Kaanahui Named Red West De­fen­sive Player Of The Year

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

Chucky Kaanahui’s im­pact on the Aiea foot­ball team was im­me­di­ate as he par­layed his start­ing role as a sopho­more into an All-Con­fer­ence sea­son two years ago.

Over the time that fol­lowed, his stel­lar work ethic never wa­vered, to hear long­time head coach Wen­dell Say tell it.

“Each year he pro­gressed and got even bet­ter,” said Say, whose team fin­ished 5-4 in 2010.“He had a great sea­son this year, lead­er­ship-wise as well. De­fense was his forte, and we needed that from him.”

Kaanahui was re­cently named the OIA Red West De­fen­sive Player of the Year in a vote of league coaches. His steady play was one of the rea­sons Na Ali‘i had one of the top de­fen­sive units in the state. Aiea yielded only 189 yards per game and just 76.4 per out­ing on the ground.

When Aiea quar­ter­back Fred­die Tal­i­ulu went down early in the sea­son to a bro­ken col­lar­bone for the sec­ond year in a row, Kaanahui even­tu­ally moved be­hind cen­ter again to fill the void.

“We hadn’t con­sid­ered play­ing him at quar­ter­back be­cause of his lead­er­ship back there (on de­fense), but when we felt we needed him there, he did a good job. When Keenan came back, we still kept him in the sec­ondary.”

Fel­low de­fen­sive back Kainoa Raguindin was also named to the First Team and, like Kaanahui, was a three-year starter.

“He was our quiet leader — he just gets the job done,” Say said. “He never missed a prac­tice — in sea­son or in the off-sea­son.”

Ilaio Sio (DL) and Dou­glas Tau­tua (LB) also made the First Team de­fense from Aiea.

“(Sio) was one of the best D-line­men in the state,” Say said.“He had six sacks against Camp­bell — that’s al­most un­heard of — and he was con­sis­tent through­out.

“Dou­glas is go­ing to be a great player,” he added of Tau­tua, a ju­nior. “He started as a sopho­more, and he re­ally turned it on this year.”

Anae Vaa was Aiea’s lone First Team se­lec­tion on of­fense as a util­ity player de­spite play­ing through in­juries and missing two games.

“He was a threat when­ever he was on the field,” Say said of Vaa, a slot back/run­ning back and re­turn spe­cial­ist.

Vaa also made the Sec­ond Team for his play at run­ning back, along with team­mates Otto-Ti­tan Salausa (RB) and Zachary Mauga (OL). Michael Noga made the Sec­ond Team de­fense from Aiea, while Na Ali‘i also placed 13 team mem­bers on the Hon­or­able Men­tion team: Matt Fa’alele, Michael Wil­liams, Mans­field Silva, Fale Faa­toafe, Bren­dan Abiva, Tony Io­sua, Chris­tian Sal­vador-Aspera, Max Maafala-Ma­iava, Samson Maeva, Jholy Mauai, Tay­lor Tal­i­ulu, Matt Men­di­ola and Tal­i­ulu.

Se­nior down line­man Lopisoni Mailei was a First Team De­fen­sive se­lec­tion from Camp­bell, while Shel­don Maae (DL) and Sau Mo­moe (LB) made the Sec­ond Team.

The Sabers also boasted a pair of Sec­ond Team se­lec­tions in Keoni Pi­ceno (WR) and Ben­nett Muasau ( OL). Re­ceiv­ing Hon­or­able Men­tion from Camp­bell were Nilo Ag­bayani-Omalza, Aries Pihi, Jae­len Su­bia-Etrata, Davin Viernes, Ali­ifua Ryan, Jun­Jun Ley­bag, Ke­la­iah Fonoti, Isa­iah Thomp­son, Gio­vanni Steven­son, Solomon Leaeno, Joshua Tor­res, Romelo Wil­son and Jyrell Umali.

Keaka Fer­nan­dez, Samson Kaleikini, Manuia Ioane, Ka­pua Awong, Kenja Wise­man, Kaeo Kanoa, Toali’i Scan­lan and Josh Sim­mons were named Hon­or­able Men­tion from Kapolei.

Se­nior de­fen­sive back Seth Ro­man also made the Sec­ond Team for the Hur­ri­canes.

Mililani coach Rod York, who is an Aiea res­i­dent, was cho­sen as the Red West Coach of the Year.

Con­tact Jack Danilewicz at jack­ster.1969@ya­hoo.com.

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