Fehoko moving to Kahuku


POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2009

A year older, a year stronger.

V.J. Fehoko will spend the next year in a new, but familiar home. Fehoko, one of the standouts at yesterday's Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance Football Combine, confirmed that he has transferred from Farrington to Kahuku for his senior season.

The defensive end was a force for Farrington the past two seasons, but his grandfather's illness has changed the course of his voyage. Tevita Fehoko has suffered from Alzheimer's and heart problems in recent years. The elder Fehoko and wife, Sisilia, raised V.J. from ages 2 to 7 while the rest of V.J.'s family lived in Utah.

A few months ago, Tevita Fehoko, who is in his late 70s, was lost and wandering in the Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center area. When he was found, folks said he had been asking everyone, “;Have you seen V.J.?”;

“;That kind of opened my eyes,”; V.J. said.

That made leaving Farrington a bittersweet decision.

“;There's a lot of good people at Farrington. Coach George Kamau, always donating NFL stuff and cooking us food. Coach Randall (Okimoto), the coaches are good,”; said V.J., a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team selection last year.

At the combine, held at Saint Louis School, Fehoko bench-pressed 225 pounds 33 times. Fehoko, who works out with his brother, Texas Tech linebacker Sam, also ran a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash and recorded a 35-inch vertical.

Change is also in the air at Mililani. Do-everything offensive threat Dalaunte “;Taz”; Stevenson is moving primarily to safety, where his size (6-2) and athleticism could become a major weapon—in a rover-type role—against the explosive offenses of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West. Stevenson will still be worked into the offense.

One of the offensive weapons he will face is Leilehua's Andrew Manley, who recorded a 35-inch vertical jump and bench-pressed 185 pounds 10 times. Manley has one Division I college offer on the table so far: UH. The world of combines and drill times is part of the process, he says.

“;Say you're comparing two athletes, then you compare their combine numbers. It's necessary because it shows speed and quickness,”; said Manley, who threw for 31 touchdowns last year and was the Star-Bulletin offensive player of the year. “;But the most important thing is how you play on the field.”;

Australian player Blake Muir was a presence at 6-5 1/2, 246 pounds. Muir grew up with Aussie-rules football, rugby and swimming, but took to American football two years ago and now plays for the Southerland Seahawks club in Sydney. UH tackle Adrian Thomas hails from the same club.

“;I'm hoping for a grayshirt offer from whoever will take me,”; Muir said.

The combine, which began eight years ago, is still coordinated by PIAA director Doris Sullivan and Darnell Arceneaux. The turnout of 275 players—30 had to be turned away in the early morning—was the biggest ever.