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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveOctober 1, 2019, 7:37pm
Male Athlete of the Week: Aperamo Sulu, Damien football Aperamo Sulu has worked diligently to get to where he is and the Damien football team is reaping in the fruits of his labor.
The junior running back — better known to his teammates and friends as "Amo" — is in the midst of a stellar 2019 season. Sulu has rushed for 916 yards in eight games, which is the second most by an player in the state this year.
Sulu is coming off of his fourth consecutive game with 100-or-more rushing yards following last Friday's 28-12 win over Kailua at Aloha Stadium. He carried 28 times for 179 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes.
"I think what impressed me most about him in that game was just him making big plays when we needed them," said Damien coach Eddie Klaneski, whose team was penalized 12 times for 133 yards.
Four of those penalties came on Sulu rush attempts, including an apparent 77-yard touchdown scamper that was wiped away by a holding call. He also runs of 24 and 11 yards that were negated due to penalties.
"We had a bunch of penalties during the game and we ended up first-and-20 sometimes, but Amo was able to break off a big run and just consistently give us a chance to get good field position back," Klaneski said. "He just worked very hard during the game and he didn't complain when he had that long run called back; He just moved on to the next play and doesn't worry about that kind of stuff."
Sulu averaged 6.4 yards per carry against the Surfriders — which is actually below his season-average of 7.3. Seven of his rush attempts went for first downs and two of them converted third downs, including the TD run, which gave his team a 28-6 lead with 3:45 left to play.
"That touchdown run was the culmination of what he was doing all game and that was kind of the thing that closed them out was that last run there," Klaneski said. "He was playing solid up until that point, so it was just good that he's continuing not to give up and he just works hard all the way to the end."
Klaneski credited the offensive line of left tackle Jason "Kona" Hoohuli, left guard Bronson Sua, center Dallas Repollo, right guard Ramon Hernando and right tackle Kaysen Mahuka-Kaawa.
"I think they did a good job for the most part handling Kailua's front seven," Klaneski said. "Kailua was actually very active in the front and their front seven was pretty good. Our guys did a good job blocking them and I think as the game went on they just started to wear on them, so give them credit, they're in good shape and we've got some big boys too, but they put in the work during practice and as the game wore on they were opening up holes and kind of wearing down that defensive front."
It was certainly by-design that the Surfriders defense got a heavy dose of Sulu as the Monarchs were without starting quarterback Jake Holtz, who sat out his first game of a two-game suspension after being ejected against Iolani two weeks ago. Sophomore Logan Lacio made his first career start in place of Holtz Friday.
"Especially early on we tried to simplify the game for Logan to make it easier for him to get acclimated for his first start and Amo being able to run the ball effectively early kind of helped us out, but Logan made some good plays as well so I think he stepped up, but just having that confidence of knowing that the O-line will block for him and Amo can run the ball helped him out," Klaneski said.
Klaneski added that the return of River Iaea from injury to serve as Sulu's backup — in addition to his duties at linebacker — has also been helpful.
"We really rely on being balanced as much as we can and I think having a couple good running backs — Amo being our lead back and having a solid backup in River — adds a little more to our offense. With them being effective in the run game, that opens things up like play-action and even deep passes," Klaneski said.
Sulu was coming off of a season-high 234 rushing yards against Iolani two weeks ago. He has rushed for at least one touchdown in each game this year and has 11 on the season.
"He's been solid. He kind of does a lot of stuff on his own. He's one of those kids that goes to work, he doesn't say much and you can always count on him to do his job and he's real thankful of his teammates, never take the credit, that kind of guy, doesn't say much in practice no matter what happens, he just works hard and he's a good kid."
Two years ago Sulu was called up to the varsity team as a freshman upon the conclusion of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu intermediate season. However, he suffered a broken leg in a state tournament game on the island of Kauai.
Sulu ran for a team-best 537 yards on 113 carries (4.8 yards per rush) as a sophomore last season, but wasn't fully recovered from the injury, Klaneski said.
"He's a lot healthier than he was last season. He wasn't 100 percent all last year, but now you can see he's 100 percent healthy and his speed is back. He makes these huge runs where he's running away from guys and it's a testament to his hard work in the summer," Klaneski said.
Klaneski noted that Sulu added about 20 pounds of "good muscle" since the end of the 2018 season.
"Out of all our kids, he probably put on the most weight in the season — he was probably 165 (pounds) last year — but he just got bigger and his physique is good, his arms, chest, everything, he just looks like a bigger kid and you can tell that he's just worked hard in the offseason," Klaneski said of Sulu, who now weighs 185 pounds on his 5-foot-10 frame.
