Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Get to know the new Football Marauders

Preston Taumua (left), Isaiah Iosefa (middle), Jayden Chanel (right)

On Aug. 31 2023, an interview was conducted between a member of The Cane Tassel, Jayce Nakamura, and three Marauder Football student-athletes. The three students included in the interview: Preston Taumua (class of 2024),Isaiah Iosefa (class of 2025), and Jayden Chanel (class of 2024). These individuals just transferred to the Waipahu community.

When asked how they felt about being a part of the community, Jayden Chanel says, “I really love this community, I feel welcome. This is my first time transferring to a different school so I am getting used to it.”

Additionally, Preston Taumua states, “My transition has been great, especially with education. It’s my first time transferring too, it’s been a good ride so far.”

On the other hand, Isaiah Iosefa, who transferred from Mililani. says, “It’s been pretty easy, I’m from here, I grew up here my whole life. It was pretty easy on my part because I knew most boys from back then and I know how the coaching and community is; my brothers have played on this football team. It was pretty easy, but it’s a new thing.”

Preston Taumua, a senior, belonging to the Arts and Communications Academy, says that he has been playing football for three years as an offensive tackle.

Transferring from Aiea High School, a question was brought up as to why he chose to transfer to Waipahu of all schools, and to that he says, “My main reason was because I was looking for a good school, and it so happened that one of our coaches [from Aiea] got hired at Waipahu. We already knew some of the boys on the team already so it was a pretty good transition to come here.”

When asked about his college plans he says, “I’m going to Nebraska next year, I’m thinking of going there for football.”

Further into the conversation regarding his college education plan, he has not yet decided what he wants to pursue as a major.

Taumua is currently out with an injury, which he says, “I first got injured back in February, in Vegas. It was really cold at the time, so I didn’t feel anything. We were playing one-on-ones and then I just felt my knee pop out of place.”

From this experience, he suffered an ACL tear, similar to that of the starting quarterback, Josh Manu. He goes on to say, “But I have experienced this injury in my sophomore year, and I don’t really think it’s too much.”

When asked about when he will return to the field, Taumua says, “I’m planning on coming back in October, just before playoffs.” Also, when off of this injury he says he wants to face Farrington.

As previously mentioned, Taumua coming from Aiea High School leaves the conversation open as to how Waipahu differs from his past experiences at Aiea. When asked how his previous school contrasts to Waipahu, he says, “The practices are well organized. Everything is on time and not behind schedule. Unlike Aiea, where things got pushed back.  Don’t get me wrong, Aiea is still a good school, but I’d say Waipahu is just, overall, athletics and academics just blasted past Aiea.”

As this is Taumua’s last year in high school, he was asked if there was any advice he would give to his past self, to which he responds, “Not take anybody lightly. Last year, we took Waipahu lightly in the championship. We thought we won the game in the first half, but they just came back and beat us. That’s why I say don’t take anything lightly.”

Closing his interview, he would like to send his love to, “My mom, dad, family, and mostly my friends back at Aiea who still come to watch my games. I’d like to send my love to my coach who is here with us who helped us through a lot too.”

Jayden Chanel, a senior in the Academy of Professional and Public Services, is a wide receiver who has been playing football since the age of seven. When asked why he chose to come to Waipahu, he says, “The main reason I chose Waipahu was for football, they have a really good football team here.”

Additionally, when asked how Waipahu differs from Aiea High School, he says, “I think Waipahu cares more about the school spirit. Back at Aiea, the school spirit wasn’t there, but over here, it’s a bigger thing. At Aiea, there’s nothing.” Chanel made a reference to the high spirits, support system, and strength of the welcoming Waipahu community.

In regard to his college goals, he mentions, “I’m trying to get into Nebraska to play football too, and I too, don’t know what I want to major in.”

When asked if he has any backup plans, Chanel states that Oregon is a second option for him.

The senior has big ambitions for their season and says, “I think I’m looking forward to making new bonds with my new teammates and look forward to winning states.” Chanel shows signs of confidence in his team to make it far during his last high school season.

