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Tofagau-Tavui steps up for Sabers; Warriors' Robins caps decorated prep career




Jonah Tofagau-Tavui

Campbell football  •   #10    

The maturation process for Campbell's Jonah Tofagau-Tavui has been an accelerated one, to be sure. 

The freshman has had quite the debut season on the gridiron for the Sabers, who locked up the final spot in the four-team First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Open Division State Championships with their 33-14 win over Waianae on Saturday. 

Tofagau-Tavui, who goes by the nickname of Tana, was instrumental in the victory over the Seariders — which extended Campbell's season by at least a week. He factored into four total touchdowns, with three of them coming in a 20-point first half. 

"He's a fun guy to watch," Sabers coach Darren Johnson said of the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Tofagau-Tavui, whose position on the team roster is listed as utility.

"He's played everywhere on offense. We haven't used him on defense yet, but he's ready to play defense if we gotta, but he's practiced at (defensive back) and that's gonna happen with his future at Campbell," Johnson added.

Against the Seariders Saturday, Tofagau-Tavui played quarterback, which allowed him to put his versatility on display. Tofagau-Tavui's 5-yard touchdown pass to Kamaehu Kopa-Kaawalauole opened the scoring with three minutes and 13 seconds left in the first quarter. 

Tofagau-Tavui led the Sabers on two more scoring drives late in the final minutes of the second quarter. His 21-yard scoring strike to Rowen-Ray Bucao came with 3:12 left in the stanza. The same pair hooked up for the ensuing two-point conversion to give Campbell a 14-7 lead, but Tofagau-Tavui ran in a touchdown from a yard out just 38 seconds before the intermission to send the Sabers into the break with a 20-7 lead. 

"He kept the offense on the field and he kept drives alive," Johnson said. 

About midway through the third quarter, Tofagau-Tavui extended the Sabers' lead to 26-7 with his 3-yard touchdown run. 

"To be honest with you, with the football in his hands is when he's at his best," Johnson said. "Every time he touches the ball, something good, we think, is gonna happen."

Tofagau-Tavui finished with team-highs of 14 carries for 58 yards rushing, along with his 97 yards through the air on 9-of-15 passing with one interception. 

"He's very coachable, very reliable, really well-mannered — just a great, awesome young man," Johnson said.

Tana's father, Rodney, also played quarterback at Campbell in the late '90s. 

"He comes from a good, athletic family and he's very mature for his age. You won't see a whole lot of goofing off from him," Johnson added. 

Johnson noted that Tofagau-Tavui isn't one to draw much attention to himself — at least, not with his words. 

"He's not a ‘rah-rah' kid. He's the kind of kid who would show up when we're distributing equipment and be happy with a helmet and a pair of shoulder pads. He don't care if it's new or old or what, he just wants to play and he brings a lot of good energy to the field," Johnson said. 

It's that type of work ethic that has endeared Tofagau-Tavui to his teammates — despite their gap in age. 

"He's very liked but his teammates. He's one of those likable kids and he's gonna do the right thing. He comes to practice, he's on time, he doesn't look at what's he gonna get away with — he does what we ask. We have rules and guidelines and he follows them," Johnson said. 

For the season, Tofagau-Tavui has completed 21 of his 36 pass attempts for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He's run for 138 yards and five TDs on 33 carries and also caught 18 passes for 162 yards and another score. 

"I think he has a big role on this team and a lot of kids look up to him even though he's a younger kid, but you would think he's a senior if you didn't know how just because of his presence, his demeanor and his urgency," Johnson described. "He practices with a purpose; he wants to play and he wants to get better."

Tofagau-Tavui was pressed into quarterbacking duties against Kahuku in the semifinals of OIA tournament last month. In limited work against the Red Raiders, he posted 76 yards through the air on 5-of-9 passing and also ran nine times for 72 yards and two TDs. 

"He does some good things with the football and he's one of the guys we depend on and we just want him to keep doing good, but we knew next year that he's just gotta stay on the field," Johnson said. 

Campbell started off the year 4-0, but had since lost three in a row (two losses to Mililani sandwiched around the Kahuku defeat) before last weekend's win over Waianae in the OIA third-place game. 

The must-win scenario his team was faced with against the Seariders necessitated inserting Tofagau-Tavui into the starting quarterback role. 

"Just urgency," Johnson affirmed. "We were trying to get something going, get a good look. We came off three bad losses and we just needed some urgency."

Johnson credited sophomore quarterback Chaynce Kuboyama-Hayashi for handling the change in stride. 

"The thing is both quarterbacks are young, but each has good qualities about them; I think, right now, Tana's urgency and leadership is a big plus."

Johnson could only shrug his shoulders when asked if Tofagau-Tavui competes in any other sports besides football. 