In the past Sulu also played linebacker on the defensive side of the ball, but has strictly lined up at running back this season.
"Especially once we got River back, we wanted to lessen (Sulu's) workload because he's carrying the ball 25, 30 times a game, but he's an all-around athlete and can pretty much play anywhere on the field," Klaneski said.
Sulu, who also competes in canoe paddling and track and field for Damien, ranks fourth on the team with 258 receiving yards and 3 TDs. He is averaging 15.2 yards per catch and has caught a pass in all but two games this year.
"It's not like he's catching screens all the time," Klaneski said. "He's running routes — there's some times where we're in an empty package and he's actually running receiving routes — so he's pretty talented in that sense, too."
The win over Kailua was a much-needed one after Damien had dropped its previous two contests, against Leilehua and Iolani.
"It was huge, I mean, just to get that confidence back," Klaneski said. "After losing back-to-back games — granted it was against probably two of the best team we're gonna face this year besides Moanalua — it's still tough and our kids, you could tell that their confidence kind of came down a little bit, so we were trying to build them back up last week (in practice) and that victory was huge for us. … I'm happy that the victory helped us gain our self-confidence back and we just gotta continue to get better."
Sulu and the Monarchs (6-2 overall, 4-2 ILH D1) are ranked 11th in this week's ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings. They will visit Aiea Saturday before concluding the regular season against No. 8 Moanalua on Oct. 11.
Female Athlete of the Week: Jada Dias, McKinley volleyball Jada Dias is not what McKinley girls volleyball coach Carrie-Ann Akana-Charles would call a "vocal leader." Instead, the 5-foot-6 senior outside hitter fills a different role.
"She's the glue that gets everybody to play and play hard and focus," Akana-Charles said of Dias, a three-year starter and one of two team captains for the Tigers (6-3) this season.
"She's not vocal, she's not loud, but she leads in her own way," said Akana-Charles, who has also coached Dias as part of the Hilinai Volleyball Club the last four years. "Jada is very quiet. She's the quiet one, but she pushes the team. What's great about her is she knows when to talk and not to talk, but she's always listening."
Dias is one of nine seniors for McKinley, which is seeing one of its best seasons in recent years. She is also one of five seniors that have played together on the varsity team since their ninth-grade year.
"When Jada and the rest of them first started with us when they were freshmen, we were 0-11 back then so this is really, really a good accomplishment with how far we've come," Akana-Charles said.
The Division-II Tigers are tied for the fourth-best record in the Oahu Interscholastic Association's Eastern Division with wins over D1 teams in Kaiser and Kalaheo — part of a current three-game winning streak that includes last Thursday's five-set win over Kailua.
McKinley reached the semifinals of the OIA D2 tournament a year ago, but saw its season end with a loss to eventual-league champion Kaiser — one win short of qualifying for the state tournament.
Akana-Charles said that experience provided all the motivation needed over the offseason.
"We had a speech with them about how we want to move forward and yes, we want to make the (OIA) playoffs, but now the next level is we want to make states," said Akana-Charles, who coaches with her husband, Mathew.
"We were practicing from May and a lot of them play club elsewhere so we had a lot of experienced players so that helped a lot, but just making them realize that, ‘Hey, we can. Next year we want to make states and we can.' It's up to them," Akana-Charles said. "We tell them that 'we cannot play for you guys, we can only prepare you guys, but it's up to you guys to play on the court' and just being positive with them."
A big part of the turnaround this season has been the play of Dias, who Akana-Charles says has been a study in consistency.
"She's an all-around player — front row, back row — and she's one of the key players, basically. She's one of our passers as well as one of our go-to hitters," Akana-Charles said. "She's always in the double-digits with her kills, digging, she's all over the back row, she gets aces here and there and she's a big help on double-blocks."
It was against the Mustangs last Tuesday that Akana-Charles said Dias had one of her best matches.
The Tigers dropped the first two sets — including a nine-point margin of defeat in game 1 — but stormed back to win the next three. Dias had her last of 13 kills at a crucial point late in game 5 to deny Kalaheo match point. McKinley went on to win deciding set, 18-16. Dias also recorded 17 digs, three aces and two block assists.
"She did a great job," Akana-Charles said. "That game against Kalaheo we started slow, but they pushed through and they all just jelled together as a team and that's how they pulled off the win; they were fired up after the second set. It was an exciting and intense game on both sides. Kalaheo gave us a good game."
Akana-Charles said that Dias — who earned honorable mention All-OIA Eastern Division recognition as a junior last season — has always played amongst a higher age group growing up, back to her days with the Jammers Volleyball Club.
