All Kainoa Kaikai Carvalho wanted was the chance to prove he was capable.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he was unable play in Hawaii. Local restrictions had wiped out all HHSAA schedules.
So instead Kainoa Kaikai Carvalho moved to Utah’s Skyridge High School for his sophomore year.
Carvalho, despite playing football on the mainland in 2020, Kaikai returned to Kahuku.
After playing for Kahuku’s JV team in 2019, Carvalho didn’t play for the Red Raiders varsity team until 2021, when he was finally ready to go.
Carvalho was unbelievable as a slot receiver in 2021 for the Red Raiders. He caught 64 passes for 1,023 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He was even more impressive as a returner scoring five touchdowns. He helped Kahuku win its first state title since 2016.
Carvalho was selected as the 2021 recipient for the Cover2 Marcus Mariota award, which is given each year to the state’s best high school football players.
Carvalho, the first Kahuku player to win the award joins an elite company throughout the state.
Past winners of the Mariota Award include Vavae Malepeai and Tua Tagovailoa, Chevan Cordeiro and Faatui Tuitele.