Thursday, August 28, 2014


 The last time the Lahainaluna football team had set foot on the turf at War Memorial Stadium, they were on the short-end of the score in a bitter, disappointing loss to eventual DII champion Kaiser High School in the semifinals of the HHSAA Division II football playoffs. The then-#1 Lunas’ undefeated season and state championship aspirations came to an end on that dark November night.
Eight long months later, and the #1 ranked Lunas look to move forward with a new team, new leaders but the same goal of winning the state championship. Their first game back at War Memorial was supposed to be on August 8th against Keaau of the Big Island. But the dual threat of Hurricanes Iselle and Julio caused that game to be cancelled. The Lunas traveled to the Garden Isle for a preseason game at Kapa’a on August 16 and escaped with an 18-16 win, thanks to a touchdown in the waning seconds from senior star Sione Makoa Filikitonga.

 With just that one preseason road game to iron out the kinks on a team that graduated 21 seniors (including Kiko Kohler-Fonohema, Kaimana Ancog, Christian Whitehead, Jared Purdy, Bronson Kaina, Nate Hapakuka-Nunuha, Hercules Mata’afa, Loa Puteni, JT Valmoja-Kaleikini and Pousima Galoia), I was curious to see what kind of a performance the Lunas would have on Friday night against King Kekaulike to open up the MIL regular season. The Luna faithful were not disappointed.
The Lunas rolled to a 47-7 win over King Kekaulike on a sometimes-rainy night at War Memorial Stadium. The Lunas racked up 493 yards in total offense, including 445 yards on the ground. The Lunas controlled possession with 32 first downs.

Coach Tihada’s commitment to incorporating more passing into the offense resulted in Sione Filikitonga going 7-13 for 48 yards and no interceptions. He passed for one touchdown to Isaiah Biga-Rogers in the closing seconds of the first half. Overall, he had difficulty connecting with his receivers on the deep routes but was effective in the medium passing game. That should improve over the course of the season. On a positive note, there were no turnovers or sacks allowed.

Defensively, the Lunas allowed only 116 yards of total offense, including 5 first downs and 34 yards rushing. The bulk of King Kekaulike’s positive yards came on their only scoring drive in the second quarter, when King K completed a pass on a fake punt to get the first down and then a few plays later, Corry Brown made a great catch on a 36 yard reception to get Na Alii to within a few yards of the goal line. Other than that, there was a lot of east-west running for Na Alii, but difficulty getting around the Lunas’ defense. King K’s Kawika Homalon was elusive in the pocket, avoiding sacks and tackles for losses on numerous occasions. The loss of reigning MIL Defensive Player of the Year Connor Mowat due to a knee injury in the first series of the first quarter when a Na Alii player did an illegal chop block to his knees and the loss to graduation of All-State defensive end Hercules Mata’afa was noticeable as Homalon was able to escape sacks on numerous occasions. Still, the relentless pressure from Peni Taufa, Brandon Kaina, Jayven Paleka-Wright, Jared Rocha and Ken Brito allowed the Lunas’ to contain Homalon and prevent any big yardage plays from scrimmage.
Sione Filikitonga led the Lunas with 127 yards rushing on 12 carries, including touchdown runs of 13 yards and 54 yards. The 54-yard run extended Filikitonga’s streak of touchdown runs of 50 yards or more to 11 games. Unbelievable.

Jared Rocha appears to be all the way back from the broken ankle he suffered in the Kaiser game with 76 yards on 10 carries. He also scored touchdowns on runs of 1 and 3 yards.

If Jared Rocha is thunder with his power and strength, then Ansen Cabanilla provided the lightning with 62 yards rushing on only 4 carries, including an electrifying 37 yard touchdown in the third quarter.

David Kawabata showed flashes of brilliance with his power running style reminiscent of another legendary Luna, Kawika Kawabata. He rushed for 51 yards on 6 carries, including a couple that could have gone for more. Unfortunately, he got tripped up by one of his own offensive lineman on one of the runs.

Josten Saribay, a senior and standout wrestler who transferred from King Kekaulike to the alma mater of his parents, had an outstanding debut as a Luna. He provided the Lunas with a boost on special teams, turning a couple of bounced punts into long punt returns giving the Lunas excellent field position. 

On special teams, Austin Wagner did an admirable job hitting on his first 5 PAT’s before misfiring on the final 2 PAT attempts.

The O-Line dominated the trenches thanks to Danny Sulunga-Kahaialii, Justin Hong, Brandon Kaina and Peni Taufa. Junior Moala, Ryan Delatori, Ken Brito and Jabe Oliver stepped up in place of Connor Mowat. Defensively, Kaina, Taufa, Paleka-Wright, Rocha and Brito were in the backfield all night and Cabanilla, Biga-Rogers, Donavon Defang, Scotty Medeiros-Tangatailoa and Kuu Palea did a great job in the defensive backfield.

Back-up quarterback Enele Scanlan, a sophomore, showed he is capable, leading the team on a scoring drive in the 4th quarter, capped off by a touchdown from  Kaya Phillips-Aki.
Next week , the Lunas face Division II opponent Kamehameha Schools Maui, then Baldwin and Maui High. Unfortunately, it appears Kamehameha Maui is not fielding a JV team this year. Bummers.

