Hawaii’s H.S. Hall of Honor
Kahuku • Football, basketball, track and field
Beyond the skill set in multiple sports, Kawe Johnson has long known the satisfaction of possessing a champion’s mind-set.
On the football field, Johnson was a quarterback of sorts on the defensive side for the Red Raiders. His brainpower and physical gifts as a defensive back were two big reasons why Kahuku’s versatile defense thwarted potent offenses. Kahuku allowed opponents to complete 46 percent of their passes and to average just 1.5 yards per carry.
"He’s definitely a coach on the field and he’s a playmaker," Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said.
When he wasn’t steering the Red Raiders defense, he caught 20 passes, averaging 22 yards per grab, with five touchdowns.
Kahuku won its second consecutive state title last fall largely because of a hungry, focused and mature group of players. Having Johnson, the Star-Advertiser defensive player of the year, play key roles in kick returning and as an occasional option quarterback were decisive, pivotal weapons for coach Reggie Torres and his staff.
Johnson was a two-time All-State pick in football, and also a two-time selection in basketball. He was the clutch shooter for Kahuku’s OIA Red championship hoops team as a junior, a point guard with a knack for hitting big shots. He was also one of the top defensive guards in the state.
Johnson, who will play football at New Mexico State, plans to major in education and return to Kahuku to teach in the school’s Hawaiian Language Immersion program.
Kahuku • Football
He won’t talk a whole lot at times. Aofaga Wily was often too busy focusing on the task at hand, tuning out the pain.
At tailback in Kahuku’s smashmouth I formation offense, Wily exerted his will by force and finesse. He was a slender speedster as a sophomore, a converted linebacker. By his senior season, he was a thicker, powerful bruiser with breakaway speed.
The 6-foot 202-pounder capped his career with a second state championship crown, rushing for 1,744 yards and 27 touchdowns. Kahuku’s 12-0 season was classic, old-school football with Wily at the heart of nearly every battle in and through the trenches.
His career total of 4,025 yards boosted him past former Kahuku running back Mark Atuaia to the No. 2 spot, behind only ‘Iolani’s Joe Igber. Even a torn ankle ligament during his junior year– bone chips were removed during the eventual offseason surgical procedure — couldn’t stop him.
His senior-season highlights included a 41-carry, 190-yard, two-touchdown effort against Leilehua and a 26-carry, 188-yard, three-touchdown performance in the state championship game vs. Punahou.
"Faga is a disciplined runner. He runs where the play is meant to go. He’s willing to wait for his blocks and he gets the positive yardage," Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. "He understands he’ll get the 5 or 6 yards and whatever else after is a bonus. That’s what I like about Faga when I see him. I don’t like it when we’re their opponent, but as a football fan, I like it."
See the rest of the profiles here: Hawaii’s H.S. Hall of Honor