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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kehano, Iuta the elite of East

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

In an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference Eastern Division full of high-profile senior offensive stars, a relatively little-known junior receiver from Castle emerged on top when it came to postseason honors.

Shaydon Kehano (5 feet 11, 155 pounds) was named OIA Red East Offensive Player of the Year after a vote of league coaches.

Kehano caught 34 passes and led the entire OIA Red with 712 yards — for a stunning average of 20.9 yards per catch — and eight touchdowns.

"I'm glad the opposing coaches recognized his talents," Castle coach Nelson Maeda said. "It's very gratifying and very deserving. He was our go-to guy, and was always part of our game plan."

Maeda said Kehano's contributions could not be measured just by statistics.

"He hardly came off the field," Maeda said. "He's very consistent, works very hard and with him everything is about the team. He's very coachable, a role model who sets the standards for the other players."

Farrington linebacker Isaiah Iuta was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Iuta, a 5-11, 210-pound senior, is a ball-hawking defender who was a hard-hitting run-stopper with the speed to also drop into coverage and roam the perimeter.

Iuta led a Governors defense that allowed a division-low 39 points in six regular-season games (6.5 ppg).

He is joined on the OIA Red East all-star first-team defense by two other Farrington players: defensive lineman VJ Fehoko and defensive back James Smith, who was also picked as a utility player.

Kehano also was named to the first team as a defensive back.

Others on the first-team defense are linemen Kevin Aipia Jr. (Castle), Kona Schwenke (Kahuku) and Manako Tuifua (Kailua), linebackers Kamalani Alo (Kahuku) and Kawehi Sablan (Castle), and Kahuku defensive backs J'ray Galeai and Aulola Tonga.

Farrington led the way with five players on the first-team offense: running back Apelu So'oalo, wide receiver Drake Miller and offensive linemen Skylawn Folaumahina, Paul Kama and Joseph Siliga. Others on the first-team offense are quarterback Blake Rapozo (Castle), running back St. John Lessary III (Kahuku), wide receiver Corey Lau (Kailua) and offensive linemen Joseph Ka'ahu (Castle) and Chauncey Makainai (Kailua).

Lessary also was picked as a utility player.

Farrington's Randall Okimoto was named Coach of the Year after leading the Govs to a 5-1 record and second place in the East.

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