Male Athlete of the Week: Kyan Miyasato, Hilo football
Kyan Miyasato has heeded the words of his coach and the payoff has been off the charts for the Hilo quarterback.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Miyasato has thrown for 802 yards and 10 touchdowns through his first three games of the season and is coming off of a stellar showing in the Vikings' 51-21 win over Kealakehe at Dr. Francis Wong Stadium last Friday.
Miyasato, a second-year starter and four-year varsity player, passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns in the rout of the Waveriders.
"I think he just did a good job distributing the ball where the defense dictated the ball should go," Hilo fifth-year coach Kaeo Drummondo said. "I think he did well as far as understanding what types of coverages that we would be expecting and he executed the offense and got the ball to our playmakers. For the most part I'm happy with the decisions he made."
Five different teammates caught a pass from Miyasato, who attempted just 14 passes, but completed 11 with one interception. Kaimi Tiogangco's only two receptions both went for long touchdowns of 84 and 70 yards in a 27-point second quarter.
Miyasato's first TD pass gave the Vikings their first lead on a receiver-screen that Kilohana Haasenritter turned into a 79-yard scoring play. His fourth TD pass went for 85 yards to Fiki Aguiar and gave his team a 41-7 lead at halftime.
"We talk all the time about utilizing his playmakers and the fact that defenses are going to try to take things away, so to make the right read and get the ball out," Drummondo said.
Off his three incompletions, one was picked off during the second quarter.
"It was one of those things where we trust him to make a call and I think there was possibly some miscommunication on his part and the wide receiver and a little bit of a missed read and a little bit of a missed throw, but the corner was able to capitalize on it. He got his hands on the ball and made a positive play for his team," Drummondo said.
Drummondo serves as defensive coordinator, consequently his exchange with Miyasato after the play was minimal.
"It was real brief because the defense was going on the field in a sudden-change situation, so it was really brief, but I just wanted to know what he saw and why he made a particular check when we thought we had something that we liked on the other side of the field, but he's a senior quarterback so there's times that we're going to trust him on certain decisions. "I just want to know what he saw to make that check," Drummondo said.
It's all part of improving communication between players and coaches alike.
"As the season progresses week to week, we want to be better in communication, be better in preparation and be better in execution, but it's a work in progress," Drummondo said.
As a freshman in 2016, Miyasato started about half of Hilo's games. He shared the job as a sophomore with Kaleo Apao on the state-championship winning 2017 team before taking over the starting job full-time as a junior last year.
"This is four years in now, he's three to four years older, a little more mature, IQ-wise he has a lot better grasp on the offense — it's still a work in progress as far as teaching coverage structures and getting him to make his reads with what we think the defense will be doing and where his eyes belong — but generally speaking, his maturity shows not only physically, but mentally and football-wise, with his IQ," Drummondo said.
After winning the school's first football state title two seasons ago, Hilo came up one win short of defending that crown in 2018. It reached the final after a semifinal win over Maui, but ultimately lost 42-22 to Waipahu. Miyasato was 11-of-23 passing for 213 yards with three touchdowns and one interception despite being sacked 11 times for a cumulative loss of 66 yards.
Drummondo said it's probably safe to say that defeat fueled Miyasato's drive leading up to his senior season.
"I never had a discussion about it with him, but through his actions I think it did," Drummondo said. "He really took it serious this offseason in the weight room. Although he is a slender individual, that didn't reflect his efforts in the weight room, so I think definitely program wide that gave everybody a little more motivation going into the offseason. You never want to end a season that way. If you lose, you lose, but you want to put your best foot forward in any game that you play, so I hope it did and through his actions, I think it did."
The numbers appear to support Drummondo's belief. The Vikings (3-0 overall, 2-0 BIIF Division I) are averaging 53.7 points and 416 yards per game. It has outscored its first three opponents by an average of more than 43 points per contest.
"From week one to week three, I think we're heading in the right direction. Weekly and daily the things that we preach in practice are occurring, so it's a general progression, but it can always be better; you always strive to play the perfect game," Drummondo said. "Kyan has an understanding of our package and scheme, so the biggest thing for us coaches is trying to educate him on what we think the defense will try to take away and helping him to make his reads, utilize his playmakers. He knows that it's not all on his shoulders and to just get the ball out and use the guys around him."
