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O-line should be ‘Iolani’s anchor

By Billy Hull

LAST UPDATED: 10:52 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013

Entering his 23rd year as ‘Iolani head football coach, Wendell Look is the dean of the ILH.

And if it’s up to him, he will stay that way awhile.

“As long as I can get up out of bed on my own and stand on my two feet and get myself to the field,”

Look said about his coaching future. “And as long as they’ll continue to have me.”

That seems a given considering the dynasty Look, who is 161-100-3 as the Raiders’ coach, has built the last decade.

‘Iolani, which checks in at No. 8 in the 2013 Star-Advertiser preseason top 10 poll, has won nine straight ILH Division II titles and six consecutive state championships.

The Raiders will have their work cut out for them this year replacing three-year starting quarterback Reece Foy, who threw for 6,620 yards and amassed a 26-10 record as a starter.

It’s a two-way battle between senior Easton Tsubata (6-1, 187), who served as the backup last season, and junior Austin JimOn (5-9, 143).

“(The job) is still up for grabs,” Look said before the team left over the weekend for its yearly training camp in Waialua. “Easton has been here three years and is the one to get the shot but Austin is a guy who is here to compete and sees no problem with either of them — they have a good relationship.”

With the season opener 10 days away against Kalani in the 50th Father Bray Classic, Look doesn’t have a timetable on selecting a starter.

He’d also be open to rotating both quarterbacks in and out of games if the situation presented itself.

“We’re going to do what’s best for the team first and that’s really what it comes down to,” Look said. “If we can do that, starter and reliever, or if one guy elevates himself and is the guy, then we’ll do that.”

Fortunately for both quarterbacks, they will have an offensive line returning all five starters to play behind.

Senior Spencer Kiehm (5-9, 169) will anchor the group at center for the third straight year. A first-team ILH selection as a junior, Kiehm said they could help speed along the learning process for Tsubata and JimOn by giving them plenty of time in the pocket.

“There’s a little more pressure on the offensive line to know what to do, but all of us have at least one year under our belts,” Kiehm said. “Because of that, we can focus a little more outside the offensive line and help other positions to make sure we all get our assignments right.”

The Raiders will have an entirely new backfield this year to replace Kody Mento and Yuuya Kato, who combined for more than 1,100 yards rushing last season.

Sophomore Jordan Ross (5-8, 164), up from the intermediate team, will compete with senior Tyler McKenna (5-10, 173), who moves over from linebacker, for the running back job.

Junior Brent Tanaki (5-3, 164), who was a team manager last year, tried out for the squad and is also in the mix.

Leading receiver Tanner Nishioka is gone, but the Raiders return seniors Chase Kanekuni (5-9, 145), who had one 100-yard receiving game last year, and Chad Hanaoka (5-7, 165).

Defensively, ‘Iolani is experienced in the secondary. Seniors Max Look (5-7, 158) and J.T. Los Banos (6-0, 164) are outstanding on the corners.

The Raiders lost first-team all-conference linebacker Josiah Situmeang and will have new guys in starting roles, but have players who got some experience last year, including senior Brandon Sakka (5-8, 190).

Look called junior Storm Lotomau (5-4, 162) a “Tasmanian devil” kind of player.

Senior Marc Ma (6-0, 214) anchors a defensive line that has some size, but as Look is quick to point out, “by our standards.”

After the opener against Kalani, the Raiders play Leilehua in the first of four home games this season.

With the addition of St. Francis to the ILH this year, ‘Iolani will face every league team once in the regular season before a four-team playoff that will decide the Division II champion.

“From a fan’s standpoint and from a league standpoint, it’s going to be exciting,” Look said. “From a coach’s standpoint, you’ve got to adjust and make sure to peak your team at the right time.”


2013 Schedule
Aug. 10 Kalani**
Aug. 17 Leilehua*
Aug. 24 Kamehameha-Hawaii*
Aug. 30 St. Francis*
Sept. 6 Kamehameha**
Sept. 14 Saint Louis**
Sept. 21 Damien**
Sept. 28 Punahou*
Oct. 4 Pac-Five**
2012 RESULTS (9-3, 4-3 ILH)
Konawaena** W, 43-40
at Waipahu W, 35-34
Hawaii Prep* W, 44-6
Pac-Five** W, 16-10
Saint Louis** L, 39-68
at Kamehameha L, 34-42
Damien** W, 48-16
at Punahou L, 14-56
Damien** W, 36-10
Pac-Five* W, 28-10
Radford** W, 43-0
Lahainaluna** W, 36-33
*At Iolani
** At Aloha Stadium

