Due to sloppy field, Kahuku commutes to practices

The Kahuku football team, shown practicing on its home field last season, has had to practice at Castle and Farrington because of the weather in preparation for Friday's tilt against Saint Louis. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

There are only a few so-called five-star football programs in Hawaii and Kahuku is one of them.

But the fourth-ranked Red Raiders’ practice field gets only one star.

This week, with a mega game coming up against Saint Louis in the state Open Division semifinals on Friday at Aloha Stadium, Kahuku has spent some time on the bus traveling to Farrington and Castle, where there is artificial turf and solid white lines and numbers standing out brilliantly against the solid green field so players actually feel like they’re on a football field.

It is not mud and slop, which is what Kahuku would be in if it stayed home for practice.

“We are grateful that Farrington and Castle are accommodating us,” Red Raiders coach Sterling Carvalho said Wednesday. “Tonight, we won’t get on the field until 8, though, because Castle’s athletic teams are using the field. It’s going to be a late night.

“Tuesday night at Farrington, we had a great practice. We were finally on a field with lines. Even last week during a bye week, we were on a muddy field at Kahuku District Park, sharing the field with four other (soccer and rugby) teams. We appreciate our community letting us practice there and glad that none of the five teams were saying, ‘Get off our field.’ Our (home) field can’t handle all the moisture.

“It’s been a joke for years about how we have one of the best teams in the state but the worst field and facilities. People come here and ask, ‘You guys play and practice here? This is you guys’ locker room? (Past) coaches Makaoa Freitas and Vavae Tata went and practiced at Castle to get ready for the playoffs at this time of year. This is when there is the most rain. (Past) coaches Reggie Torres and Lee Leslie, the same thing. They had to go practice elsewhere. It hasn’t changed.”

There has been talk for years of improving the drainage at Kahuku, but part of the problem is that the whole school is in a flood zone and so far, there has been no easy answer.

Carvalho said his OIA runner-up Red Raiders (7-4) are ready to go, though, and are aware of the strength of the top-ranked Crusaders (9-0), who beat Kahuku 30-14 on Sept. 7.

“We’re matching up against the best in the state (and No. 9 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and No. 16 in the USA Today Super 25), so we have to play our best football in order for us to win,” he said. “(Saint Louis coach) Cal Lee is more or less the godfather of high school football in Hawaii. He has that program dialed in. We’re going up against a well-coached team that is confident and playing at a very high level. We’ve got to be playing our best football.”

Kahuku has had its share of injuries this year and Carvalho is happy to note that some players are back and others with nagging injuries have been able to rest up. Offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi, who missed a large chunk of the season due to injury, has been back for a few games and is still working hard to get into full game shape, the coach said.

“And we’re hoping for a big crowd because our boys feed off the community,” Carvalho said.

The tomahawk-chopping Red Raiders fans are known to give that feeling of a 12th man when they show up in force, and usually games against Saint Louis will bring them out. Such was the case in the last three top-tier title games — wins by Saint Louis the past two years and by Kahuku the year before.


  1. Rrforlifebaby November 15, 2018 7:14 am

    Good luck Boys! Go Big Red!!!!

  2. Chance Beyer #1 November 15, 2018 8:04 am

    Good Luck to you guys man! This game is by far my favorite one to play in! Gotta love your guys fans, they bring real excitement while playing! Hope everyone stays safe and that there’s no injuries. God Bless, see y’all tomorrow! Bless up 🤙🏽

  3. Mika Tufaga-Valai November 15, 2018 8:04 am

    Finally something worth reading in this mug.
    Thank you for helping us spread the word again.

  4. HailFromDaNorth November 15, 2018 10:22 am

    Chance beyer love the respect you have. That’s why when it’s all said and done it’s all about Hawaii football and we wish nothing, but the best for Hawaii boys. Go out and have fun and put on an awesome game for both fam bases. Much love and respect. #RR4L

  5. Mason Tufaga November 15, 2018 11:20 am

    good luck to all my boys from the NS gon be another battle! nothing but love for the community and team_\,,/

  6. Mana Kahala November 15, 2018 1:26 pm

    Good luck also to Chance Beyers,Mason Tufaga and the rest of the Saint Louis boys, great show of respect from both of you!!!!#RR4L

  7. Bev Amaral November 15, 2018 1:57 pm

    Good luck to both Teams tomorrow nite!

  8. Nala November 15, 2018 2:34 pm

    So much respect to this two young men. Nothing but love to you two and the crusaders. Good luck to both teams…..

  9. Coach C November 15, 2018 3:21 pm

    Travelling a minimum of 45 minutes, via bus for practices is crazy. This problem has been around long before 2000. All the while appears in 11 State finals and winning 8 titles. Mind you if the flood waters in Waikane rise, there will be no practice. So how does Kahuku retain their so call, recruits? Hmmm. in the mean time, Waipahu,Leileihua,Pearl City,Radford,Roosevelt, McKinley, Mililani,Farrington,Castle, Kaiser gets artificial turf?

  10. HailFromDaNorth November 15, 2018 3:38 pm

    mason you and your brother have the same humble and respectful attitude, your family should be proud of the respectful young men you guys are. I’m glad the people at Saint Louis are taking care of you and the boys from our community. May we continue to be humble and let the tradition and rivalry play on. I’m ready for a good game! May the best team win. #RR4L #TakesAVillageToRaiseAKid

  11. Oinker November 15, 2018 6:24 pm

    Kahuku High and it’s community are well deserving of an update to their field and athletic facilities. Much respect to those Kahuku kids who attend Saint Louis. It’s obvious that they love and respect their community and former classmates even after being accused by the same community of being recruited, not rooted. They probably wake up at 4:30-5:00am to get to school by the 7:30am start, remain after school for practice which ends at 6:00-6:30pm, then get home at 7:30-8:00pm. Then there’s homework. What dedication! Good luck to both HAWAII teams! 🤙🏽

  12. Tia Thompson (Kahuku's Asst Coach) November 16, 2018 6:19 am


  13. Afan November 16, 2018 9:46 am

    Hawai’i legislators…you should be ashamed of yourselves! Yeah let’s waste billions of dollars on the rail and neglect the kids of Hawaii! Dummies! Invest in something worthwhile like education and sports for these kids! Kahuku High needs a new field! Has for years! Are you guys blind! I don’t see the problem getting resolved because these elected officials have heads somewhere else! Toughness and resiliency run hard in that community but I’m sure it’s draining to feel like their concerns aren’t being met. Good luck to The Red Raiders tonight! Play hard boys! Crusader Nation Always!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.