Many Maui players on major-college rosters
By Fred Guzman
The days are long gone since King Sugar reigned supreme as Hawaii’s principal export. The plantations, with the exception of the HC&S operation here on the Valley Isle, have all shut down.
Based on a report appearing in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, you can make a strong case that the state’s new major export is college football players. The survey lists 102 athletes who graduated from local high schools on the current rosters of Division-I-A teams on the mainland.
That doesn’t include in-state athletes playing at the University of Hawaii, nor the many others competing at other levels – be it Division-I-AA, D-II, D-III, NAIA and junior college.
Two players with Maui ties are at UH: Andrew Faaumu of Lahainaluna is an offensive lineman and starting defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu began is prep career with the Lunas before transferring to Kahuku.
Unofficially, 13 other players from Maui are on D-I-A rosters:
From Baldwin: Jojo Dickson is a senior starting linebacker at Idaho, Troy Aoki is a long-snapper at UNLV, Kai Maiava was the junior starting center at UCLA before suffering an injury, Jordan Pu’u Robinson, also injured, is a freshman defensive end at Washington State, Mana Rosa is a freshman defensive end at Oregon State, and Sean Tesoro is a sophomore offensive lineman at UNLV.
From Kamehameha: Walter Kahailii is junior offensive lineman at BYU, Chase Bell is a freshman safety at Idaho, Keloni Kamalani is a freshman linebacker at Oregon, and Keahi Raikes is a junior defensive back at UNLV,
From King Kekaulike: Elvis Kamana-Matagi is a freshman defensive lineman at Utah State,
From Maui High: Kamaloni Vainikolo is a senior defensive tackle at Utah State. And from Kapolei, although originally from Maui High, Simione Vehikite is a freshman linebacker at USC.