Warriors Snag 3 of the State's Best - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Warriors Snag 3 of the State's Best

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Warrior football team received commitments from three of the state's top 10 players during the opening minutes of letter of intent day.

Punahou running back Steven Lakalaka (5-10, 225) and Kamehameha-Kapalama offensive lineman Kiha Sai (6-3, 315) signed letters of intent at the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance national letter of intent ceremonies at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

While Kahuku linebacker "Benny" Fonua (6-1, 220) signed his at Kahuku high school.

Lakalaka was a late haul for Warrior coach Norm Chow, the 3-star RB had previously gave a verbal commitment to UCLA. However, Lakalaka said he couldn't pass up a chance to be part of Chow's first recruiting class and stay at home.

"Norm chow talked to me and so did the other coaches at UH and I just felt like home. It is home and they treated me like family."

Sia's motivation to stay in Hawaii came from watching old tape of his KSK head coach David Stant who played for UH in the 1988-1989 seasons.

"When I saw film of when he played, it looked like a whole new game with the Hawaiians and the Polynesians staying home", said Sia.

 "The way that they play compared to the way it is in the mainland. It'll be exciting to bring what we have to offer up to the mainland so they can see what we got."

 Not everything went the Warriors way Wednesday morning.

Kamehameha-Kapalama Safety Taylor Taliulu (6-0, 185) had a change of heart in the 25th hour, appearing at the PIAA event wearing a Washington State shirt and hat.

His decision to de-commit from UH was so last second, his name placard still displayed a Hawaii logo on it during the event.

"I didn't think it was going to be this hard. But it was a real tough decision. four years, five years of my life. For me, I just felt like playing in the Pac-12 and going away for college would be the best thing for me and my family supported me."


A list of athletes who signed letters of intent at the PIAA event



Kalei Auelua, Saint Louis, Washington

DeForest Buckner, Punahou, Oregon

Keoni Bush-Loo, Kamehameha, Arizona

Micah Pono Choy, Kamehameha, Eastern Illinois

Gary Copeland, Moanalua, Redlands

Kaimi Fairbairn, Punahou, UCLA

Kyle Fleming, Waimea, Army

Calen Kamuela Grugier-Hill, Kamehameha, Eastern Illinois

Siaosi Hala'api'api, Kaimuki, Wyoming

Jacob Ioane, Punahou, Univ. San Diego

Luke Kaumatule, Punahou, Stanford

Pono Keni, Saint Louis, University of San Diego

Steven Lakalaka, Punahou, UH

Leland Mitchell, Farrington, Chabot

David Monroe, Punahou, University of San Diego

Brock Namuo, Kealakehe, Western Oregon

Kory Rasmussen, Kamehameha, Colorado

Kiha Sai, Kamehameha, UH

Leni Sekona, Punahou, Iowa Wesleyan

Russell Siavii, Leilehua, Idaho

Matthew Sparks, Punahou, Massachusettes

Taylor Taliulu, Kamehameha, Washington State

Dillon Turk, Moanalua, Trinity International

Psalm Wooching, Kealakehe, Washington



Ashley Asuncion, Kamehameha, Arkansas-Little Rock

Vanessa Cabilan, Kamhameha, Idaho State

Kristen Fujinaga, Mililani, Cal Baptist

Kalena Kaeo, Kamehameha-Maui, Texas-San Antonio

Amanda McCaskill, Iolani, UH

Tiana Miyashiro, Kaiser, Holy Names

Carly Kauwela Neal, Kamehameha, UT-San Antonio

Ashley Pundyke, Kamehameha-Maui,  Western Oregon

Lauren Stollar, Punahou, Drexel

Lauren Uehara, Mililani, Cal Baptist


Aaron Goo, Saint Louis, UNLV


Alika McGuire, Kamehameha, Howard JC

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