Joe Nahale would have been proud of his son, Wyatt, and grandson, Sheynen-Wyatt Nahale, the second and third generation Waveriders of the Kealakehe football team.
The Waveriders are tied for first place in the BIIF Division I standings after a 54-34 victory over Keaau at Cougars Stadium last Friday night.
âI liked a lot of things there. I liked our attack, which started to kick in, âsaid Wyatt, a Kealakehe trainer like his father. âThe credit goes to the offensive line up front. They work extremely hard. Their offensive line coach pushes them hard. Success in the backfield comes from the front. Hats off to the guys from the get go.
Sheynen-Wyatt, a senior Waverider quarterback, was 28 of 43 for 441 yards and four touchdowns, including three touchdowns for Ayzen Cummings and one for Hunter Acia. He also ran for 20 yards on three attempts. TJ Arakawa had 21 carries for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Kealakehe (3-0, 2-0 BIIF) visits defending seven-time BIIF champion Hilo (1-1) on Friday, then welcomes rival Konawaena (2-0) on Friday, November 19 before the start of the four teams. playoffs.
First a bit about Coach Joe. He was Kealakehe’s first coach in 1998, was diagnosed with cancer a year later and resigned. He died on March 27, 2017 at the age of 60, much too young, but he left a mark in the sand.
Coach Joe has never won a BIIF Championship, although he was a longtime assistant to Konawaena and touched the lives of many. His legacy is far greater than any grid success. It was the way he always treated people, never too high after a win, never too low after a loss. Coach Joe was always warm and welcoming. He was the definition of the Aloha spirit. It was still the same guy.
Coach Joe would be proud because his son is the same way. Under the stadium light, he even looks like Coach Joe and talks like him too.
âMy dad touched me, and I have players whose fathers played for my dad,â Wyatt said.
When Wyatt and his wife, Lorna, were dating for the first time, Coach Joe was in Kealakehe. She pointed out that it is a circle of life that her husband is now Kealakehe’s coach. She is part of the Waveriders as a member of the statistics team, along with her daughter Shayla.
Wyatt may be the coach, but Lorna is the boss. Her cousin Shannon died before her son was born, so she found her first name to honor her cousin and the hyphen “Wyatt” to honor her husband. At least Shayla has the first two letters of her given name relating to her quarterback brother.
Sheynen-Wyatt is 5ft 11 and 190 pounds, a good height for a running back. But it’s a QB who can throw it. His best skill is to run running, to shake things up when a tree route comes out of the script.
âHe’s come a long way since his first year. He wouldn’t do things like that in first grade, but now he’s grown and developed, âWyatt said.
It’s easy for college coaches to spot this pitching skill on the pitch, as these quarterbacks keep their eyes on the pitch as they jostle each other. Sheynen-Wyatt did just that when he found Cummings for a 65-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Combined with Arakawa, the Waveriders had the balance that coaches often desire, Sheynen-Wyatt and Arakawa combined for nearly 700 yards and seven touchdowns.
t âTJ is such a strong runner. He’s one of those guys if you need yards, he’ll put his head down and fight for yards, âWyatt said. âA lot of his big projects come after a contact. He makes contact, and the next thing you know, he breaks tackles and gets another 10, 20 yards, which also shows how strong he has.
âDefensively, Duke Becker, our defensive end, played a great game. Hunter Acia played back and forth and at the corner had an interception. Shane Kalahiki in safety brought a lot of intensity and flew to the ball. This presence has helped us.
Much like Coach Joe, Wyatt would not consider the rivalry game against the Wildcats. His only focus was the rebuilt Vikings, who have the same offensive flow as new coach Chris Todd, who was the offensive coordinator. The guy might be a politician, but he was born with a great game design mind. When you expect a fastball, Todd dials in a change. A blitz is neutralized by an unexpected draw or a bubble screen.
However, Hilo had all kinds of penalty issues, mental errors and unruly play in an ugly 49-6 win over Waiakea last Saturday night. The Vikings were their worst enemy. Fortunately, their firepower made up for their self-inflicted mistakes.
âTo win the BIIF championship, you have to go through Hilo. Hilo is always the team to beat on the Big Island, âsaid Wyatt. âWe have to prepare, not only physically, but also mentally. We’re going to keep our boys mentally focused on this week. Like anything else, when playing against big teams you have to be good to go.
âIt will depend on which team makes the fewest mistakes. Just having our boys mentally focused will be important to us. “
Wyatt looked so much like Coach Joe. It was the same guy speaking.
In other games:
Ka’u (0-2 BIIF D-II) at Kamehameha (2-1, 2-0 BIIF D0II), 5 p.m. Thursday: The Warriors, who haven’t allowed an offensive touchdown in two league games, welcome a Trojans team that has yet to reach the end zone.
Pahoa (1-2 BIIF D-II) at Honokaa (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday: The Dragons are looking to consolidate their first win of the season as they continue to refine their triple-option offense. As for offensive options last week at Kamehameha, the Daggers were much more inclined to pass.
Konawaena (2-0 BIIF DI) at Waiakea (0-3), 11 a.m. Saturday: The Wildcats should have one final tune-up ahead of an extended run that includes a game against Kealakehe and the playoffs. Because the Warriors have already lost to Keaau and Hilo, even a win probably wouldn’t help them reach the playoffs thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Hawaii Prep (3-0 BIIF D-II) at Kohala (1-2), 1 p.m. Saturday: The Cowboys have had to give up their first home game this season, and in it, they will look to become the first team to score an offensive touchdown on Ka Makani.