Former Kahuku All-State kicker Kekoa Sasaoka to join Warriors
JAMM AQUINO / 2015 As a Kahuku High senior, Kekoa Sasaoka was named to the Star-Advertiser’s 2015 All-State first team as a punter and second team as a kicker. He said he will compete at kicker for the Warriors.
A former All-State player is entering the University of Hawaii football team’s kicking competition. Kekoa Sasaoka, who played for Snow College (Ephraim, Utah) last year, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he is joining the Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, the first day of training camp. As a Kahuku High senior, Sasaoka was named to the Star-Advertiser’s 2015 All-State first team as a punter and second team as a kicker. He said he will compete at kicker for the Warriors.
In 2017, the Warriors converted only four of nine field goals. There were five games when they did not attempt any. Alex Trifonovitch, who made three of those field goals, and Ryan Meskell, an Australian who had not played American football until last year, are the returning kickers. Michael Boyle, who also can punt, redshirted as a freshman last year. Nino Alibegic said he also plans to transfer to UH. Alibegic is featured in the Netflix series, “Last Chance U.” Sasaoka’s older brother, Kalika, converted the decisive point-after kick with 23 seconds left to lift Kahuku to a 7-6 victory over top-ranked Saint Louis in the 2006 Division I championship game. “After that,” said Kekoa Sasaoka, who was in the fourth grade at the time, “I didn’t just want to be a kicker. I wanted to be a Red Raider.” Although he lived in Kailua, Sasaoka played all of his youth sports on the North Shore. As a freshman, he lived with an uncle in Hauula in order to attend Kahuku High. He attended his sophomore and junior years at Farrington High, catching a ride with his father, who had business projects in Kalihi. He returned to Kahuku for his senior year. Sasaoka signed with Bowling Green, but left after a year. He then transferred to Snow. Sasaoka actually had another year of eligibility at the junior college, but opted to play for Hawaii because “I’m done with the whole recruiting stuff.” He had received interest from Florida International and California. “I’d rather get down to work already,” said Sasaoka, who will have three years to play two UH seasons. Sasaoka said he is comfortable launching field goals from up to 55 yards. In addition to football, Sasaoka gained attention when he wore Heelys to make a sliding acceptance of his high school diploma. The video proved to be widely popular. “I wanted to do something funny for graduation,” he said. “I didn’t know it would go viral.”