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kailua000 wrote:
your OL anchor is 5'9, 169? you sure he's not a running back?
on July 31,2013 | 03:17AM
hunebasami wrote:
They are very small and have always been. Just good coaching and kids who believe. Most of them will never play in college. Lots of people want them out of Div 2. These people hate people who I like. Chad Owens, Kealoha and Rich Miano who are over achievers.
on July 31,2013 | 07:13AM
jckh wrote:
braddah - 5'9" is the norm at 'iolani. Sometimes size no matter. See you in the playoffs.
on August 1,2013 | 07:23AM
OregonRedRaider wrote:
wow, thats awesome that you guys can compete with a line up that small... my hats off to the first "Raiders..." thanks for the jerseys way back when....thats how we became the "Red Raiders..."
on July 31,2013 | 04:39AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Despite having two different divisions playing for a title, SA ranks Div I and Div II teams for the state rankings. Other states rank teams by their respective divisions that they participate in. How difficult is it for SA to formulate a separate ranking for Div I and Div II, not only for football, but other sports that do participate for Div I and Div II state titles. If a declared ILH Division II school had a full scheduled with Division I schools, most likely, their win/loss record wouldn't rank them as high in a state ranking. The OIA game schedules are based on separate divisions and division II (white) teams should never be ranked amongst the division I teams for a state ranking. A true ranking for football or any other sport for the state of Hawaii , would be to have a division I and division II ranking, especially when a state title for those divisions are up for grabs.
on July 31,2013 | 05:15AM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
In the grand scheme of things, why doesn't it matter? Does it affect your everyday life? Is this on your mind constantly? Who cares how they rank them? It's always decided on the field anyway.
on July 31,2013 | 07:35AM
OldDiver wrote:
kahuku01 is making a simple suggestion. Why does that bother you so much?
on July 31,2013 | 08:27AM
kahuku01 wrote:
jimmyhouse67: Your remarks and questions are beyond revealing some form of intelligence, as far as presenting a better suggestion. Your questions are unrelated to a simple suggestion, that only Billy Hull would be able to provide an intelligent response without attacking the blogger.
on July 31,2013 | 10:30AM
brokenspoke wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 31,2013 | 03:18PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
They also recruit more heavily than anyone else in the ILH. Don't let their undersized players fool you--they go for speedy guys that make Billy Stutzmann look slow because they know big guys won't come to them. Even when Uriah Moenoa, Willy Kava, Donny Mateaki, Kala Kaaihue, Matt Wright, and Ed Ta'amu played for them they called themselves undersized. Even when Sealii Epenesa played for them they claimed to be undersized. This team recruits--just ask Timmy Chang, Brandon League, or Paulay Asiata. Besides, if they didn't recruit, they wouldn't have black or Polynesian players, would they? Do blacks and Polynesians belong at a school like Iolani that "doesn't recruit"? Hell NO!
on August 1,2013 | 01:58AM
kailuabred wrote:
Besides being racist...Do blacks and Polynesians belong at a school like Iolani that "doesn't recruit"? Hell NO!...you're just plain ignorant and wrong.
on August 2,2013 | 11:40AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Are people who say blacks and Polynesians don't belong at Punahou racist? Because I hear that ALL of the time. Don't tell me you don't!
on August 4,2013 | 02:13AM
kailuabred wrote:
Yes. They are too. Racism is always wrong.
on August 4,2013 | 12:42PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Well tell that to those that assert blacks and Polynesians don't belong at Punahou. Because there are MANY--especially my buddy, Rex Kamakana--who believe that. Rex Kamakana, the biggest racist you'll ever meet!
on August 4,2013 | 05:32PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Ryan Kunihiro is another racist who believes blacks and Polynesians don't belong at Punahou.
on August 4,2013 | 05:36PM
vball808chick wrote:
Then Iolani should play in D2 for Volleyball and Basketball since they are so concerned of being to small for compitition and the safety of their players. GIVE ME A BREAK!
on August 2,2013 | 04:49PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Look is a hypocrite and a coward. He said 10 years ago when Iolani started playing D2 that he was hoping Iolani would win the entire ILH over the big three. The only way he can do that now is if he has his team play D1.
on August 4,2013 | 02:28AM
nippy68 wrote:
year after year iolani dominated the division II with little guys. they should have no problem again this year. they dont have brute force but use good technique.
on July 31,2013 | 06:06AM
hunebasami wrote:
They will have it harder now with Rick Miano's Kaiser team. He took a 1 and 13 team to 7 and 2. Give him a chance. His team will be in shape to compete. Have you gone to Speed and Quickness which he runs. If not you should.
on July 31,2013 | 07:19AM
Kaneohe5 wrote:
cream puff division. its like Boise State in the WAC or MWC....whoopee. SA has to give some kind rankings but they will never be ranked 1 until they move up.
on July 31,2013 | 07:09AM
hunebasami wrote:
With those small guys they played 9 div. 1 teams and 3 div 2 team . They went 9 and 3. Only losing to ILH div 1 powerhouses. Give credit to these small men they show true warrior heart.
on July 31,2013 | 07:25AM
PokeStop wrote:
Iolani will be challenged this year in the ILH. Offense took too many hits and have few skilled players returning. Pac5 is their threat to a state championship. In states, Kaiser or Lahainaluna will break their streak of 7!
on July 31,2013 | 08:33AM
durangocreek wrote:
I have no personal stake in this, but am always puzzled at those yabbering that Iolani "belongs" in Div 1. They are way undersized and are a smaller school. Criticism should be directed to HHSAA for not having a clear, sensible criteria for classification. Even in the OIA, it makes no sense how a school should have to move back and forth based on the previous year's success or lack of.
on July 31,2013 | 09:05AM
roninsensei wrote:
I remember back in the old days (the 70s) when Iolani used to be one of the powers in the Old ILH. Players like Elroy Chong, Tiloi Lolotai, the Scanlan brothers, Guy Ching, Willie Keola, the Tufono brothers, among others.
on July 31,2013 | 10:26AM
kailuabred wrote:
'Iolani competed well, but were never one of the powerhouses. I was there...I know!
on August 2,2013 | 11:41AM
thenocomment wrote:
In Hawaii HS sports we are weak like "crabs stepping on each other to get out of the bucket" and the bottom line how we treat each other - haters to the max. When any team wins its because they cheat, recruit, belong in Div 1, it could never be that they work harder and are better coached or found a way to get everyone going in the same direction. Hawaii HS mommys and daddys hate because of the are simply jealous and can not stand team x do well. Ask any successful team from the Kalaheo basketball, Iolani Kahuku StLouis football, Punahou MPI Waiakea baseball.
on July 31,2013 | 10:28AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
So magic is the only thing that helps Iolani win all these pseudo-championships? They recruit, buddy, more than anybody else!
on August 1,2013 | 02:05AM
kailuabred wrote:
Either you or your child evidently couldn't get in to 'Iolani!
on August 2,2013 | 11:42AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Why would I send my kid to a school that offers a public school education? Iolani's education system makes St. Louis look like Punahou!
on August 4,2013 | 02:12AM
kailuabred wrote:
Ignorant comment. Your public school education is showing. Even haters of 'Iolani will admit its the top academic school in the state. Go check out how many National Merit Semi-finalists there were in the entire state and then see how many are from 'Iolani. Get back to me on that! LOL!
on August 4,2013 | 12:46PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Typical Iolani arrogance. You Iolani people think you are so better than everybody else.
on August 4,2013 | 06:09PM
kailuabred wrote:
No. Just stating facts that contradict your earlier comment.You can dislike 'Iolani all you want, but don't make up stuff.
on August 5,2013 | 12:44PM
brokenspoke wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 31,2013 | 03:36PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Its real name is "One Team of CHEATERS".
on August 1,2013 | 01:53AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
At least Iolani will play D1 in 2015 or 2014 unless Coach Look complains like the baby and coward he is so his team can keep playing (and recruiting better players than) D2 teams. The ILH instituted a new rule that states that you can't win D2 at any sport and play the third year as a D2 team. I knew certain people will hate this but is anything ever fair? Coach Look, that's life and karma. Make friends with it!
on August 1,2013 | 02:00AM
kailuabred wrote:
You're ruining your computer with all of your crying and whining.
on August 2,2013 | 11:43AM
vball808chick wrote:
well said!
on August 2,2013 | 04:50PM
foliefolie wrote:
Iolani can only brag about being champs in Div 2 football. They play Div 1 in all other sports so their football team should be in Div 1.
on July 31,2013 | 10:56PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
It will be in 2015. The new ILH rule says so. Will Coach Look deliberately let another ILH D2 win so his team can stay there? They can't win more than two consecutive ILH titles otherwise they'll need to beat out Punahou, SL, and KS to win the ILH in D1.
on August 1,2013 | 01:54AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Considering Coach Look loves to play D2 and keep his team there, will he be willing to let another ILH D2 win the league either this year or 2014? Because that's the only way his beloved Raiders can keep playing D2 in 2015 and beyond. I know once Iolani plays at D1 they'll fall down like a house of cards because Coach Look is too much of a coward to keep them there! My friends at St. Louis agree that Coach Look is a coward. Can't wait to hammer you September 14.
on August 1,2013 | 02:07AM
thenocomment wrote:
Considering the source, the AINTS have become irrelavent in Hawaii HS sports pretending to push academics but floundering in all sports even choking at state tournaments, especially their beloved football program who cant even compete and recruit with the buffs down the street... lol
on August 1,2013 | 10:21AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
You an Iolani fan? All of those pseudo championships must make you feel like a big man. Not!
on August 1,2013 | 12:02PM
kailuabred wrote:
Now it makes sense! You're an AINT! LOL!
on August 2,2013 | 11:45AM
mdok wrote:
Ldub is a Pun and doesn't represent the average alum there. He is bitter about the Raiders from his days in high school and can't let it go. Don't rile him up, it's not cool. Iolani will probably compete in D1 come 2015 if they win the ILH for the next two years and then drop back down after that if the rule stays intact. The new scheduling will prevent schools from playing each other for more than once per year which was Look's primary concern. And I do wish the SA would create a D1 and D2 top ten. It would allow the D2 schools who compete at a high level the recognition they earn. It's a positive thing for the kids and would probably generate more interest in high school football beyond the normal football powers. And the best thing is - it doesn't cost the SA any money and would increase interest in the paper if anything :-)
on August 2,2013 | 05:23PM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Did I ever say I was from Punahou?
on August 4,2013 | 02:11AM
Ldub20_Owl316 wrote:
Besides, why would Iolani drop down if they kept winning D2 and started playing D1 because they won D2 two years in a row?
on August 4,2013 | 02:15AM
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