"He's probably athletic enough where he can play baseball, basketball and run track, but because he's only a freshman he hasn't really gone out, so I don't know, to be honest, but I'm just happy he's playing football and he's playing for us," Johnson said. 

The veteran coach made sure to acknowledge the work put in by Tofagau-Tavui's previous coaches at the youth level, specifically within the Jr. Prep Sports organization. 

"A lot of it is that he had great coaching at the JPS level and they did good things with him — I can't overstate that," Johnson said. "He came up good. We wanted him play and he could play and so we brought him up to varsity. In Ewa there are so many different football programs, but they've got good coaching and good leadership, so that helps a lot."

Johnson is certain that Tofagau-Tavui has a promising path ahead of him on his football journey. 

"He's a special kid, he's playing on a special team and we hope special things happen in our future for him," he said. 

Tofagau-Tavui and the Sabers (5-3), who are ranked fifth in this week's ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings, will play No. 1 Kahuku Saturday, 4 p.m. at Farrington's Edward ‘Skippa' Diaz Stadium. 

The late semifinal Saturday features No. 4 Mililani and No. 2 Saint Louis at 7 p.m. The semifinal winners will play for the Open Division state championship on Dec. 23. 




Maui Robins

Kamehameha volleyball  •   #9  OH/Opp  Senior

There isn't a whole lot that Maui Robins can't do on the volleyball court. 

The Kamehameha senior has made that evident over the course of a decorated four-year prep career for the Warriors that wrapped up over the weekend. 

"She's like a Swiss army knife or a multi-tool, where she has the right tools for every situation that's needed and then as she's matured, she was able to know when to bring them out and utilize them when appropriate," Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said of Robins, a four-year varsity player and three-year starter. 

"Her ball control is super solid and she has excellent footwork, great block alignment, a very versatile attacker and she's definitely added the leadership part of it," he added. 

Robins, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter/opposite and six-rotation player, has been a team captain for the past two seasons, but her resolve was put to the test this fall due to a severely sprained ankle that forced her to miss nearly half of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season. 

"Over the years I've seen many of them and we knew it was gonna be kind of a long (recovery process), but once the physical things came by, she knew she could rely on her teammates to be that supporting force to supplement her inner strength and fortitude," Blake said. 

The injury to Robins came in the midst of the absence of fellow-senior outside hitter Devin Kahahawai, who was with Team USA in the U18 World Championships in Mexico. The Warriors experienced their share of struggles with one, the other — or sometimes both — out for a number of regular-season matches. 

Robins, however, did anything but feel sorry for herself. Instead, she saw the glass as half-full. 

"My main thing was that I just wanted to keep a positive mindset because I didn't want my injury to drive me more down than it physically did, like, keep me from playing volleyball, but I still wanted to be there for my team," she said. 

Blake noted the bond between his trio of senior captains — Robins, Kahahawai and libero Payton Oliveira — and how that helped Robins get through some tough times on her lengthy road to recovery. 

"I think it was not only assistance from us as coaches, but also her teammates and just being together so long and how they depend upon each other. Knowing that you can depend upon your teammates for that strength when going through that adversity is huge, but so was her mental mindset through it, because it was a long injury," Blake explained. 

It certainly paid off, however, for Robins and the Warriors (12-5), who captured their 23rd state title in program history with their sweep of top-seeded Punahou in Saturday's title game of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I State Championships at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. 

Robins, one of three players from Kamehameha named to the All-Tournament Team, posted 14 kills and 15 digs in her final high school match. 

"It's so satisfying, it's very rewarding," Robins said after the 25-18, 25-15 and 25-22 win over the Buffanblu. 

The Warriors' celebration was the culmination of a six-month season that began back in July. 

"This season has honestly been — not only was it longer than usual, but Devin being the great volleyball player she is, she had to go to Mexico for the USA Team, then I got injured and we had other injuries on the team, too that kind of set us back, but it's always about how we end and I'm super proud of my team," said Robins, who hit .242 with six errors in 33 swings. 

She also was a perfect 12 for 12 on serve-receive, while her 15 digs were a team-high. Robins also had one of her team's five aces from the service line and was in on one block at the net. 

Kahahawai posted 16 kills with seven digs and Oliveira tallied seven digs and was 16 of 17 on serve-receive. The pair were tabbed for All-Tournament Team honors alongside Robins, with Kahahawai earning Most Outstanding Player distinction. 

"I think our senior leadership — Devin with Maui and Payton — as our key core were big for us, but everyone else found a way to contribute and that's been super key for us all season," Blake said. "I mean, it was the longest season in Hawaii high school history and from our first time together in July to now, we've come a long way, but it's a testament to the resilience, to the preparation of our coaching staff and all the supporters who were here to make this work, so it was a great win for our team and a great win for our program."

Blake pointed out that while it was difficult for Robins to be sidelined with the mid-season injury, it gave her a different perspective on the game. 

"Her getting injured in the beginning-to-middle part of our season and being out for so long, it allowed her to contribute to our team in other ways, more vocally, and she could see more of the game and was able to assist her team in that way, too, which I think was essential as we progressed in this long season," he said. 

Now that the season is over and done with, Blake was able to take a few days to process just how large of an undertaking it proved to be. 

"The team had to be so versatile because there were so many changes and the commitment the entire team had over the course of these five months to sacrifice everything as far as continuing to limit their circles and being safe and vigilant, it's definitely gonna be looked back upon as a very memorable season," Blake said. 

Robins, to be sure, played a large role in the Warriors' success. 

"Maui was the one who knew to lead from the front when necessary, but also lead from behind and that shows her maturity and her development and it bodes well for her as she takes her next step to play at the next level," Blake added. 

Robins, who was an All-ILH second team all-star and All-Hawaii third team selection as a sophomore in 2019, is committed to play her collegiate volleyball for the University of Portland beginning next year. 

FOOTBALL

Keahi Ah Sui, Nanakuli — Threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-16 passing with two interceptions in a win over Radford

Windsor Asing, Aiea — Recorded two interceptions, broke-up another pass and made one tackle in a win over Moanalua

Tumama Auwaa, Aiea — Had 5 1/2 tackles, including two for losses and one sack, with one pass break-up in a win over Moanalua

Joe Cariaga, Maui — Threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-26 passing without an interception and ran 14 times for 83 yards in a win over Baldwin

Kainoa Carvalho, Kahuku — Caught eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in a win over Mililani

Zach Dando, Maui — Caught a touchdown pass and ran for another in a win over Baldwin

Bishop Foumai, Aiea — Made seven total tackles, including one-half for loss, and forced a fumble in a win over Moanalua

Macen Halemano, Aiea — Made seven total tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss, in a win over Moanalua

Mason Hunt, Hawaii Prep — Made a 32-yard field goal as time expired in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Gavin Hunter, Mililani — Scored on a 50-yard interception return in a loss to Kahuku

Justin Kanekoa, Kaiser — Caught seven passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns in a win over McKinley

Isaac Kaalakea, Baldwin — Scored on a 32-yard fumble return in a loss to Maui

Liona Lefau, Kahuku — Had 6 1/2 total tackles, intercepted a pass and caught a touchdown pass in a win over Mililani

Mesi Maae, Moanalua — Had eight total tackles and a pass break-up in a loss to Aiea

Joshua Oh, Kalani — Ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in a win over Pearl City

Michael Papa, McKinley — Caught 14 passes for 160 yards in a loss to Kaiser

Alvin Quisquirin-Sabagala, Waianae — Ran for two touchdowns in a loss to Campbell

Kaymen Sue, Mililani — Had eight total tackles, including two for losses, in a loss to Kahuku

Kalob Victorino-Avilla, Radford — Threw for 211 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-21 passing with one interception in a loss to Nanakuli

Robert Young, Maui — Caught a touchdown pass, ran for another TD and also scored on a 31-yard fumble return in a win over Baldwin

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Milan Ah Yat, University Lab — Had 32 kills, 19 digs, three assists and one block assist in a five-set win over Damien and had 32 kills, 19 digs, two assists and one ace in a five-set win over Le Jardin 

Adrianna Arquette, Kamehameha — Had 10 kills, five block assists and one dig in a three-set win over Kahuku and had 12 kills, two digs and two block assists in a three-set win over Punahou

Rozalynn Cabuena, Maryknoll — Had 40 digs, three aces and an assist in a four-set loss to Le Jardin

Pii Carvalho, University Lab — Had 17 kills, 15 digs and two solo blocks in a five-set win over Damien and had 13 kills, 11 digs, four aces, two block assists and two assists in a five-set win over Le Jardin

Reese Diersbock, Le Jardin — Had 16 kills, 17 digs, three solo blocks, two block assists and one ace in a four-set win over Maryknoll and had 21 kills, eight digs, three block assists and one assist in a five-set loss to University Lab

Grace Fiaseu, Punahou — Had 11 kills, one dig and a block assist in a three-set win over Moanalua

Makayla Fonoimoana, Kahuku — Had 11 kills, three digs, two block assists and an ace in a three-set win over Hilo and had 13 digs, four kills and one block assist in a three-set loss to Moanalua

Kamaluhia Garcia, Moanalua — Had 17 kills, 11 digs and an ace in a three-set win over Kamehameha-Hawaii and had 18 kills, seven digs and two block assists in a three-set win over Hilo

