Article about how Aiea alums R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane and Rocky Savaiigaea are captains for UH

About how RJ and Rocky are good examples for their players, Aiea coach Wendell Say said:
“It’s always good to have our players see players like that. It makes our players know those goals are attainable, you just need a lot of hard work and those two players were two of our hardest workers when they were here.” (HSB)

About how RJ and he were captains at Aiea also, Rocky said:
“In high school we were captains together too and we had our front-row lockers. It’s kind of reminiscent of the old days. The biggest thing is to get respect from our peers like that to vote us as captains means a lot.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “For varying reasons, Savaiigaea and Kiesel-Kauhane have both waited to take leading roles in college. Savaiigaea suffered a triceps injury during fall camp last year and was limited to one game in 2008. Kiesel-Kauhane started four games last year, but was primarily a special teams player and reserve in a linebacker corps that featured Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard.”

Remembering when he met Rocky in intermediate school (they bonded over football and weightlifting), RJ said:
“I can still remember the first day I met him. Rocky’s a big guy with a heart, always trying to make an impact on a lot of people’s lives. You can see he’s always trying to put a smile on everybody’s face. He’s the whole package, he’s vocal, he shows by example and I think he developed as a player and a person.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Savaiigaea said it was Kiesel-Kauhane, now one of the Warriors’ strongest players, who invited him to the 4H Club run by Milton Kanemoto and got him into weight training.”

About how Kanemoto got him into weight training, RJ said:
“(Kanemoto) worked with the public housing kids, he always had his home open to us and he always kept the weight room open and taught us life skills.” (HSB)

About how RJ can be outgoing, Rocky said:
“Everybody sees that R.J. puts his talk onto the field, but like anything else, there’s a time to be outgoing and he’s one of those dudes that’s hilarious off the field. When you get to know him that guy will tell jokes, play music. I can’t sing, but this guy will jam on the guitar and sing.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Kiesel-Kauhane still has a connection to the Aiea program as his younger brother, Chucky Ka’ahanui, is the starting quarterback for Na Alii.”

About how he tries to lead like former UH DT/NT Michael Lafaele, Rocky said:
“The person I feel was the best leader I’ve ever been around was (former UH lineman) Michael Lafaele. If you see the way he led and the way he carried himself, hands down that’s the best leader I’ve been around. I still talk to him and try to take everything he teaches me.” (HSB)


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