"She's been playing volleyball all her life, but she's improved over the years big time. She's bigger and stronger now and we travel with the club too, so she's been traveling with us," Akana-Charles said.
Athleticism and talent aside, Dias has proven to be coachable.
"She always listens to whatever we tell her," Akana-Charles said. "She listens then she does it and she doesn't give attitude or anything. She's always a good listener and she does her part. She does what we ask her to do on and off the court, so she's all around."
Dias and the Tigers visit Castle Tuesday night before wrapping up the regular season at Roosevelt Thursday.
ScoringLive reporter Spencer Honda contributed to this report.
FOOTBALLJonan Aina-Chaves, Campbell — Rushed 26 times for 121 yards and a touchdowns in a loss to Punahou
Kaeo Akana, Roosevelt — Had two sacks and a fumble recovery in a win over Kaiser
Brycen Amorozo, Waipahu — Made field goals of 28, 26 and 37 yards and was 5 of 5 on PATs in a win over Aiea
Naomas Asuega-Fualaau, Kaimuki — Rushed 12 times for 121 yards with a touchdown and caught nine passes for 106 yards and another score in a win over Pearl City
Noa Bailey, Kapolei — Threw for 225 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-21 passing without an interception in a win over Kamehameha
Jordan Botelho, Saint Louis — Had seven tackles, including two sacks and forced a fumble in a win over Mililani
Laitin Bradley, PAC-5 — Made 8 1/2 tackles in a win over Kalani
Ian Canute, PAC-5 — Rushed six times for 104 yards and a touchdowns in a win over Kalani
Kayson Castillo, Aiea — Threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-31 passing with one interception and rushed 17 times for 74 yards and another score in a loss to Waipahu
Jordan Cezar, Aiea — Caught give passes for 103 yards and a touchdowns in a loss to Waipahu
Angelo Coluccio, PAC-5 — Caught a touchdown pass and had two sacks in a win over Kalani
Hiram deFries-Saronitman, Punahou — Made six tackles, including three for losses, two sacks and broke-up a pass in a win over Campbell
Jayden de Laura, Saint Louis — Threw for 380 yards and five touchdowns on 12-of-19 passing with one interception in a win over Mililani
Kyler Dicion, Waialua — Threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-35 passing without an interception in a win over McKinley
Kama Espinda, PAC-5 — Intercepted two passes in a win over Kalani
Dre Falls, Kaiser — Had two interceptions in a loss to Roosevelt
AJ Fernandez, Farrington — Scored on a 31-yard fumble return in a win over Waianae
Wilde Germano, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored on a 14-yard interception return in a win over Pahoa
Aukai Grace, Moanalua — Scored on a 20-yard interception return in a win over Castle
CJ Hamasaki, Kamehameha-Maui — Caught eight passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in a win over Maui
Blaine Hipa, Campbell — Threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-29 passing with one interception in a loss to Punahou
Alfred Failauga, Waipahu — Rushed 31 times for 281 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Aiea
Titus Fuiava, Waialua — Had 11 tackles and one sack in a win over McKinley
Nicholas Herbig, Saint Louis — Had 10 1/2 tackles, four tackles for losses, including two sacks and a forced fumble in a win over Mililani
RJ Javar, Moanalua — Threw for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-19 passing without an interception and rushed 10 times for 47 yards and another score in a win over Castle
Jayce Jay-Pedro, Damien — Had 4 1/2 tackles, including two sacks, in a win over Kailua
Isaac Kaleikau, Roosevelt — Had two interceptions in a win over Kaiser
Koalii Kama-Toth, Farrington — Had three sacks in a win over Waianae
Kapena Kamai, Baldwin — Caught eight passes for 96 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Lahainaluna
Peyton Kajiyama, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored on a 25-yard interception return in a win over Pahoa
Rudy Kealohi, Moanalua — Caught 11 passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Castle
Shepherd Kekahuna, Roosevelt — Scored on a 47-yard punt return in a win over Kaiser
Logan Lacio, Damien — Threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-24 passing without an interception in a win over Kailua
Kayde Mahuka, Waialua — Scored on a 29-yard interception return and was 7 for 7 on PATs in a win over McKinley
Jayden Maiava, Kaimuki — Threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-24 passing and also caught a TD pass in a win over Pearl City
Makanalea Meyer, Damien — Had two sacks and broke up two passes in a win over Kailua
