Kahuku's Water Polo Coach Moves On

Aukai Ferguson
Aukai Ferguson

KAHUKU (KHNL)- Kahuku High School has a football team that's been ranked among the best in the country.

But that might not be the best Red Raider team on campus.

Kahuku HS is nationally known for its powerhouse football team.

But what's happening on the Red Raider gridiron, pales in comparison to what's been happening in the Red Raider pool.

"We haven't lost in regular season play, says Kahuku AD Joe Whitford. We're going on 5 years undefeated."

He's talking about the Kahuku water polo team, a unit that has never lost in OIA play - ever!

Aukai Ferguson began coaching the squad 14 years ago, 9 years before water polo became an official OIA sport.

He says, "I knew when I picked up the sport in college, I knew it would be a natural for the kids out on the north shore, because they all surf and love the ocean, and it was just one of those things that just clicked."

And now, after a decade and a half of work, Ferguson is stepping down as Kahuku head coach, leaving behind a team that's come a long way.

"We started with a group of co-ed kids. And it was a real interesting experience trying to get the kids to buy into a sport that is so physically demanding, then get them to play the ILH schools who have been playing for 25 plus years and just get killed for a couple of years there."

From those beginnings, Kahuku water polo has now risen to a level of success, right on par with that enjoyed by Red Raider football.

which makes Ferguson's departure, a tough pill for Red Raider aquatics.

"We got the right attitude at Kahuku, and they just kept coming back and coming back until they developed into a real fine group of kids, and the water polo is top notch."

Ferguson is a fixture in the Red Raider family, but he's moving on to spend more time with his real family.

"Year in and year out I get a bunch of new kids and really makes it hard to leave because of that."

According to Whitford, "We're just lucky to have him for all these years, and to be a coach in high school these days is really tough to hang in there with so many of the challenges."

Current Kahuku water polo assistant Makana Whitford will step in starting next season.

Replacing the guy, that introduced her to the sport.

She says, "He actually brought me into the sport in 7th grade and because of that I was able to play at UH, and I'm just excited about next year."

According to Ferguson, "I probably won't go to the games for the first couple because i'll be to eager to yell at them, but I'll slip back into it and be their number one fan."

The girls state water polo tournament hits the pool this week at Central Oahu Regional.

Kahuku is the 2 seed in that event behind top seed Iolani.