Football


Sport Week

Week Pre

1. Punahou

2013 record (rank): 11-0 (1st)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: at No. 10 Leilehua, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Among those who graduated from last year's state-championship team was three-three starting quarterback Tui Tuileta, who garnered SL All-Hawaii Division I Offensive Player of the Year honors. Junior Ephraim Tuliloa takes over the job after playing sparingly in 2013, but benefits from the return of leading rusher Wayne Taulapapa (986 rush yards, 14 TDs) and receiver Kanawai Noa (47 catches for 1,053 yards, 10 TDs). Among the starters returning on defense are DE Canton Kaumatule and LB's Ronley Lakalaka, Kalama Chung and Saitui Moeai, who had 15 tackles in Punahou's state-title victory over Mililani.

2. Mililani

2013 record (rank): 11-2 (2nd)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: vs. No. 3 Saint Louis, 6:30 p.m. Saturday

The Trojans return eight starters on the offensive side of the ball, including four offensive linemen and First Team All-Hawaii RB Vavae Malepeai, who rushed for 1,350 yards and 20 TDs last year. Behind then-sophomore QB McKenzie Milton, Mililani averaged nearly 35 points and 370 yards of total offense per game in 2013. However, the defense, which allowed just over 14 points and 218 yards per game, saw eight players depart due to graduation. The top defensive returner is senior DT Rex Manu, who has nearly a dozen D1 scholarship offers in his back pocket.

3. Saint Louis

2013 record (rank): 6-3 (4th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: at No. 2 Mililani, 6:30 p.m. Saturday

The much-anticipated return of head coach Cal Lee, who last coached the Crusaders more than a decade ago, is almost here. Saturday's 2014 opener at Mililani is just the first of three early-season tests for Saint Louis, which has a bye next week before facing off against California-power St. John Bosco on Aug. 22 and opening the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season against reigning D1 state champ Punahou on Aug. 29.

4. Kamehameha

2013 record (rank): 9-2 (3rd)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: at No. 9 Waianae, 8:30 p.m. Friday

Year two of the Doug Cosbie-era at Kapalama gets underway with a tough non-league game on the road at Waianae Friday night. The Warriors will be bolstered by the much-anticipated return of senior RB Kaulana Apelu, who missed nearly all of his junior season with a torn left ACL. The defense was one of the best statewide last year, surrounding just 15 points and 206 yards per game. Leading that group this season will be senior DE Mika Tafua, a BYU commit, and CB Dylan Kane, an Oregon commit.

5. Kahuku

2013 record (rank): 6-5 (7th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: vs. No. 7 Campbell, 8:30 p.m. Friday

Interest around the Red Raiders is at an all-time high following the offseason changes, namely the hiring of coach Lee Leslie from Kuna High in Idaho. By its own standards, Kahuku has a small roster this year - around 60 players - but there are still big bodies everywhere, including the offensive backfield, where Leslie proud boasts three fullbacks in the 260-pound range. Sophomore Kesi Ah Hoy and junior Soli Afalava will provide more than enough speed behind them.

6. Farrington

2013 record (rank): 9-4 (5th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: vs. Baldwin, 5 p.m. Saturday at War Memorial Stadium

The Governors are coming off a runner-up finish in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Tournament last year and a D1 state semifinal appearance. The trio of Challen Faamatau, CJ Liana and Ranan Mamiya - one of two transfers from Saint Francis - will share the load at RB with the graduation of Second Team All-Hawaii selection Sanele Lavatai. Senior DT Breiden Fehoko, one of the state's top prospects, has verbally committed to Texas Tech.

7. Campbell

2013 record (rank): 9-4 (6th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: at No. 5 Kahuku, 8:30 p.m. Friday

The Sabers are loaded with returning talent, especially on defense, where eight starters come back for 2014. Among the defensive standouts are perhaps the best safety-duo statewide in SS Solomon Matautia, an Oregon State commit, and FS Abiel Taito, who will play at Nevada next year. WR Jayce Bantolina is a third-year starter who figures to help first-year starting QB Ezra Savea fill the big shoes left behind when Isaac Hurd graduated. Taito will play QB at Kahuku Friday, with Savea among those out on academic probation the first two weeks of the season.

8. Kapolei

2013 record (rank): 6-4 (9th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: at Kealakehe, 7 p.m. Saturday

The Hurricanes have a new offensive coordinator in former Kailua and Kaimuki head coach Darren Johnson, who has implemented a run-first offense behind a massive offensive line. Senior OTs Villiamu Savea (6-6, 275) and Pesi Savea (6-8, 310) will pave the way for RBs Ronald Young and Trensten Spragling. OLB Ronald Matautia, a transfer from Waianae, will also see time on offense as the short-yardage/goal line back. Kapolei lost a trio of defensive standouts in MLB Micah Paris, DE Kingston Fernandez and DT Kalani Vakameilalo, all of whom graduated in the spring.

9. Waianae

2013 record (rank): 7-3 (8th)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: vs. No. 4 Kamehameha, 8:30 p.m. Friday

The Seariders saw their 2013 season end how their previous two did: with a league quarterfinal loss at Kahuku. This year the teams will meet in the final week of the regular season as both are in the new OIA D1 Red. Waianae also has a new offensive coordinator in former Searider QB Kana Kawai, who has put in an uptempo, pistol offense. More than 30 seniors graduated from last year's squad and gone are the top five rushers, statistically, from 2013.

10. Leilehua

2013 record (rank): 6-4 (NR)

Previous rank: -
Last week: --
This week: vs. No. 1 Punahou, 8:30 p.m. Friday

The Mules have the tough task of hosting the reigning state champions to open the season Friday night. Senior QB Kalanimoku Pauole was third on the depth chart a year ago, but is learning daily from Tokuda, a former Aiea quarterback, and co-offensive coordinator Bobby George, a former Saint Louis signal caller. Seniors Ikaika Piceno (430 rush yards, 7 TDs in 2013) and Randy Neverson (415 yards, 5 TDs) are among the top RB duos in the state. The defense will once again be small in stature and built on speed.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Just missed the cut: Hilo, Maui.