Kelia Giusta, Moanalua — Had 10 kills, three block assists and one solo block in a three-set win over Kaiser, had 12 kills, 21 digs, two block assists and one ace in a three-set win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Gennezia Hawkins, Le Jardin — Had 41 assists, 16 digs, three kills and two solo blocks in a four-set win over Maryknoll and had 39 assists, 15 digs, nine kills and two block assists in a five-set loss to University Lab

Maela Honma, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Had 13 kills and 22 digs in a three-set loss to Moanalua 

Allexis Iramina, Moanalua — Had 31 assists, 14 digs, three kills and a block assist in a three-set win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Devin Kahahawai, Kamehameha — Had 16 kills, three digs, three block assists and one ace in a three-set win over Kahuku and had 16 kills, seven digs, two assists, one block assist and an ace in a three-set win over Punahou

Ryli Kalahiki, Le Jardin — Had 20 digs, five kills, four solo blocks and a block assist in a four-set win over Maryknoll

Kalia Kalama-Bajet, Damien — Had 27 kills, 10 digs and a block assist in a five-set loss to University Lab and had 10 kills, two digs, two block assists and two assists in a two-set win over Maryknoll

Maiah Kalima-Izumi, University Lab — Had 34 digs, seven aces and one assist in a five-set win over Damien and had 17 digs, five assists and three aces in a five-set win over Le Jardin

Kalikokupuna Kealoha, Hilo — Had 12 kills and four digs in a two-set loss to Mililani

Nadia Koanui, Kamehameha — Had 12 kills and a block assist in a three-set win over Baldwin

Lacey Manzano, Damien — Had 17 digs, one ace and an assist in a five-set loss to University Lab 

Emmalei Mapu, Kahuku — Had 10 kills, three block assists, one solo block and a dig in a three-set win over Hilo

Jaclyn Matias, Punahou — Had 28 assists, 15 digs, four aces, three kills, two solo blocks and two block assists in a three-set win over Mililani, had 42 assists, six digs, two kills, one block assist and an ace in a three-set win over Moanalua and had 27 assists, eight digs and one kill in a three-set loss to Kamehameha

LC-Reece Nakagawa, Mililani — Had 23 digs and an assist in a three-set loss to Punahou

Maya Nam, Le Jardin — Had 15 digs, four assists and one ace in a five-set loss to University Lab 

Hailee Naone, Le Jardin — Had 17 digs, one ace and an assist in a four-set win over Maryknoll

Avery Perreira, Maryknoll — Had 19 kills, 27 digs, one ace and a block assist in a four-set loss to Lar Jadin

Kiiloa Rilveria, Seabury Hall — Had 19 digs and two aces in a two-set win over Hawaii Prep

Brooke Samura, Hawaii Prep — Had 13 digs, two kills, one block assist and an ace in a two-set loss to Seabury Hall

Sierra Scanlan, Kamehameha — Had 20 assists, six aces, two digs and a kill in a three-set win over Baldwin and had 22 assists, 12 digs and one kill in a three-set win over Punahou

Zoe Slaughter, Moanalua — Had 22 digs and two assists in a three-set win over Kamehameha-Hawaii, had 12 digs, five assists and an ace in a three-set loss to Punahou and had 16 digs, four assists and one ace in a three-set win over Kahuku

Jaelyn Tang, Mililani — Had 12 digs, eight kills and one block assist in a three-set loss to Punahou and had 11 kills, two digs, one block assist and an ace in a two-set win over Hilo

Makena Tong, University Lab — Had 54 assists, 17 digs, eight kills, two block assists and one solo block in a five-set win over Damien and had 56 assists, 12 digs, five kills and one block assist in a five-set win over Le Jardin

Lulu Uluave, Punahou — Had 10 kills, 12 digs and one block assist in a three-set loss to Kamehameha

Melie Vaioleti, Punahou — Had 15 digs and an assist in a three-set win over Moanalua and had 16 digs and one assist in a three-set loss to Kamehameha

Sydnee Walker, Le Jardin — Had 19 kills, 24 digs, one block solo and an ace in a four-set win over Maryknoll and had 17 kills, 23 digs, five assists, one block assist and an ace in a five-set loss to University Lab 

Kenna Wengler, Damien — Had 51 assists, 15 digs, four kills, three block assists and an ace in a five-set loss to University Lab and had 22 assists, five kills, five digs and one ace in a two-set win over Maryknoll

Kody Wengler, Damien — Had 18 kills, 17 digs and two block assists in a five-set loss to University Lab and had 10 digs, seven kills and one assist in a two-set win over Maryknoll

Lucky-Rose Williams, Punahou — Had 11 kills and nine digs in a three-set win over Moanalua



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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