Kahuku Offense In Good Shape Heading Into Fall Camp

It’s well-known that Kahuku offensive coordinator Sterling Carvalho’s level of loyalty knows no limits. To hear him tell it, the players bring out the best in him.

“The boys revitalize me,” said Carvalho, who is in his second year as Kahuku’s OC and in his seventh season on Reggie Torres’ staff. “When they lift (weights), I lift with them. When they run, I run. The players who pass through the program make Kahuku a great program. It’s a privilege to coach here.”

Carvalho’s own fortitude is an inspiration to the Red Raiders. In 2010 he was diagnosed with lupus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and had to take a season off. He has rallied since and is now in good health. “I manage it – I take medication, and I have to watch my diet and make sure I rest when needed. Coaching gives me life. During my year off, coach Reggie would see me and say, ‘You look miserable being out of coaching.'”

It was Torres who had brought him to Kahuku when he took over the head job from Siuaki Livai in 2006. Carvalho had spent four years at Waialua, where he’d been offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. At Kahuku, he became running backs coach for a season and then spent the next two as defensive coordinator. (Raised on Kauai, he played for the Kauai High Red Raiders. “I’m a Red Raider for life – I didn’t need to change clothes,” he joked.)

As offensive coordinator, last season was among his more rewarding, as the team won both the OIA and DI state football championships.

When Kahuku began fall camp at this time last year, they had much to sort out, offensively. “We were very young with a lot of sophomores and juniors, and it took us awhile,” explained Carvalho, who teaches at Hawaii Technology Academy. “The key was that everyone stuck together and we peaked at the right time. The word we were pushing was ‘believe’ – and the kids did.” Kahuku’s offense averaged 25.6 points per game in 2011.

As fall camp begins this week, hopes are understandably high for the offense. Back in the lineup are established playmakers in running back Aofaga Wily, slot back Kawe Johnson and quarterback Viliami Livai, among others. “We also have some key linemen, so we have the pieces from last year,” said Carvalho. “We have Wily back, and Kawe is amazing. Our quarterback (Livai)’s confidence from last year to this year is amazing. We showed last year against Punahou (in the state title game) that we can open it up when we need to.

“We’re ahead of where we were at this time last year,” he added. “I’m excited, and the players are excited.”

Carvalho also talked about the prospect of going against the staunch Red Raider defense (coached by defensive coordinator Kimo Haiola) every day in practice. “It definitely makes us better. If we can move the ball against them, we know we can move it against anybody.”