Hilo, which has won the last six BIIF D1 championships, remained at No. 8 in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Football Power Rankings. Miyasato and the Vikings return to action Thursday against Waiakea. Kickoff is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m. at Wong Stadium.
Female Athlete of the Week: Keonilei Akana, Kamehameha volleyball
Year in and year out Kamehameha coach Chris Blake turns out solid, championship-level teams and this year is no exception. The Warriors hang their hat on ball control and in Blake's mind there is no question who carries that torch amongst this year's players.
That would be senior Keonilei Akana, who is in her third season as a starter and fourth overall on the varsity team. The 5-foot-9 outside hitter/opposite put that on display in the Warriors' first game of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I season last Tuesday.
Akana had 16 digs in 17 chances to go along with a team-high 10 kills and two aces in a three-set win over Le Jardin at Kekuhaupio Gym. She also had 25 service-receptions against three errors as one of the team's primary passers.
"She's pretty much on the court a lot," Blake said of Akana, the team's lone returning starter from last year's ILH championship-winning squad.
"She's a rock for us. Her freshman year her play was kind of spotty, but since her sophomore year she's been on the court for us all the time. Her performance doesn't always show up in the stat sheet because of what she does, but those who know volleyball know what she can do and it's in the defense and picking up that ball in pursuit, that hustle," Blake added.
Akana has always displayed a knack for defense, but is taking on further responsibility this season as one of three team captains.
"She's beginning to become a little more vocal and taken it upon herself to make everybody around her better," Blake said. "I think as she has evolved, this maturity and confidence that we see from her is beginning to be take shape and she understands that part of her responsibility is to show others the path and the way that we do things; it's another layer of complexity of what she does and I think she's taken on the challenge well."
As a junior, Akana earned both first team All-ILH and All-Hawaii honors and helped the Warriors reach the state title match. Ultimately, they came up one match short and were swept by Iolani — which has motivated Akana since.
"She's come back really hungry. Last year was a great year for us, but the way things turned out for us at the end of last year has very much driven her since last October," Blake said. "She's been working hard, she's been in the weight room trying to get everybody together and those are the kinds of things you would expect from a leader and she's continuing to do those things and help us on our path of where we need to go."
Blake said Akana was a key part of the Warriors' comeback last Tuesday after the Bulldogs "earned" the first set.
"I believe we were up, 22-20, and they ran out the last five points," Blake recalled. "I think it was a little bit of us not executing, but a lot of it was just Le Jardin putting things together right there at end game and I think it was good because it put us into a spot where we needed to be challenged."
Kamehameha evened the match with a 25-22 win in set two, before closing it out with a 25-19 win in set three.
"Even through sets two and three it was a back-and-forth affair, but our girls were in it for the long run and fought to eh end and I think a lot of it came from things Keonilei was doing. She's been there before, she's our only returning starter and that leadership and that knowledge helped settle everybody down. Le Jardin played exceptionally well, but we were very proud of how our girls battled back and Keonilei was a big part of getting us our first win of the ILH season," Blake said.
Blake said that what makes Akana so special is her consistency and reliability in the back row.
"She's just so steady back there and it's interesting because different teams try different things — some teams do their best to stay away from her and other teams go at her — but either way, if she's not touching on first touch she still contributes in other ways, but I think this year she's much more explosive especially on her attacking and she's solid in out front not only on attacking, but blocking," Blake said of Akana, who has been verbally committed to USC since the summer prior to her junior season.
The Warriors captured the 24-team Labor Day Volleyball Classic hosted by Kamehameha-Hawaii for the second straight year over the weekend. They did not drop a set in any of their 10 matches there, including a sweep of Kahuku in Saturday's tournament final.
Akana appeared in 14 of 20 sets (nine of 10 matches) and hit .378 for the tournament with a 47.7 kill percentage. She added 36 digs, six blocks — one solo — and was named to the all-tournament team.
"She did really well. She does so many things so well that you take it for granted," Blake said. "She's wonderfully good on defense and serve-receive, however, offensively she's definitely turned it up a notch this year. She sees the court so well and she's been playing volleyball for a long time and she's beginning to put things together. She shares the load, but she tends to do the little things that make the big things happen."