Raymond Millare, Farrington — Rushed 23 times for 122 yards and a touchdown in a win over Waianae
Javon Miller, Aiea — Caught five passes for 111 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 66 yards and another score in a loss to Waipahu
Koby Moananu, Kaimuki — Caught three passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns and also threw a TD pass in a win over Pearl City
Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Campbell — Caught eight passes for 150 yards and intercepted a pass in a loss to Punahou
Aalona Monteilh, Roosevelt — Rushed for a touchdown, caught a TD pass and intercepted three passes in a win over Kaiser
Jarvis Natividad, Damien — Caught five passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Kailua
Koali Nishigaya, Saint Louis — Caught five passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for another score in a win over Mililani
Joshua Oh, Kalani — Rushed 16 times for 100 yards in a loss to PAC-5
Tony Paleafei, Farrington — Had two sacks and a forced fumble in a win over Waianae
Meki Pei, Iolani — Scored on a 53-yard punt return in a win over Radford
Michael Perry, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns on 6-of-8 passing without an interception and rushed for another score in a win over Pahoa
Storm Quilinderino, Waialua — Rushed 12 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 65 yards in a win over McKinley
Alvin Quisquirin-Sabagala, Waianae — Rushed 25 times for 161 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Farrington
Nicholas Sakamoto, Kalani — Had eight tackles, including four for losses, and also threw a touchdown pass in a loss to PAC-5
De'Zhaun Stribling, Kapolei — Caught six passes for 94 yards with a touchdown, rushed five times for 40 yards and a touchdown and threw a 26-yard TD pass in a win over Kamehameha
Dennis Tadio, Saint Louis — Scored on a 37-yard fumble return in a win over Mililani
Tyrese Tafai, Campbell — Made 6 1/2 tackles, including three for losses, in a loss to Punahou
Tevarua Tafiti, Punahou — Had 5 1/2 tackles, including four for losses, one sack, forced a fumble and scored on a 70-yard fumble return in a win over Campbell
Jeremiah Tauai, Moanalua — Scored on a 41-yard interception return and a 20-yard fumble return in a win over Castle
Vincent Terrell, Punahou — Rushed 24 times for 200 yards with two touchdowns and also had three kickoff returns for 104 yards and a punt return for 12 yards in a win over Campbell
Jake Toci, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored on a 30-yard interception return in a win over Pahoa
Tevita Tongotea, Kailua — Had 6 1/2 tackles, including four for losses and two sacks in a loss to Damien
Aaron Velasco, McKinley — Caught a 77-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 90-yard kickoff return in a loss to Waialua
Harvey Welch, Saint Louis — Scored on a 46-yard interception return in a win over Mililani
Hastings Yee Hoy, Kailua — Had 10 tackles, including one TFL, in a loss to Damien
S. Yoshizumi, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored on a 20-yard interception return in a win over Pahoa
GIRLS VOLLEYBALLKeonilei Akana, Kamehameha — Had 21 kills, 19 digs, two block assists and one ace in a five-set win over Punahou
Kailana Andrade, Kapolei — Had 11 kills, three block assists, two digs, one solo block and an ace in a four-set win over Waianae
Madisyn Beirne, Punahou — Had 18 kills and nine digs in a five-set loss to Kamehameha and had 10 kills, six digs, four block assists and one assist in a five-set win over Iolani
Heavenly Campbell, Damien — Had 13 kills, three solo blocks and one ace in a three-set win over Hanalani, had 15 kills, three digs, two solo blocks and an ace in a three-set win over St. Andrew's and had 12 kills, five digs, two solo blocks, one assist and an ace in a four-set win over University Lab
Gabby Canionero, Waianae — Had 28 assists, two digs, one kill and a block assist in a four-set loss to Kapolei and had 46 assists, four kills and four aces in a four-set win over Leilehua
Brynn Davis, Kalaheo — Had 10 digs and an ace in a five-set loss to McKinley
Tara De Sa, Kamehameha — Had 39 digs and two assists in a five-set win over Punahou
Kaia Dunford, Punahou — Had 14 kills, 17 digs, one block assist and an ace in a five-set loss to Kamehameha and had 13 kills, nine digs and two block assists in a five-set win over Iolani
Noelani Feliciano, Pearl City — Had 13 kills in a four-set win over Nanakuli
Tiare Figueroa, Leilehua — Had 11 digs in a four-set loss to Waianae
Elle Foehr, Kalaheo — Had 22 kills, seven digs and two block assists in a five-set loss to McKinley
