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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lesu, Paredes double trouble

Advertiser Staff

Elijah Lesu “was Farrington’s big-play man,” Castle coach Nelson Maeda said of the wide receiver and defensive back.

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Castle’s Corey Paredes, who made 14 tackles against Kahuku, also was a receiving threat.

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When O'ahu Interscholastic Association football coaches say Farrington's Elijah Lesu and Castle's Corey Paredes were "all over the field" this past season, they really mean it.

The two seniors each excelled on offense and defense and earned first team all-star honors on both sides of the ball after a vote of OIA Red Conference Eastern Division coaches.

Lesu was named Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts at wide receiver and Paredes was named Defensive Player of the Year for his performance at linebacker. But both contributed in every facet of the game.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Lesu caught 43 passes for 713 yards and nine touchdowns, including eight catches for 234 yards and four TDs against Moanalua. He became the Governors' primary target after quarterback Elijah Filifili broke his hand and was replaced by receiver Maeli Siliga.

"It did help when we had both (receivers)," Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. "When (Filifili) went down, (Lesu) became the go-to guy."

Lesu was a starting cornerback in 2005 and played that position and free safety this season, and he also returned punts and kicks.

"He was Farrington's big-play man," Castle coach Nelson Maeda said.

Paredes made a lot of the big plays for Castle, especially on defense.

At 5-11, 203 pounds, he "hit like a linebacker and ran like a wide receiver," Maeda said.

In a late-season loss at Kahuku, Paredes made 14 tackles — seven solo — blocked a field goal and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Against Moanalua, he made 12 tackles — eight solo — and caused a fumble to help the Knights win, 27-14.

Maeda said Paredes, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, was extra effective on blitzes.

"He brought energy to the game, and the opponents always had to be aware of where he was," Maeda added. "He must have averaged at least 10 tackles a game. He had a tremendous season, and he hardly came off the field."

On offense, Paredes caught 32 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. He also took over punting duties late in the season.

East co-champion Kahuku led the way with 12 players selected to the all-star first team, including four of the five offensive linemen (Benji Kemoeatu, John Manu-Plevao, Spencer Mauai and Ross Salanoa).

The other Red Raiders on the first team are running back Lehi Aumua, defensive linemen Nai Fotu and Kaniela Tuipulotu, linebackers Sifa Heimuli and Siaosi Tafuna, defensive backs Gary Nagy and Shiloah Te'o and utility player Richard Torres.

Farrington was next with six first-team picks: Lesu, running back Hercules Sula, offensive lineman Fetalaiga Fatu, defensive back Jimmy Robinson and defensive linemen Sam Fehoko and Andrew Noga.

In addition to Lesu and Paredes, Castle's Scott Keiter-Charles also was named at two different positions, making the first team at receiver and defensive back.

Kalaheo quarterback Cody vonAppen rounds out the first team.

Paredes and Keiter-Charles are the only repeat selections; they both made the all-star first team on defense last season.

Kahuku's Reggie Torres was named Coach of the Year in his rookie season. The Red Raiders returned only four starters, two each on offense and defense.

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