Including the preseason, the Warriors are 20-0 on the year. Blake said that Akana leads the teams in total kills (133) and kills per set (3.9) and is the highest-rated passer, while also leading in number of receive attempts (120). Akana is tied for second on the teams in digs (108).
One difference for Akana this season is the absence of her older sister Braelyn, now a freshman hitter at the University of Hawaii.
"Even in club they always played together so I think this will be the first time in a while that she doesn't have Bray on the same team as her, but Keonilei is so competitive and she has such a high expectation of herself and finding that maturity and confidence is something that I've seen develop over her last four years, so I think she's prepared and prepped and ready to do those things," Blake said.
Akana and the Warriors (2-0), who are ranked second in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings, cruised to a 25-16, 25-13 sweep of Mid-Pacific Tuesday night. They will visit No. 3 Punahou (2-0) Saturday. First serve for that match is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Buffanblu's Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
Tiliti Adams, Kamehameha-Maui — Rushed for three touchdowns and also caught a TD pass in a win over Maui
Kyler Aguiar, Hilo — Caught four passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in a win over Kealakehe
Jasaiah Alcover, Mililani — Rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in a win over Liberty
Bam Amina, Mililani — Had two sacks in a win over Liberty
Naomas Asuega-Fualaau, Kaimuki — Rushed 12 times for 172 yards and a touchdown in a win over Waialua
Makoa Aurello, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Caught two passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in a win over Pahoa
Jesse Canda, Konawaena — Caught four passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Honokaa
Izayah Chartrand-Penera, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Caught a touchdown pass and also scored on a 30-yard interception return in a win over Pahoa
Zhane Ching, Kohala — Scored on a 99-yard kickoff return in a loss to Hawaii Prep
Kahanu Davis, Kapaa — Rushed nine times for 99 yards with two touchdowns and threw a TD pass in a win over Waimea
Jayden de Laura, Saint Louis — Threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-30 passing with an interception and rushed for a team-high 57 yards in a win over Bishop Gorman
Maui Ellis-Noa, Konawaena — Scored on a 64-yard fumble return in a win over Honokaa
Kahoolewa Emmsley, Kapolei — Scored on a 55-yard interception return in a win over Downey
Kanoa Gibson, Mililani — Caught eight passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Liberty
Kilohana Haasenritter, Hilo — Caught two passes for 116 yards with a touchdown and rushed for another score in a win over Kealakehe
Nicholas Herbig, Saint Louis — Had three tackles, one for a loss, and scored on an 11-yard fumble return in a win over Bishop Gorman
Jakob Honda, Hawaii Prep — Scored on a 69-yard interception return in a win over Kohala
Samson Iona, Konawaena — Scored on a 31-yard fumble return in a win over Honokaa
RJ Javar, Moanalua — Threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-28 passing without an interception in a win over Leilehua
Kainoa Jones, Konawaena — Threw for 251 yards and four TDs on 13-of-22 passing without an interception in a win over Honokaa
Kaulana Kaluna, Kaimuki — Caught six passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns and also had four tackles and a fumble recovery in a win over Waialua
Chance Maghinay Santos, Damien — Rushed 11 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in a win over St. Thomas More
Micah Mahiai, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown on seven carries in a win over Pahoa
Jayden Maiava, Kaimuki — Threw for 269 yards and five touchdowns on 15-of-21 passing without an interception and rushed for 55 yards and a score in a win over Waialua
Zealand Matagi, Kahuku — Rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries in a win over Campbell
Baba Na-o, Kapaa — Rushed 16 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Waimea
Koali Nishigaya, Saint Louis — Caught 10 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in a win over Bishop Gorman
Javan Perez, Hawaii Prep — Scored on a 25-yard interception return in a win over Kohala
Michael Perry, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Threw for 121 yards and three touchdowns on 5-of-6 passing without an interception in a win over Pahoa