Madison Garcia, Pearl City — Had 28 assists, two kills, two aces and a block assist in a four-set win over Nanakuli
Emma Harada-Suaava, Pearl City — Had 10 kills, five solo blocks and a block assist in a four-set win over Nanakuli
ShayAnn Hoohuli, Nanakuli — Had 12 kills, 19 digs and an ace in a four-set loss to Pearl City
Kalei Irvine, Waianae — Had 13 kills, two solo blocks and an assist in a four-set win over Leilehua
Jahnay Jardine, Waianae — Had 18 kills and seven digs in a four-set win over Leilehua
Chloe Kaahanui, Punahou — Had 53 assists, nine digs, two kills and two block assists in a five-set loss to Kamehameha
Devin Kahahawai, Kamehameha — Had 19 kills, 14 digs, five block assists, three solo blocks and an ace in a five-set win over Punahou
Kamalei Kai, Kalaheo — Had 28 assists, three digs, two block assists, one kill and an ace in a five-set loss to McKinley
Tia-Marie Kekipi-Nuuanu, Damien — Had 12 kills and one assist in a three-set win over Hanalani
Alexis Kepa, Kapolei — Had 40 assists, two kills, two block assists, one ace and a dig in a four-set win over Waianae and had 33 assists, 11 digs, one block assist and an ace in a three-set win over Campbell
Alohilani Keola, Leilehua — Had 19 assists, three digs, one kill and an ace in a four-set loss to Waianae
Shania Kepoo-Caspino, Waianae — Had 14 kills, five digs, one block assist and an assist in a four-set loss to Kapolei and had 12 kills, five digs, one solo block and an ace in a four-set win over Leilehua
Kassia Lee, Aiea — Had 15 digs and two assists in a three-set loss to Mililani
Aleah Liilii, Punahou — Had 12 kills, 16 digs and three block assists in a five-set loss to Kamehameha
Kawehi Marinas, Kapolei — Had 11 kills, seven digs, one block assist, an ace and one assist in a four-set win over Waianae and had 11 kills, nine digs, two block assists and an ace in a three-set win over Campbell
Aria Miller, Mililani — Had 14 kills, one block assist and an ace in a three-set win over Aiea
Aysia Miller, Mililani — Had 33 assists, four kills, two block assists and an ace in a three-set win over Aiea
Atiyona Mose, McKinley — Had 20 digs, six kills and one assist in a five-set win over Kalaheo
Angel Nahinu, Kapolei — Had 13 kills, two digs, two solo blocks, one block assist and an ace in a three-set win over Campbell
Kelsie Nakashima, Aiea — Had 18 assists, 14 digs, three aces and two kills in a three-set loss to Mililani
Megan Nishimura, Iolani — Had 13 digs and two assists in a five-set loss to Punahou
Ayanna Nunuha, Kapolei — Had 20 digs and an ace in a four-set win over Waianae
Elena Oglivie, Iolani — Had 28 kills, seven digs and one assist in a five-set loss to Punahou
Aiyanie Park, Damien — Had 12 digs and an ace in a three-set win over St. Andrew's and had 19 digs, two aces and an assist in a four-set win over University Lab
Moanikeala Paz-Powell, Nanakuli — Had 22 kills, one dig and a block assist in a four-set loss to Pearl City
Elsa Radovan, Damien — Had 24 assists, one kill, one solo block and an ace in a three-set win over Hanalani and had 36 assists, one kill and an ace in a three-set win over St. Andrew's
Senna Roberts-Navarro, Iolani — Had 12 kills and two block assists in a five-set loss to Punahou
Maui Robins, Kamehameha — Had 20 digs, eight kills, four block assists, three solo blocks and an ace in a five-set win over Punahou
Bryanne Soares, Kamehameha — Had 60 assists, 24 digs, three kills, three block assists and two aces in a five-set win over Punahou
Toodie Sopi, Kapolei — Had 13 kills, eight digs and one ace in a four-set win over Waianae
Noelle Sua-Godinet, Kamehameha — Had 10 kills, five digs, four solo blocks and four block assists in a five-set win over Punahou
Victoria Tamanika, McKinley — Had 15 kills, two digs, two block assists and an assist in a five-set win over Kalaheo
Precious Tauanuu, Aiea — Had 19 digs, seven kills and three block assists in a three-set loss to Mililani
Mokihana Tufono, Iolani — Had 44 assists, eight digs, four kills and a block assist in a five-set win loss to Punahou
Chevy Wagner, Waianae — Had 17 digs, two assists and one kill in a four-set loss to Kapolei and had 24 digs, 10 aces and one assist in a four-set win over Leilehua
Kaira Wengler, Damien — Had 13 kills in a four-set win over University Lab
Kylie Wolff, Kalaheo — Had 11 kills, 15 digs and one assist in a five-set loss to McKinley
Katharine Yoshimoto, Punahou — Had 37 digs, four assists and two aces in a five-set loss to Kamehameha and had 12 digs and two assists in a five-set win over Iolani
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