Kahuku's Ah-Hoy can do it all
Kahuku's Kesi Ah-Hoy runs back an interception during a 7-on-7 session in practice. Ah-Hoy, a First Team All-Hawaii RB last season, will see playing time at defensive back and linebacker this year. CJ Caraang | SL
Wherever his coaches need him, that's where Kahuku's Kesi Ah-Hoy will be.
After two years of running past and through would-be-tacklers, Ah-Hoy will see what it's like on the other side of the ball in his senior year. The 6-foot, 215-pound utility will still contribute on offense, but will see plenty time on defense in a strong safety/linebacker hybrid role.
"Kesi is going to be the swiss (army) knife. He does it all," said second-year Kahuku coach Vae Tata. "He's not afraid to help on the offensive side of the ball or the defensive side of the ball. He just wants to be one of the best 11 on the field."
Red Raider nation witnessed Kesi Ah-Hoy's versatility in his first-ever varsity game when he passed for a touchdown, rushed for another and returned a kickoff 94 yards for six. He also served as the team's punter in the same season, earning First Team All-Hawaii honors at the position as a sophomore.
Last season Ah-Hoy split time at running back and quarterback before injuries and personnel changes evolved his role as the offense turning into a wildcat-like package. The Red Raiders never looked back after making the switch as they went undefeated and reclaimed the state title. Ah-Hoy finished with 1,273 yards rushing with 18 TDs and was a First Team All-Hawaii selection at running back in 2015.
Tata believes that Ah-Hoy's experience on offense will help ease his transition over to the defensive side of the ball.
"He knows what the offense is looking to do and how they're trying to attack defenses," Tata said on Ah-Hoy. "He has a one-up on all of the defensive players because he knows what the offense is looking for."
During the annual Gridiron Performance Academy football camp Ah-Hoy showed his potential as a defensive player and raised a few eyebrows. Ah-Hoy said that he got an offer from the University of Hawaii to play linebacker in a rover-type role before the camp was over.
"I wanted to showcase that I can do everything," said Ah-Hoy. "I was trying to expose myself (to different positions)."
One position that Ah-Hoy shouldn't have to play this year is quarterback. With freshman-to-be Sol-jay Maiava and returnees Cameron Renaud and Jordan Mariteragi battling for the job, Ah-Hoy can fill a skill position role on offense.
"Our quarterbacks are coming around. I'm mainly going to be a running back and slotback, wherever the offensive side needs me," said Ah-Hoy.
"Right now they're all competing for a spot, nothing's promised for them," Ah-Hoy said on the quarterback competition. "They just have to continue to work and show the coaches what they can do. Everyday is a resume for them. It's a showcase to show the coaches that they can do what he expects."
Maiava appears to be leading the depth chart so far this summer. When ScoringLive took a trip to check out Kahuku's practice, Maiava had all the reps during a 7-on-7 practice with Renaud and Mariteragi on the mainland for a football camp.
"He's just an athlete," Ah-Hoy said on Maiava. "He can do it all. He can throw and he can run."
Although the offense will add more sets and formations with a true-QB behind center, the wildcat-like offense that the Red Raiders used a season ago is still in play.
"That package is not going anywhere," said Ah-Hoy. "We're going to use that package in crunch time when we need it, or if we just need to kill time on the clock."
Key players on the offensive line to keep Kahuku's ground game going are Vili Fisiiahi, Ra Elkington, Stennett Alapa and Cire Loo.