Damarion Smith, Leilehua — Rushed 19 times for 107 yards in a loss to Moanalua
Eskielu Storer, Lahainaluna — Threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-25 passing with one interception and rushed for another score in a win over Baldwin
De'Zhaun Stribling, Kapolei — Caught 10 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown in win over Downey
Apereamo Sulu, Damien — Rushed 11 times for 85 yards with three touchdowns and caught two passes for 141 yards and another score in a win over St. Thomas More
Jett Tanigawa, Moanalua — Scored on a 32-yard interception return in a win over Leilehua
Rashod Tanner, Moanalua — Intercepted two passes in a win over Leilehua
Sionepaongo Taufa, Kaimuki — Scored on a 40-yard interception return in a win over Waialua
Vincent Terrell, Punahou — Rushed 16 times for 101 yards and also scored on a 57-yard kickoff return in a win over Long Beach Poly
Kaimi Tiogangco, Hilo — Caught two passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Kealakehe
DJ Utu, Punahou — Had four sacks in a win over Long Beach Poly
Jansen York, Moanalua — Caught seven passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in a win over Leilehua
Ramona Borchers, Haleakala Waldorf — Had 12 kills, nine digs and four aces in a four-set win over Lanai
Gabby Canionero, Waianae — Had 21 assists and five aces in a three-set win over Radford
Camilla Chun, Farrington — Had 14 kills, three digs and a block assist in a five-set loss to Kaiser
Katie Cook, Island School — Had 37 assists in a four-set win over Kauai
Rhylee Corpuz, Christian Liberty — Had 16 assists and four aces in a three-set win over Parker
Alelujah Faamasino, Farrington — Had 14 kills, 12 digs, three block assists and an ace in a five-set loss to Kaiser
Madison Garcia, Pearl City — Had 28 assists and two aces in a five-set loss to Aiea
Emma Harada-Suaava, Pearl City — Had 11 kills and two block assists in a loss to Aiea
Jordan Hayashi, Kaiser — Had 22 digs, 13 kills and a block assist in a five-set win over Farrington
Alyssa Kamealoha, Farrington — Had 29 digs, four assists, two aces and a kill in a five-set loss to Kaiser
Alexis Kepa, Kapolei — Had 22 assists, three digs, three aces and a block assist in a three-set win over Nanakuli and had 28 assists, three digs, two aces and a block assist in a three-set win over Waipahu
Arriana Maltezo, Lanai — Had 12 kills in a four-set loss to Haleakala Waldorf
Kawehi Marinas, Kapolei — Had 14 kills, two block assists, two aces and a dig in a three-set win over Nanakuli
Alyssa Mecham, Island School — Had 18 kills and 27 digs in a four-set win over Kauai
Kayana Mossman, Kaiser — Had 18 assists and 14 digs in a five-set win over Farrington
Kelsie Nakashima, Aiea — Had 38 assists, eight digs, four kills and two block assists in a five-set win over Pearl City and had 20 assists, nine digs, two kills and an ace in a three-set win over Radford
Jaylynn Nihipali, Kaiser — Had 23 digs, 15 kills, 13 assists and two block assists in a five-set win over Farrington
Amber Nguyen, Farrington — Had 16 digs, 11 kills and a block assist in a five-set loss to Kaiser
Elena Oglivie, Iolani — Had nine kills, five digs and a block assist in a two-set win over Mid-Pacific
Izabelle Palmore, Haleakala Waldorf — Had 12 kills, seven digs and two aces in a four-set win over Lanai
Brooke Perreira, Christian Liberty — Had 10 assists and 10 digs in a three-set win over Parker
Keahe Ribuca, Aiea — Had 17 digs, one ace and an assist in a five-set win over Pearl City
Mileina Sniffen, Haleakala Waldorf — Had 39 digs, two aces and two assists in a four-set win over Lanai
Bryanne Soares — Had 43 assists and five digs in a three-set win over Le Jardin
Sam Spork, Haleakala Waldorf — Had 25 assists, nine digs and two kills in a four-set win over Lanai
Precious Tauanuu, Aiea — Had 21 kills, 13 digs, three block assists, two aces and an assist in a five-set win over Pearl City and had 14 kills, 10 digs, two aces, two assists, one solo block and a block assist in a three-set win over Radford
Mokihana Tufono, Iolani — Had 18 assists, five digs and two aces in a two-set win over Mid-Pacific
Jerica Vele, Farrington — Had 35 assists, 12 digs and a kill in a five-set loss to Kaiser
Autumn Williams, Aiea — Had 21 kills, 13 digs, three block assists, two aces and an assist in a five-set win over Pearl City
Angelica Young, Kaiser — Had 18 digs, seven kills, two block assists and an ace in a five-set win over Farrington