Best Player: Manti Te’o, Sr., LB, Punahou
Te’o earned defensive player of the year honors in Hawaii in 2007 and begins the 2008 season as the top recruit on the Islands. With 92 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries last year, Te’o is regarded as the top linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 14 prospect overall by Tom Lemming. Returning Stat Leaders – Passing: Kela Marciel, Iolani, 172-282, 2,518 yards, 22 TDs; Justin Paderes, Kaimuki, 242-1,520 yards, 16 TDs.
Top All-Time Player: Russ Francis, Kailua
Although born in Washington, Francis grew up in Hawaii and played college football at University of Oregon. He played 13 seasons in the NFL as a tight end for the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. He was a three-time Pro Bowl pick and is a member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
2008 Must See: Andrew Manley, Leilehua
Hawaii football fans are waiting to see what Andrew Manley will do for an encore. A JV quarterback last year, Manley was called up to the varsity after both Leilehua QBs were injured in a playoff game against Castle. Manley led his team to five straight wins, including a 20-16 win over St. Louis in the First Division state championship game. The state title was the first in school history and Manley earned third team All-State honors despite not playing any varsity games during the regular season.
On The Throne: Kahuku
The Red Raiders have generally been the team to beat over the past five years in Hawaii, although last year’s 6-3 mark was one of the worst records for Kahuku in some time. Posting a 52-8 record since 2003, the Red Raiders won back-to-back state championships in 2005 and 2006 and also captured the state crown in 2003, 2001 and 2000. Despite the 6-3 mark in 2007, the Red Raiders still managed to capture an Oahu Red league title.
Best Rivalry: Kahuku vs. St. Louis
The Kahuku Red Raiders and the St. Louis Crusaders have taken turns winning Division 1 state championships in Hawaii for the past decade. Kahuku has won five championships since 1999 and Saint Louis has won two, however the Crusaders also won 14 straight state titles between 1986 and 1999. The two teams played in the season opener last year with St. Louis gaining the 21-6 victory. The rivals do not play in the same league, but often play a non-league game or meet in the state playoffs.
Future Star: Dalaunte Stevenson, Jr., WR, Mililani
One of the fastest athletes in Hawaii last year as a sophomore, Stevenson should be one of the top receivers in the state this year, unless, of course, he is moved to running back, where he played on occasion in 2007. The explosive Stevenson scored 12 touchdowns for Mililani, including two in a playoff loss to eventual state champion Leilehua. During track season, Stevenson posted times of 11.09 and 11.13 in the 100 meters.
The Haka, a Maori dance that Kahuku High School once performed prior to each game, has been de-emphasized at the school under coach Reggie Torres. Nevertheless, the haka remains a popular pre-game activity and has spread to schools in California, Utah, Oregon and Texas.
MaxPreps Preseason All-State Team
WR – Robbie Tomas, Punahou
WR – Billy Stutzman, Saint Louis
WR – Edieson Dumlao, Leilehua
TE – Jordan Pu’u-Robinson, Kamehameha
OL – Stan Hasiak, Kapolei
OL – Junior Fiefia, Saint Louis
OL – Kapua Sai, Saint Louis
OL – Benson Ma’afala, Damien
OL – Kala Friel, Kamehameha
QB – Cayman Shutter, Punahou
QB – Andrew Manley, Leilehua
RB – Dalton Hilliard, Punahou
RB – St. John Lessary III, Kahuku
RB – Justin Paderes, Kaimuki
ATH – Delaunte Stevenson, Mililani
K – Warren Spencer, Saint Louis
DL – Nick Maafala, Mililani
DL – Mana Rosa, Baldwin
DL – Wade Keliikipi, Waianae
DL – Veni Manu, Mililani
LB – Manti Te’o, Punahou
LB – Isaiah Iuta, Farrington
LB – Cyril Ontai, Kapolei
LB – Simione Vehikite, Kapolei
LB – Kawehi Sablan, Castle
DB – Marcus Breakfield, Leilehua
DB – Kalei Stevens, Farrington
DB – Jray Galea’I, Kahuku
DB – Kamalani Alo, Kahuku
P – Rico Newman, Leilehua
State Preview Video