Loewen, Santos, Ewaliko honored; Bears, Lunas combine for 21 first-team spots
January 2, 2011 - By ROBERT COLLIAS, Staff Writer
Young and inexperienced to start. Big, getting bigger and experienced to finish. And a player who simply couldn't be ignored for all he did.
Two Bears and a Luna lead The Maui News Maui Interscholastic League Football All-Stars for the 2010 season.
Baldwin High School quarterback Keelan Ewaliko, a sophomore, broke out of a two-way battle for the job, grew seemingly every week and is the choice of league coaches as the MIL Offensive Player of the Year.
"It is the first time I have been hearing it, it just hits me hard, it is a surprise," Ewaliko said. "I wasn't really expecting it. I was striving for it. I have been trying hard, but it is not only me. It is my team, my line, everyone else."
Lahainaluna senior Mitchell Loewen, an MIL All-Star linebacker as a junior when he was listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, grew into a 6-5, 245-pound force this season and is the MIL Defensive Player of the Year.
"That sounds pretty good," Loewen said. "There was a learning curve for me this year. I had to really get used to my body and I spent a lot of time in the weight room."
The player who rarely came off the field, matched his own MIL record and then broke it, Baldwin's Ceejay Santos, is the choice for MIL Utility Player of the Year, the first time that award has been handed out.
"It makes me feel good that we have such a good team that gives me opportunities like that," Santos said. "To make things work when people need me."
Santos, the league's scoring leader with 75 points, simply did a little bit of everything.
A first-team all-state selection by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser as a placekicker, he matched a league record he set as a sophomore with a 51-yard field goal, later broke it with a 53-yarder and was 8-for-8 on field goals overall in 11 games this season, with four of 50 yards or more. One of three senior wide receivers for the Bears, he also caught 15 passes in MIL play for four touchdowns and returned kickoffs, including a 99-yarder for a touchdown against San Clemente, Calif., in a preseason game.
Santos played defensive back in some key situations, punted at times and routinely sailed kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
Baldwin's A.J. Roloos is the choice of his peers as MIL Coach of the Year.