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Friday, December 14, 2007

Noa, Tuitele tough to contain

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two football players whose athleticism drew the attention of all opponents won top postseason honors in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association White Conference.

Kalua Noa, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior wide receiver from Kaiser, was named Offensive Player of the Year and Kaimuki's Maua Tuitele, a 6-1, 230-pound senior linebacker, was named Defensive Player of the Year after a vote of White Conference coaches.

Noa caught 25 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns, but Kaiser coach Pat Samsonas said the statistics do not fully measure the impact he had on the field.

"A lot of defenses had to adjust their plans toward him," Samsonas said. "They were keying on him the whole game, putting in an extra safety to help, using double or triple coverages."

Noa also returned kicks and punts, was used on direct-snap option plays and carried the ball on end runs.

"He was also a humble player, no showboating or anything like that," Samsonas said.

Samsonas said Tuitele had a similar all-around impact for Kaimuki's defense.

"He is a Division I-type athlete, and he has a motor that doesn't stop," Samsonas said. "That's how he beat a lot of guys — he just wouldn't stop coming."

Tuitele helped the Bulldogs complete an 8-0 regular season.

Kaimuki led the way with five players selected to the White's all-star first team: Tuitele, offensive linemen Chauncy Nicola and Dustin Uyeda, defensive lineman Sione Taetakua and defensive back Christopher Etuale. Tuitele was selected as a linebacker and utility player.

'Anuenue's Kamaki Sherman (wide receiver, defensive back) and Waipahu's Brahmin Kelekolio (offensive/defensive lineman) also were selected to the first team at two positions.

Pearl City, Roosevelt and Waipahu each was represented by three players.

Pearl City placed running back Antoin DeWalt, offensive lineman Tyler Lauifi and linebacker Troy Antique. Roosevelt had running back Ranson Tuitama, wide receiver Justin Otaguro and defensive back Zach Hamasaki selected.

Waipahu placed Kelekolio, quarterback Troy Matautia and linebacker Fogalele Pefua.

Kaiser and Waialua each was represented by two players. The Cougars placed Noa and defensive lineman Bronson McMoore; the Bulldogs had utility player Donovan Matas and defensive back Reggie Carillo selected.

'Anuenue defensive lineman Keli'ipio Adams and Nanakuli offensive lineman Kenika Kaimi round out the first team.

Les Parrilla of White runner-up Roosevelt was named Coach of the Year.

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