury and his estimated return date is unknown, according to Young.

More often than not, Rosario or Towne will line up at fullback, with Grey injured.

“We ride the fullback,” Young said. “That’s the first thing we try to do.”

In the Waianae triple-option offense, the two main sets are a fullback and two wings, and one wing along with the other two runners in the I formation.

Without the following guys up front, Waianae’s smashmouth thrust wouldn’t be quite the same: junior left tackle Onesimus Clarke (6-6, 310), senior left guard John McFall (6-0, 250), senior center Mililani Misipati (6-1, 325), senior right guard Jonah Maga (5-10, 280) and senior right tackle Micah Atuatasi (6-3, 325).

The Seariders (2-0, 1-0 Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue) play their home opener Friday night against Moanalua (1-1, 0-1).


  1. Alpha August 19, 2016 8:19 am

    Great to see Waianae looking like they did in the 90’s….. give them another yr, they will be a real threat….

  2. Former OIA insider August 19, 2016 4:56 pm

    Actually this is the make or break year. A lot of these guys are Seniors. Last year was junior heavy. Some key guys are juniors now, but they won’t have the OL/DL like this next year. They’ll also lose a lot of the LBs and offensive skill positions

  3. RidgeRunnerE-5 August 19, 2016 5:30 pm

    Hats off to coach Young and his staff for developing these young players and helping them play to their full potential. Many a talented Waianae team came and went under Matsumoto with nothing to show for it. Nothing against the guy, but he just didn’t bring the passion to inspire our boys.

  4. Chloropicrin August 19, 2016 6:42 pm

    They’ll lose a lot of big guys, but not all. Their LBs Mailo, Mauga and #44 are all juniors. All they’ll lose is #8. Half their starting DBs are juniors. Offensively, they’ll lose a the QB, and 2 outta the 3 starting RBs. On the line they a lot and lose size, but the coaches have been rotating in the younger guys to give them reps. This year they’re loaded with seniors on the offensive side. Next year they’ll be heavy with seniors on D side.

  5. oia#1 August 21, 2016 12:08 pm

    Chloro theyll lose alot in the trenches, and thats where it matters the most.

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