Kaniho, 5 more in for Polynesian Bowl

Kahuku defensive back Kekaula Kaniho nearly came up with another interception against Farrington in the OIA title game. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

After initially declining an invite so he wouldn’t miss time with the Kahuku basketball team, senior cornerback Kekaula Kaniho has formally accepted an offer to play in the 2017 Polynesian Bowl.

Kaniho, who is one of the top contenders for All-State defensive player of the year honors, had five interceptions he returned for touchdowns this season, falling one short of the national record.

He currently holds scholarship offers from eight schools: Army, Boise State, Colorado, Hawaii, UNLV, San Diego State, Vanderbilt and Washington State.

Also accepting invites for the Polynesian Bowl, which will be released on Monday, are Kapolei defensive back Leonard Lee, St. Louis offensive lineman Jacob-Drew Russell, Kahuku center Vili Fisiiahi, Kamehameha defensive lineman Nakoa Pauole, Moanalua cornerback Isaiah Jackson and Punahou offensive lineman Jack-Eli Tufono.

Pauole currently holds offers from Air Force, Army and Navy while Tufono has been offered by UNLV.

That makes a total of 33 players from Hawaii currently selected for the game. Saint Louis QB Tua Tagovailoa will enroll at Alabama in early-January and is planning to play in the game, but will need to receive a waiver from the school according to a Polynesian Bowl official.

Kahuku leads the way with seven selections, followed by Punahou and Saint Louis with five each.

Here’s every player from Hawaii who has accepted an invite to the game: Kesi Ah-Hoy, DB, Kahuku Feleti Afemui, LB, Maui Andrew Aleki, LB, Kamehameha Jeff Chan, K, Punahou Challen Faamatau, RB, Farrington Mango Finau, OL, Baldwin Vili Fisiiahi, OL, Kahuku Isaiah Jackson, DB, Moanalua Nick Kapule, QB, Punahou Kekaula Kaniho, DB, Kahuku Kishaun Ki, DL, Campbell Leonard Lee, DB, Kapolei Onesimus Lutu-Clarke, OL, Waianae Evan Minami, K/P, ‘Iolani Michael Minihan, OL, Saint Louis Sioeli Naupoto, LB, Kahuku Stokes Nihipali-Botelho, DB, Kahuku Nakoa Pauole, DL, Kamehameha Ryan Ramones, WR, Moanalua Jacob-Drew Russell, OL, Saint Louis Jalen Saole, DB, Saint Louis Jaymin Sarono, WR, Kapolei Codie Sauvao, DB, Kahuku Isaac Slade-Matautia, LB, Saint Louis Miki Suguturaga, DL, Punahou Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Saint Louis Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DL, Kapolei Ethan Takeyama, WR, Punahou Jack-Eli Tufono, OL, Punahou Mo Unutoa, OL, Kapaa Andrew Valladares, WR, Mililani Aliki Vimahi, DL, Kahuku Charles Watson, DB, Leilehua *’Iolani WR Justin Genovia has been promised an invite to the 2018 game.

View the Polynesian Bowl web site here