During the beginning of their season they went against OPEN division teams three weeks in a row. Each game resulted in a loss. When asked how they feel going forward into playing the rest of their season in their division, Chanel responds,“I really think this upcoming game can really show what this new team can do.”

Isaiah Iosefa, a junior in the Academy of Arts and Communications, has been playing the position of a linebacker since his freshman year.

Iosefa, differently from Taumua and Chanel, is a transfer from Mililani High School. However, he is not new to the Waipahu community because he resides in Waipahu.

He says his reason for coming back is, “For me I moved back here where I lived. I wanted to come back home, play for my home town. Plus it was hard waking up to drive to Mililani every morning.”

Adding to that, another reason for coming back home, he responds, “Having the opportunity to stand out in a different football program.”

Iosefa is only a junior, but he already has an idea of what he is looking for in his potential college choices.

He says,  “Not any specific school, I’m just considering whatever schools want me and wherever, I feel, I fit in. Somewhere I know I can have the opportunity to play football right off the bat. Where I’ll be given the opportunity to work hard and it will be seen. Education wise, I want to major in business or marketing and maybe accounting: things like that.”

Coming into this season Iosefa missed out on the first two games against Campbell and Kapolei, but he says, “I’m looking forward to new coaches, definitely. Looking forward to connecting with my new brothers on this team and being able to win something. I know we are gonna be on that road later on. Just being able to make new bonds and stuff and ball out.”

Since Iosefa missed out on the first couple of games, he was asked how he feels going the game against Kamehameha, to which he responds, “As a team I feel like we definitely have more to prove and more to redeem ourselves. Just to show what we really are as a football team and these past couple games didn’t show that. I don’t really think these past games have shown what we truly are as a football team. So, coming into this game hopefully we can just do what we do and do what we do best.”

Coming from an Open Division team, such as Mililani, there is a lot of pressure for Iosefa to perform the same at a Division 1 team. When asked how Mililani contrasts to Waipahu, Iosefa says, “From Mililani, Waipahu is a lower division team, but honestly there’s more comradery. If you look at Waipahu, we have some transfers this year, compared to Mililani there are so many transfers there.

Barely any of them are actually from Mililani. So, definitely there is more comradery and bonds. Also the school spirit!”

When mentioning the school spirit, Iosefa goes to compare the school pride of the two schools. He says, “For Mililani, half of them are walking around the concession stand, not even sitting down and cheering. The stands only consist of parents, uncle, and aunties; there’s no student and school pride there. Over here, especially with the Arthur’s Awards, it’s pretty lit.”

Since Iosefa has that experience playing with an Open Division team, he was asked if Waipahu has the ability to compete at that level. Iosefa says, “We definitely can, our potential is honestly ‘sky is the limit.’ We can definitely compete with them, it’s just a matter of executing our jobs. Having that mentally of ‘I don’t care that we are D1 and they are OPEN,’ just balling out and doing what we do. Coming from an open division team like Mililani, that mentality we can kinda see the difference.”

The advice that he says he would give his younger self is, “ Don’t hesitate and have that dog mentality off the bat. Take every little thing seriously and be intentional with everything you do. Be hyper focused.”

When asked who he would like to thank for the support he receives, he says, “My mom and dad for sure. All of my brothers, and learning from them and learning from their mistakes.”

The questions reviewed in this article are just the surface level questions that were asked. To get more information and insight on these three players, go listen to the podcast, which goes into more questions about the players.

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About the Contributor
Jayce Nakamura, Writer, Podcast Host
Hi readers, I am Jayce Nakamura, a new writer for The Cane Tassel this school year. I am a junior in the Academy of Professional and Public Services, and my pathway is in Law and Justice. Additionally, I am this school year's Student Government Historian! Some other clubs and organizations I am participating in this year include cheerleading, volleyball, PTK, and I plan to join many other clubs. This school year, I hope to bring new and exciting ideas to The Cane Tassel that boosts our engagement with the Waipahu community. I believe that, for alumni and community members, staying connected with the activities of Waipahu High School is very important. I hope that all the readers can look forward to the exciting content that is to be produced this year!

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