Of the ‘Iolani Raiders’ high flying offense, no player may be as productive as wide receiver Carter Kamana ’20. Until now, the Raiders’ rushing, passing, and scoring offense all rank top three among high schools within any of the three OIA-ILH divisions, with Kamana reigning supreme as one of the top wide receivers in the state. His 61 receptions and eight touchdowns are the most by any high school player this season, and his 692 receiving yards rank second to Punahou receiver Les Falatea ’19. Scoringlive honored Kamana for his hard work with the title of Division I Offensive Player of the First Half in its Football Midseason Awards.
Although he can seem unstoppable on the field today, Kamana was not always as invested in his football career as he is now.
“As a child, I just wasn’t too good at football or sports,” he said. However, having grown up in a family of athletes, Kamana still played Pop Warner and Intermediate Football. He played many positions, including defensive lineman, quarterback and safety, but it was not until his sophomore year that Kamana tried out for wide receiver for the Raiders.
“I guess you could say I liked the spotlight,” he said. “Growing up watching Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and Calvin Johnson, I thought you could make statements once you reach the end zone.”
This spotlight mentality should not be mistaken for narcissism though, as Kamana believes that his work on the field is for the fans to enjoy.
“I play football because football is a game. It’s not life or anything,” said Kamana. The whole point of the game is to entertain people, so if you’re not entertaining, then what’s the point?”
Motivated by the fans and by his desire to entertain, Kamana has become one of the most explosive receivers to play for ‘Iolani in recent history, amassing 222 yards receiving in a single game as a sophomore last season.
Although Kamana has not yet reached such a monumental mark this season, he consistently produces 100-yard games to boost the Raiders' air attack. He does his part on the field to win games, but Kamana still attributes much of his statistical success to the hard-working team around him. With improvements on defense, the offensive line, and the running game, Kamana has seen more action on the field than ever before, and he is as grateful for his team’s success as he is for his own. Earning an award is all right, but to him, the success of the team makes all the difference.
“Who doesn’t want to be recognized as the best in their division or at their position?” said Kamana. “I just feel like I’d rather be a state champion [with my team] than an MVP.”
As the prospect of a state championship looms closer,the last two games in the regular season will determine who will to clench a playoff berth. However, currently ranked at the top of Division I with a record of 6-2, Kamana is hopeful for the future.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing right now, then I feel like we can definitely hoist the championship trophy by the end of the [season].”
Although individually successful, Kamana is more than ready to work with his teammates as a unit to finish out the year strong.