SUMMER summary: Kahuku Red Raiders

Kahuku is trying to make it back to a third straight appearance in the top-tier football state tournament. Makoa Freitas, who moved up from an assistant to interim head coach, doesn’t plan on tinkering with the Red Raiders’ well-established formula for success. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prep World will be releasing summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.



>> 2016 record and finish: 11-2 (7-0 OIA Blue); beat Leilehua 63-0 in OIA D-I quarterfinals, beat Waianae 38-0 in OIA D-I semifinals, beat Farrington 44-8 in OIA D-I championship game, beat Kapolei 54-7 in state Open Division semifinals; lost 30-14 to Saint Louis in state Open Division championship game

>> Number of returning starters: 7 offense, 5 defense

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Vili Fisiiahi, first-team OL; Aliki Vimahi, firt-team DT; Sioeli Naupoto, first-team LB; Kekaula Kanio, first-team CB; Stokes Nihipali-Botelho, first-team CB and RET; Kesi Ah-Hoy, first-team S; Elvis Vakapuna, second-team RB; Harmon Brown, second-team RB; Codie Sauvao, second-team S; Vaka Fale, third-team OL

>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Miki Ah You, second-team LB; Samson Reed, third-team DE; Sekope Latu, third-team P

>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Sol-Jay Maiava, QB; Enokk Vimahi, OL, Cire Loo, OL, Sekope Latu TE.

>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Siaosi Lauhingoa, DL; Samson Reed, DL; Cedric Iafeta, DL; Samson Kapule-Siilata, DLl; Miki Ah You, LB; Toalei Lefau, LB/FB; Kaonohi Kaniho, DB.

>> Red Raiders with Division I FBS college offers: Samson Reed, DE; Sedric Iafeta, DE, TE; Siaosi Lauhingoa, OL/DL; Sekope Latu P/DL; Izaya Vimahi, OL; Miki Ah You, LB; Nalu Emerson, LB/S; Enokk Vimahi, OL, DL; Kaonohi Kaniho, DB; JL Lavea, LB; Sol-Jay Maiava QB.

>> All-time state championships: 8 (all Division I — 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2015)

>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: None

>> All-time OIA championships: 25 (*including one co-championship; all Division I — 1943, 1944, 1947, 1956, 1959, 1969, 1972, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001*, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)

>> 2017 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)

Head coach MAKOA FREITAS on the Red Raiders’ outlook for 2017:

“Things are going good. We’ve got a lot of kids off at camps and we’ll get them back here in a couple of weeks. And then we’ll get them ready for the season. We start July 17 with helmets. Summer workouts are going on now, but by the rules it’s not mandatory.

“We’ve got about 70 kids if I count everybody based on the sign-in charts. And JV has about 60. I really enjoy their work ethic and watching them work. That’s the big satisfaction.

“Nothing is broken, so there is really nothing to fix. We’re just trying to keep the pride and trying to keep the bar high for the program. We want to have that good running game, and want to have a defense that sets the tone, an aggressive, fast defense. (Defensive coordinator) Sola (Soliai) and his staff will do that. It’s stuff Kahuku has been known for and we want to keep it that way.

“We brought in a QB coach (Brian Ah Yat) to help the QB (Sol-Jay Maiava) develop. Hopefully, we’ll see more passing. On the O-line, we lost three good seniors, but we have four guys coming back with starting experience. I’m happy about that. We’ve got young guys and we’re going to have to coach them up and get them up to par.

“Championships are always expected here at Kahuku. For me, if I can get these kids mentally tough, where they’re able to show up every day, have the same mentality on the field as they do in the classrom and if I can not only get them in college but stay in college and graduate, I’ll consider it (successful). That last one (graduating college) will be judged over time.

“For the O-line and run-game wise, nothing really changes. There’s a bunch of different ways to do it and none of them are really the wrong way. I’ll give my assistants everything they need to be successful to coach the kids.

“The players have gotta be ready every down, mentally ready to play. They cannot take any downs off. If you turn it off, it’s hard to turn it on.

“I’m looking forward to the season and excited for these kids. They’ve been working hard and are excited to go out there and show everybody what they can do.”

2017 Kahuku football schedule

Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.

Thursday, July 27 >> Kahuku at Kamehameha (scrimmage)

Friday, Aug. 4 >> Mililani at Kahuku (scrimmage)

Friday, Aug. 11 >> Leilehua at Kahuku

Friday, Aug. 18 >> Kahuku at Waianae

Friday, Aug. 25 >> Moanalua at Kahuku

Friday, Sept. 1 >> Kahuku at Aiea

Saturday, Sept. 9 >> Kahuku vs. Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), in Las Vegas

Saturday, Sept. 16 >> Kaiser at Kahuku

Saturday, Sept. 23 >> Radford at Kahuku

Friday, Sept. 29 >> Kahuku at Campbell

2017 Kahuku varsity football staff >> Head coach: Makoa Freitas (first season) >> Defensive coordinator: Sola Soliai >> Defensive line: Paepae Falemalu, Matt Faga >> Offensive coordinator: Faaesea Mailo >> Offensive line: Peni Holakeituai >> Tight ends and offensive line: David Vimahi >> Quarterbacks: Brian Ah Yat >> Running backs: Nate Ilaoa >> Wide receivers: Jarrett Kaniho and Spencer Hafoka >> Linebackers: David Te’o >> Safeties: Keala Santiago Sr. >> Cornerbacks: Nihoa Pule

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