NOTE: For tonight’s game, I was mentoring Ariana Badua for her senior project on sports photography. She has a natural eye for sports photography and has a knack for very well-composed shots. Looking forward to her work. . . . After last year’s craziness of rain, rain, rain, I was prepared. Even though it was bright and sunny at 3pm, I still had the foresight to pack an extra garbage bag and two rain sleeves for the game. Shooting outdoors in the elements, one should always be prepared for anything. Unfortunately, my brand new sneakers got dirty and I decided to keep my rain jacket in the truck. But hey, at least my camera equipment was protected!


 The Lahainaluna JV football team opened up the MIL season with a 14-0 win over King Kekaulike. The team is comprised of a large number of freshmen, many of whom experienced success playing for the Lahainaluna coaches in the Big Boy League this past spring. 

The quarterback position is being shared by freshmen Bailey Honda and CJ Palma. Both are capable passers and runners. Honda had the nod today as starter and added an interception as a defensive back later in the game.

The running game is complemented by the thunder and lightning combination of thunder – Nathaniel Somera with his punishing runs up the middle, and the lightning of the two Elijah’s – Elijah Ragudo and Elijah Moritz on the outside. 

Mystic Kauhaahaa and Siale Hafoka appear to be primary targets in the passing game.

 The offense sputtered a bit in the beginning of the game. At one point, back-to-back-to-back-to back penalties had the Lunas pinned deep in their own territory on 2nd and 45. They did manage to get some drives going and were able to score twice.

The strength of the team will be defense. Led by sophomore captain Ammon Phillips, this defense is pretty solid. Dean “Aki” Miyamoto put down some outstanding stops from his linebacker position. Laakea Shim, Haaheo Au, Shandon Agapay, John Caguioa, Vilisoni Mahoni, Ikua Tihada and Kahiau Yap were also effective on defense.

Though young, this team looks poised to be successful at the JV level.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Mark your calendars! NOTE: These schedules are subject to change without notice.

NOTE: I did not receive a separate JV girls volleyball schedule. Assuming there are enough teams this year, I assume the JV game would precede the varsity game, with a likely start time of 5:00pm. If there aren't enough teams, I anticipate the JV tournament scheduled at mid-season on September 27, 2014 at Baldwin gym will be a round-robin of sorts between the JV girls teams in the MIL.


Mark your calendars! NOTE: These schedules are subject to change without notice.


LAHAINALUNA BOWLING SCHEDULE 2014-2015 - July 28, 2014

Mark your calendars! NOTE: These schedules are subject to change without notice.

Friday, July 25, 2014



The preseason varsity football game between Lahainaluna and visiting Keaau will be played on FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2014 at War Memorial Stadium. Previous schedules had this game scheduled for Saturday, August 9th. If you come August 9th, you'll only be watching the grass grow . . . in the dark. So make sure you mark your calendar for August 8.

The game time for the preseason road game against Kapaa on August 16th still has not been finalized. I'll update this as soon as I know.

Also, previous incarnations of the schedule had an HHSAA playoff game scheduled for November 14. The current schedule does not include this. Not sure if this is an inadvertent omission or whether the HHSAA playoffs will be scaled down this year. I think it's an omission, as there is a 2 week gap between the initial week of playoff games and the championship game.

Here is the revised schedule:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Over the past four years, I've posted almost 1,000 albums/galleries on my Facebook page and on my picasaweb site ( Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me - and I can imagine for others wanting to view my photos - is that I had no way of easily organizing the photos by sport or category. The galleries were simply arranged in reverse chronological order. If you wanted to see photos from a football game from 2010, you had to literally scroll through hundreds of galleries and quite a number of pages to get to it.

No more. I finally bit the bullet and set up a website with Zenfolio for all of my Lahainaluna High School and other sports photos. Almost daily, around-the-clock uploading from several external hard drives for the past month and constant, painstaking attention to formatting and designing the structure and organization of the website (the unfortunate consequence of my obsessive-compulsive/anal-retentive personality) have finally come to an end. The last of my galleries have finally  been uploaded. Now you can find ALL of my sports photos at The photos are organized by Sport, which are then broken down by subcategories (boys, girls, varsity, JV, youth) and by year/season. If you want to tag, like, share or whatever, not sure if this website allows you to do that. For social media purposes, you can still go to my Facebook page. But if you want to just view my pictures and re-live some of the exciting sports moments that I've managed to capture with my camera, then this website now makes it easier and simpler for you to do so.

My one regret at this time is that I am not able to incorporate the logo that I worked so hard on into the website. You see, I am still a cheap guy. In order to get a custom logo on the website, I needed to sign up for the next level website. I couldn't justify investing the money when I have no intention to make money from the website in the first place. Anyway, I managed to save a few screenshots of what my webpage with the logo would have looked like on a mobile device/smart phone. Some day lol!

Hope you enjoy the new website as much as I am excited about finally getting it done! Just in time for the next MIL sports season which is right around the corner!

I think there are ways to leave comments for the photos or the website. Constructive feedback is always appreciated. There is supposed to be a way to allow interested viewers to purchase photos, but I have disabled that feature as my purpose for taking photos have never been about making money. It's always been about promoting and celebrating my alma mater and my hometown.