Marauders’ Carvalho Preps For First Football Season

The sideline was not the vantage point from which Waipahu’s Bryson Carvalho envisioned himself observing back in 2002 in the final days of his senior football season.

“When I got hurt, I wanted to find a way to contribute, and I started charting plays for (former Waipahu coach) Sean (Saturnio) and taking down the tendencies of opposing defenses,” said Carvalho, a quarterback during his playing days. “I was just a kid then, but I did know this was something I definitely loved to do.”

Thirteen years later, Carvalho finds himself preparing for his first season as Waipahu’s head coach. The Marauders took the first steps toward the 2015 season during the past two weeks when they went through spring drills.

Since taking over the program, Carvalho has been busy putting together a staff of assistants. One of his first hires was defensive coordinator Kimo Akiona, formerly of Word of Life. “I called my pastor, (former University of Hawaii player and Dallas Cowboy draft choice) Joe Onosai, when I got the job, and he told me about Kimo, who ended up bringing his whole staff,” said Carvalho.

Waipahu has been a 4-3 team, defensively, in recent years, but will shift to a 4-2-5 to better take advantage of “our smaller and quicker players,” Carvalho said.

Akiona’s defensive staff will include Dan Mafua, Sasae Paogofie, Ben Morn, Aika Makaula, John Lavatai and Siva Savini.

Carvalho’s offensive staff will include coaches Austin Benito, Victor Moananu, Trevor Lau, Christian Gonzaga, Ben Pakau and Peter Viliamu.

“We’re super excited about our offense,” Carvalho said. “The pride we take in moving the ball will be crazy. We’ll be better balanced.”

The Marauders have employed the run-and-shoot in recent times, but will shift back to the triple option that was run a decade earlier.

“We’re tweaking it a lot,” Carvalho said. “We’ll use a lot of misdirection and motion. I like to go (with the) shotgun and no huddle, and we’re doing that.”

Waipahu was 1-7 last season in the OIA Division I Red Conference. Among Carvalho’s priorities has been setting the tone for a new era.

“Winning will come, but right now we have to be doing all the right things, like having the right work ethic, making sure they’re going to class, and staying on top of their grades,” he said. “All in all, we’re trying to change the culture. We want them to be more about the team and less about themselves.

“The transition isn’t always going to be smooth,” Carvalho continued. “We have a new defense and a new staff. That’s a big change.” Under the OIA’s guidelines, Waipahu was allowed to don equipment last week, allowing the coaches their first glimpse of the Marauders in full-contact drills.

“This is an exciting and crucial time,” Carvalho said. “They have only two weeks to show what they can do in pads, and then it’s a month-and-a-half before we can see them again.

“We’ve pushed them very hard, and we’ve had 40 to 45 kids who are super committed and coming out every day to represent their school and their community,” he added.