Staff Blog
2019 football midseason awards

2019 Midseason Awards


Mililani LB Wynden Hoohuli. CJ Caraang | SL

>> Defensive MVP of the 1st half: Wynden Hoohuli, Mililani LB
The Trojans opened their 2019 season with a big test in the form of a highly-touted Campbell team, but Hoohuli was well prepared to say the least.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior linebacker notched a pair of interceptions against the Sabers, including one in the final minutes that sealed the 30-26 road win for the Trojans. It was quite the introduction for Hoohuli, among a handful of transfers from Saint Louis who enrolled at Mililani in the offseason.

Hoohuli posted six tackles, including three for losses and two sacks, with a fumble recovery in a win over Kahuku. He also handles punting duties and has seen spot duty at running back. Hoohuli also threw a 74-yard touchdown pass against Waianae.

Mililani has held opponents to an average of just nine points and 165.7 yards per game.

Punahou safety Alakai Gilman, Campbell safety Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Kamehameha defensive end Ezra Evaimalo and Kahuku safety Frisco Aveau were also considered.

Punahou coach Kale Ane. John Lujan | SL

>> Coach of the 1st half: Kale Ane, Punahou
The Buffanblu have been stupendous on both sides of the ball in Ane's 21st season leading his alma mater.

Punahou's offense is scoring at a rate of 36.2 points per game and has posted 40-or-more points four times this despite the loss of starting quarterback Hugh Brady to a season-ending knee injury two games into the season. The defense is allowing an average of just three points and 160.5 yards per game and has recorded four shutouts.

Cal Lee, of Saint Louis, and Mililani's Rod York were also considered.


Waipahu RB Alfred Failauga. CJ Caraang | SL

>> Offensive MVP of the 1st half: Alfred Failauga, Waipahu RB
Despite having missed a game, Failauga leads all divisions in carries (163), yards (1,124) and rushing touchdowns (10). The Waipahu workhorse has run for at least 200 yards three times this season, including a 39-carry, 338-yard, 5-TD performance against Castle and a 42-carry, 281-yard, 2-TD effort versus Iolani.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Failauga is averaging 6.9 yards per rush and 224.8 yards per game as a senior. He also threw an 80-yard touchdown pass and caught a 45-yard scoring strike against Damien and has scored at least one touchdown in all five games he's played in.

Failauga became the state's all-time leading rusher just three games into the season. He has logged 5,084 rushing yards in his four-year varsity career.

Damien quarterback Jake Holtz, Moanalua slotback Rudy Kealohi and Hilo quarterback Kyan Miyasato were also considered.

Leilehua DE Kiaka Pio. Michael Lasquero | SL

>> Defensive MVP of the 1st half: Kiaka Pio, Leilehua DE
Ask most of the quarterbacks that have lined up across of the Leilehua defense this season and chances are he will remember number 56. After all, Pio made sure to introduce himself personally to just about all of them.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior defensive end has recorded eight total sacks with at least one sack in five of Leilehua's six games. Pio had two sacks and forced a fumble in a win over reigning D1 state champion Waipahu. He notched two more sacks and a fumble recovery against Moanalua and last week he made 2 1/2 tackles for loss, with 1 1/2 sacks in a win over Damien.

Leilehua's defense has held opponents to modest averages of 10.5 points and 192.8 yards per game.

Moanalua cornerback Rashod Tanner and Konawaena defensive lineman/linebacker Alex Muti were also considered. 

Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu. Pete Caldwell | SL

>> Coach of the 1st half: Savaii Eselu, Moanalua
Under the guidance of Eselu, Moanalua's fourth-year coach, Na Menehune are off to a 5-0 start and sit atop the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I standings. They are one of just two remaining undefeated teams in D1 statewide (Hilo).

Moanalua won its first three games by a combined six points, but is coming off of a 42-0 win at Aiea last week.

Leilehua's Mark Kurisu, Damien's Eddie Klaneski, Konawaena's Brad Uemoto and Iolani's Wendell Look were also considered.


Roosevelt QB Sky Ogata. Mycah Yokotake | SL

>> Offensive MVP of the 1st half: Sky Ogata, Roosevelt QB
The Rough Riders' senior signal-caller's completion percentage may equate to a "passing grade," but he has been far from average so far this year.

Ogata, the reigning Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II Offensive Player of the Year, has helped Roosevelt to a 5-0 start in 2019.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound quarterback has completed 90 of 121 pass attempts for 1,274 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also threw for a career-high 400 yards in the Rough Riders' season-opening 42-6 win over McKinley and completed 90 percent of his passes in a 42-0 win over Kalani.

Lahainaluna running back Joshua Tihada and Kaimuki running back Naomas Asuega-Fualaau also received consideration.

Kaiser DL Joseph Chin. Eric Nakamura | Special to SL

>> Defensive MVP of the 1st half: Joseph Chin, Kaiser DL
For a team with many explosive playmakers on the perimeter on both offense and defense, it's easy to overlook how effective Chin has been for the Cougars in 2019.

The 6-foot, 230-pound defensive lineman has been a workhorse in the trenches for Kaiser, who is off to a 6-0 start this year.

With Chin leading the charge, the Cougars' defense was able to score in the team's first three games, which included Chin recording a safety in a 33-7 win over PAC-5.

Chin is also coming off a solid game against Kaimuki, the Cougars' toughest test to date, when he recorded four tackles for loss to help Kaiser hold the Bulldogs to a season-low 63 yards on the ground.

Kapaa defensive tackle Joshua "Squashy" Baltazar, Lahainaluna safety Kaihulali Casco and Kamehameha-Hawaii linebacker Wilde Germano were also considered.

Kaiser coach Tim Seaman. Spencer Honda | SL

>> Coach of the 1st half: Tim Seaman, Kaiser
In Seaman's second year back at the helm, the Cougars are off to their best start since 1979 — when they bested Kamehameha, 27-7, to win the Prep Bowl that year.

With six wins already in hand, Kaiser is on pace to have its best season since 2013 — the year it won the Division II state championship.

Roosevelt's Kui Kahooilihala was also considered.



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