HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Former Kapolei QB considering options after leaving Air Force
Military life suits a lot of football players just fine.
For others, it's not the life they want. Fortunately, there are other options.
For former Damien standout and Star-Bulletin offensive player of the year Kealoha Pilares, Hawaii was an alternative after he decided to leave the Air Force Academy. Kapolei graduate Brad Padayao is going through a similar process. The former Hurricanes quarterback left the academy last year and came home.
"He's been working out, lifting weights," Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said.
The veteran coach has been active every year in the offseason, compiling video footage to send out for his players. He sent video back out again on behalf of Padayao, a prolific option general during his Kapolei career.
Padayao now has offers from Rhode Island, Bucknell and Eastern Oregon. Rhode Island (North Atlantic League) and Bucknell (Patriot League) are in NCAA Division I-AA. Eastern Oregon is an NAIA school. Whatever he chooses, Padayao is an easy qualifier, thanks to his 3.9 grade-point average in high school.
"He's been working very, very hard," Hernandez said. "He can bench 315 now."
It doesn't quite end with the former 'Cane, of course. Several of the current Hurricanes are bound for college football at different levels. Even junior quarterback Mason Koa, a bruising ball carrier, has stirred interest at the D-I level, Hernandez said.
Wailuku roller-coaster: In quiet Wailuku town, a laid-back 290-pound high-school senior is immersed in the busiest time of his life.
Kealakai "Baby" Maiava is in the middle of a series of mainland visits, and he's loving every one. The Star-Bulletin All-State third-team offensive lineman developed a reputation in the Maui Interscholastic League as a tenacious blocker.
Off the field, he's had no choice but to sit back and weigh the ups and downs of recruiting season. It began with tremendous interest from Boise State, but during the week of his planned visit, it was pulled. The Broncos secured commitments from recruits who were, apparently, higher on their board, and apologized to him.
After a quiet December, his Division I offers went from zero to four.
"Things got busy all of a sudden," his father, Scott Mahoney, said. As of today, Maiava has offers from Division I schools Central Arkansas, Idaho, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Idaho, as a member of the WAC, is appealing because he'd get to come home to the islands to play against Hawaii. Central Arkansas, which vaulted into I-A recently, is a long way from home.
"They really, really want him. They're begging for him," Mahoney said. "I think Wyoming jumped in too late, and I don't know too much about their program right now."
Though Maiava told his family that he prefers to play in Division I-A, he visited I-AA Weber State last week. This weekend, he is at I-AA Idaho State, a rival of Weber State in the Big Sky Conference.
Other I-AA teams that have offered scholarships are Northern Colorado, Portland State and Texas Southern.
"Every school he goes to, he likes," Mahoney said. "He has to be more objective."
Mahoney's older son, Kaluka Maiava, is a linebacker at USC after being named Star-Bulletin defensive player of the year in 2005. The pursuit of younger brother 'Baby' has been, in some ways, just as busy.
"They are constantly on him. They're making him feel wanted," Mahoney said.
The next stop in Maiava's tour is likely New Mexico. Assistant coach Mike Fonoga will visit Wailuku tomorrow, and Maiava will be on his flight Friday.
Tulane, which wants to trip Maiava, has not made an offer.
Staying organized in between all the phone calls, Mahoney said, isn't easy.
"Its a good thing I got Doris," he said, referring to Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance executive director Doris Sullivan.
She has helped with paperwork, including transcripts, and video footage.
Mahoney also said the contact with Idaho State may open a door for Baldwin linebacker Jojo Dixon.
"He's 6-2, 200 pounds, runs a 4.6 (40)," he said. "He played outside, did a lot of contain. He tore it up against Kahuku."
Idaho State may trip Dixon next week.
"He was looking at a lot of JCs," Mahoney added.
Bleeding green: One way or another, Kamehameha's Rykin Enos will end up playing football for the Hawaii Warriors. That's the plan, at least.
The Star-Bulletin All-State second-team safety has drawn interest from a number of small colleges, but he's never wanted anything else but an opportunity to suit up for UH.
"I'm gonna try out. We've talked to (UH assistant coach) Cal Lee," Enos said. "I'll probably have to grayshirt and hopefully walk on to the team. I'd like to play in front of my family."
With good speed and agility at 6 foot, 185 pounds, he would have a good chance at starting for most Division II or III programs. Instead, he's going to keep working out for his shot to wear the green, silver and black.
"I want to get quicker and stronger for the next level. They're a lot bigger and a lot faster than high school," he said.
Enos is currently a starting guard for the Kamehameha basketball team.
Hawaii high school players
» Solomona Aigamaua, DE, Saint Louis to California
» Kalani Aldrich, DE, Kamehameha-Hawaii to Washington
» Bryson Beirne, QB, Pac-Five to Arizona
» Savaii Eselu, TE, Moanalua to California
» Sam Fehoko, DE, Farrington to San Diego State
» Nai Fotu, DL, Kahuku to Utah
» Kaneakua Friel, TE, Kamehameha to BYU
» Brandon Hardin, DB, Kamehameha to Oregon State
» Brett Kan, QB, Punahou to Princeton
» Joshua Manupuna, DT, Kamehameha to Portland State
» Michael Matamua, OL, Kapolei to San Diego State
» Gary Nagy, DB, Kahuku to BYU
» David Paaluhi, DE, Waianae to Oregon State
» Scott Smith, DE, Saint Louis to California
» Sione Tau, OL, Damien to Arizona
» Alex Tupulua, OL, Waianae to Weber State
Local UH commitments
» Vaughn Meatoga, DL, Kamehameha
» Gabe Tuata, RB, Kealakehe
other UH commitments
» Ray Hisatake, DT, San Mateo (Calif.) College
» Leon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
» Kevin Konrath, LB, Brother Rice (Chicago)
» Chris Leatigaga, DE, Foothills (Calif.) College
» Josh Leonard, DE, Sierra (Calif.) College
» Erik Robinson, S, Navarro (Texas) JC
On the trail: CB Ryan Mouton and DB Walner Leander are both visiting Hawaii this weekend. If they end up here, there willl be three UH secondary players from Blinn (Texas) JC, when you add in current starting SS Jake Patek. ... OL Travis Campbell (6-4, 270) of Temecula Valley (Calif.) and OL/DL Matagisila Lefiti (6-0, 274) from Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) -- the alma mater of a certain UH quarterback -- are also here, as well as DL Korey Reynolds from Hoover (Ala.) High School. ... Next weekend is huge: Kahuku All-State DT Kaniela Tuipulotu visits, as well as Plant (Tampa, Fla.) QB Robert Marve.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin