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Sunday, December 24, 2006

2006 Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) All Stars

First Team Offense
QB Jordan Helle (Baldwin) Jr
RB Shannon Kamakaoklani (KS-Maui) Sr ***Offensive Player of the Year***
RB Chansi Bolosan (Baldwin) Jr
WR Colten Quinabo (Baldwin) Sr
WR Chase Nakamura (Baldwin) Jr
WR Lake Casco (Lahainaluna) Jr
OL Kealakai Maiava (Baldwin) Sr
OL Chancey Kaukau (Lahainaluna) Jr
OL Sione Via (Baldwin) Sr
OL Andrew Allen (King Kekaulike) Sr
OL Joshua Awa (King Kekaulike) Sr
P/K Dane Fernandez (Baldwin) Sr

First Team Defense
DL Levi Aki (Baldwin) Sr
DL Bula Kaupe (Baldwin) Sr
DL Semione Vehikite (Lahainaluna) Soph
DL Brandon Luben (Lahainaluna) Sr
LB Kyle Ka'aihue-Kaimiola (Baldwin) Sr ***Defensive Player of the Year***
LB Randen Abafo (King Kekaulike) Sr
LB George Kekona (Lahainaluna) Sr
DB Sione Taufa (Lahainaluna) Jr
DB Lake Casco (Lahainaluna) Jr
DB Mikie Webb (Baldwin) Soph
DB Mikey Douglas (King Kekaulike) Jr
Utility Andrew Pacheco (Pac-3) Sr



Best of the best
By ROBERT COLLIAS, Staff Writer

Kamakaokalani won the league rushing title with 1,079 yards, added better than 900 more on returns and scored an MIL single-season record 20 touchdowns in 10 league games while leading the state in scoring.

More important, Kamakaokalani led Na Alii to the Division II state championship, the first state football title ever won by a Neighbor Island team.

In a year in which offensive records fell in abundance, he was a runaway winner in voting by the league’s coaches for MIL Offensive Player of the Year.

“That makes me feel good, just to be the top MIL offensive player on all of Maui,’’ Kamakaokalani said. “It feels really good to me. I can’t explain how I feel right now.’’

On the same night King Kekaulike advanced to the D-II state title game with a 38-37 win over Iolani on the final play, Baldwin lost 22-20 to eventual D-I champion Kahuku on the last play. Na All and the Bears combined for a 3-1 record in state tournament games, the best record in league history.

Kaaihue-Kaimiola helped the Bears reach their fourth state semifinal with his gargantuan presence at middle linebacker, and was a standout among the league’s many talented players.

“I’m just happy and surprised that it was me,’’ Kaaihue-Kaimiola said. “I thought it would be my teammate, Levi Aki.’’

King Kekaulike coach J.W. Kenton was the choice of his peers as MIL Coach of the Year.

“It is all still a buzz in my head,’’ Kenton said via phone from Florida, where he is on vacation. “I’m just real proud of my players and real proud of the assistant coaches. They all bought into the system and it paid off.

“It is an honor to be coach of the year, but I feel it is more of an honor for my assistants. We had to learn to trust. We had our share of hard times, and like all families, we pulled together and pulled it off.’’

Both players of the year also made big strides in the classroom. Kamakaokalani, a senior, had a 3.8 grade-point average in the first academic quarter after struggling to stay eligible in seasons past, while Kaaihue-Kaimiola, a junior, brought his GPA up to 2.8 in the first quarter.

Kamakaokalani stands only 5-foot-4 and weighs 140 pounds, but now has college football as a goal.

“Sports is always fun,’’ he said. “That is what keeps me going in school and everything. If there wasn’t sports in my life, I don’t know where I’d be.’’

“It’s getting better,’’ said Kaaihue-Kaimiola, a 5-11, 200-pounder. “It is getting into my mind that I’ve got to get grades if I want to play in college. Grades are the most important thing right now.’’

Kamakaokalani is joined on the first team offense by Baldwin’s Jordan Helle (quarterback), Chase Nakamura, Colten Quinabo (receivers), Chansi Bolosan (running back), Kealakai Maiava, Sione Via and Joshua Awai (offensive line), Lahainaluna’s Lake Casco (receiver) and Chauncey Kaukau (offensive line) and King Kekaulike’s Andrew Allen (offensive line).

Helle had one of the best passing seasons in MIL history,

finishing with 26 touchdown throws, a league single-season record, and 2,049 yards, the second-best total in league history. Nakamura set the touchdown reception mark with 16, seven more than the previous record, and also had 52 receptions for 981 yards, both No. 2 on the league’s single-season list.

Kaaihue-Kaimiola is joined on the first-team defense by the Bears’ Aki, Bula Kaupe (defensive line) and Mikie Webb (defensive back), Lahainaluna’s Casco, Sione Taufa (defensive back), Simione Vehikite, Brandon Luben (defensive line) and George Kekona (linebacker) and King Kekaulike’s Randen Abafo (linebacker) and Mikey Douglas (defensive back).

The first team utility player is Andrew Pacheco of Pac-3 and the punter-placekicker is Dane Fernandez of Baldwin.

Aki and Kaaihue-Kaimiola are the only repeat first-team selections on defense, while Nakamura, Quinabo, Casco and Maiava are making their second straight appearances on offense. Pacheco is the first-team utility choice for the second consecutive year.

For different reasons, both players of the year will never forget the 2006 season.

“For the first week or so, it didn’t really sink in that we are state champions,’’ Kamakaoka-lani said. “But then it kind of hit us, like, the week after when we came back to school and everybody was congratulating us.’’

Kaaihue-Kaimiola was on the field for the 43-yard flanker pass that beat the Bears in the state semifinals.

“Well, now we know how it is when it comes down to times like that,’’ Kaaihue-Kaimiola said. “You know what to do when it happens again. You have to learn from your mistakes. We can be as good as our team wants to be next year. I think we can be pretty good next year, but that (Kahuku loss) is going to be in the back of our minds every game.’’

While he has a year to play in high school, Kaaihue-Kaimiola said his goal is to be on a Pac-10 team in college.

Kamakaokalani just wants to keep playing anywhere.

“’I don’t really know where I’m going to school,’’ Kamakaokalani said. “Coach just said worry about your schoolwork now and jeep your grades and they will try to find somewhere for me to go. I kind of want to go to a Division II school or junior college so I can start from the bottom and work my way up.’’

Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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