Afoa, Stowers chosen ILH's best
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
While viewing video tapes of 2001 all-state defensive end Tolifili Liufau of St. Louis, college recruiters couldn't help but notice the Crusaders' other end, Wilson Afoa.
Interscholastic League of Honolulu coaches didn't need video to confirm what they saw on the field and named Afoa the league's Defensive Player of the Year.
Iolani's 1,000-yard rusher, running back Raynold Stowers, was named the Offensive Player of the Year.
St. Louis' Delbert Tengan, in his first season at the helm, was named Coach of the Year.
Afoa, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior, was one of 13 Crusaders named to the all-star first team.
"A lot of schools asked for tape on Andre (Liufau) and then asked, "Who was the other end?'," Tengan said. "(Afoa) was overlooked a lot because of Liufau on the other side."
When teams tried to run from Liufau's side, they didn't find any relief on Afoa's side.
"He was very steady," Iolani coach Wendell Look said. "He got a lot of opportunities because everybody tried to stay away from Liufau. But (Afoa) made big plays for them."
Afoa had 51 tackles, 23 of them for lost yardage. He also led the Crusaders with 41 hurries and 6.5 sacks.
Stowers rushed for 1,027 yards, averaging 146.7 per game for the Raiders. It was the 16th time in ILH history a player has rushed for more than a 1,000 yards and the 13th different player to accomplish the feat. The 6-1, 205-pound junior has a chance next season to become the fourth ILH player to rush for 1,000 yards twice, joining the elite group of Mosi Tatupu (Punahou in 1972 and 1973), Joe Igber (Iolani in 1997 and 1998) and Pesefea Fiaseu (St. Louis in 1999 and 2000).
"His vision is good," Look said. "He's able to make the right cut at the right time. He has good balance, good speed and he's shown he can run with some power."
Joining Afoa from the ILH champion Crusaders are Liufau, linebacker Timo Paepule and defensive back Jonah Lakatani. On offense are quarterback Bobby George, running back Justin Cabansag, receivers Jason Rivers and Shane Butcher and linemen Jeremy Inferrera and Frank Fernandez. St. Louis also had three special teams picks in kick/punt returner B.J. Batts, kicker Kaeo Adams and punter C.J. Santiago.
ILH runner-up Kamehameha had six first-team selections in guard Brennen Carvalho, tackle R.J. Willing, wide receiver Keoni Ruth, defensive lineman J. P. Kennedy, linebacker Kaeo Drummondo and defensive back Kekoa Smith.
Joining Stowers from Iolani are center D.J. Tano, linebacker Kala Kaaihue and defensive back Blake Wong.
Pac-Five had first-team picks in linebacker Siva Savini, defensive lineman Brandyn McCall and utility Ryan Leong.
Damien had defensive back Ranson DeCosta and Punahou had wide receiver Stan Fisher on the first team.
TOMORROW: OIA EAST