Who’s going to be the next Yuuya?

‘Iolani running back Yuuya Kato's superb performance in relief of an injured teammate in 2012 helped the Raiders capture the 2012 D-II state title. (Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser)
‘Iolani running back Yuuya Kato’s superb performance in relief of an injured teammate in 2012 helped the Raiders capture the 2012 D-II state title. (Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser)

Who will be this year’s Yuuya Kato?

Can’t remember him? Let’s refresh, shall we?

In the fall of 2012, ‘Iolani lost running back Kody Mento to injury midway through the season. Enter Kato, who had 22 carries in the first five games for 149 yards and one touchdown.


After that, starting against Kamehameha on Sept. 20, he averaged 18 attempts per game, cracking the century mark in five of the Raiders’ last seven games. For the year, he rushed for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. In that seven-game stretch, right through ‘Iolani’s D-II championship game victory, he averaged more than 102 rushing yards per outing.

State tourney? 103 yards, two TDs against Radford. Another 103 in the final against Lahainaluna.


Oh, and for good measure, 20 receptions for 283 yards and four touchdowns. The Raiders withstand the loss of Mento, go 5-2 with a reserve back and secure another state crown.


That’s some kind of production in the thick of a title chase. By a second-string running back. He’s now at the College of the Redwoods (Calif.).

So. Who will be this year’s Yuuya Kato? Has he already begun a substantial run to the finish for his team? Maybe there won’t be another this season, but my hunch is that there will be at least a few.

COMMENTS

  1. Philip Enos September 27, 2013 11:41 am

    Brandon Kahookele much? He came in for the injured Apelu and is among the state leading rushers.


  2. Paul Honda September 30, 2013 12:38 pm

    Brandon is a helluva back. He’s been stout since early season. I’m thinking more along the lines of a guy who steps in at midseason or later like Kato did. Anyone?


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