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Top 10 countdown

By Paul Honda

LAST UPDATED: 01:52 a.m. HST, Aug 20, 2010

Perennially, the top four teams in prep football are usually a litany of the same powerful programs.

The lower six? There's a little more of a shuffle there from week to week. Even this weekend, a surprise here and there had this Star-Advertiser Football Preseason Top 10 rebuilding a house of cards.

Can anything really take root after just one week of scrimmages and one nonconference game? Maybe.

Castle's convincing win over Radford and Kapolei's stunning loss to Pearl City caused a rift in the zone. Here's a look at the lower part of the Top 10:

10. Castle

The Knights had a lethal combination of Jaymason Lee and Shaydon Kehano last season. With Garrett Paredes patrolling Castle's defense, it was still a dogfight just to stay above water as the Knights finished 6-5, including a close playoff loss to Farrington.

Paredes and Kehano graduated, and now the pressure is on a new class of Knights to keep the winning tradition alive. Lee, who passed for 2,293 yards and 29 touchdowns, doesn't have a gamebreaker like Kehano now. However, coach Nelson Maeda is highly confident in the new crew of slotbacks and wideouts. If they play as well as expected, the run-and-shoot offense might become harder to stop.


9. Mililani

With a former defensive coordinator at the helm in Rod York, what are the chances that the Trojans get into high-scoring shootouts this fall? Slim? None?

Pretty good, actually. York sees the potential of the offensive unit with Trent McKinney at the controls and has a lot of trust, so much so that he sacrificed size on defense to leave most of it on the offensive line. The defense remains smaller and quicker, as it was last season with Darnell Arceneaux as head coach. Arceneaux has since departed for his alma mater, Saint Louis.

McKinney (1,872 passing yards, 19 TDs) could have more time in the pocket now, and with former Saint Louis quarterback Bobby George in-house as the new offensive coordinator, that could mean jackpot nights for receivers Hassan Richardson and Ervan Jean-Pierre.


8. Waianae

At this point, the Seariders are in the process of evaluating personnel, but one thing is certain: The Wing T is in full swing behind a very cohesive offensive line.

Though coach Danny Matsumoto won't single out a single lineman, he's pleased with their work as a unit after scrimmages with Pearl City and 'Iolani.

With playmaker Puletua Wilson back at quarterback, the Seariders have opted to be less predictable by using more shotgun/four-receiver sets. Several positions, however, are filled with talented, somewhat inexperienced newcomers.

That makes Waianae, which went 5-4 last year, a potential sleeper in the Oahu Interscholastic Association race.


7. Leilehua

LAM -- Life after (Andrew) Manley -- is a surreal place to be for Mules fans. Manley's sterling late-season state-title run as a sophomore quarterback was followed by two more stellar seasons as the focal point of their hybrid pass-heavy offense.

So what do the Mules do for an encore after last year's 9-4 mark? Even before Manley, they had elements of various passing juggernauts when Bryant Moniz was in the pocket. In between stints by the two prolific passers, Leilehua has shown a penchant for the option attack.

Even if much of the new talent is unproven, the Mules have a coaching staff led by Nolan Tokuda that has proven its mettle, and that makes a major difference moving forward.


6. 'Iolani

The four-time Division II state champion Raiders are among the smallest of the powerhouse squads in size and numbers, but that hasn't stopped them from rocking Goliaths. A methodical, efficient no-huddle run-and-shoot offense has been a major weapon.

So what happens when a key to that success, like quarterback Jarrett Arakawa, graduates? The Raiders don't panic, certainly. In fact, three rising slingers are in competition for the starting job, including Jake Hannum, last year's backup.

They have plenty of quality targets, including Kevin Barayuga (57 receptions, 13 touchdowns) and Trevyn Tulonghari (77 catches, 1,049 yards, 10 scores).

Coach Wendell Look is known for masterful personnel decisions, but he has also become a fine recruiter of assistant coaches. Joel Lane has long been a superb quarterbacks coach, but now Look has ex-Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan in the fold as defensive coordinator.


5. Farrington

The Governors keep churning out fantastic tailbacks and replacing them ably as they graduate. This time, after losing Harry Tuimaseve, they're serving up sophomore Tyler Taumua.

"He's got a very unique running style," coach Randall Okimoto said. "He has some power like Harry and Apelu (So'oalo), but he does have shiftiness like Hercules (Sula)."

The Govs have three sophomores on the O-line, but quarterback Jared Hakuole will bring senior savvy.

Defensively, linebackers Justin Vele, Lancelot Williams and Charles Tauefa anchor one of the state's top run-stopping units.

With five sophomores in the starting lineup, Farrington will grow up quickly in the rough OIA Red East.







The Star-Advertiser kicked off the high school football season with unprecedented coverage, featuring top players at each position and counting down to the top teams in the state. See below for past and upcoming stories.

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Offensive Linemen


Running Backs


Team Nos. 5-10

Team No. 4 Punahou

Team No. 3 Saint Louis

Team No. 2 Kamehameha

Team No. 1 Kahuku

No Manley means Mililani can take over
Kahuku 'O' could give teams headaches
Mustangs lacking horses, not spirit


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