Kauai’s Bukoski looks forward to next step

Recent Kauai High School graduate James Bukoski enjoyed a successful senior season with the school’s football team and now looks toward the future.

The Red Raider alumnus will head to Nebraska and play football for NAIA school Peru State College. He will be joined by offensive lineman and fellow Kauai High teammate Devan Ferreira. 

Bukoski will major in physical education and hopes to start immediately at middle linebacker for the school.

“My coach (Tommy John Cox) helped me get there,” Bukoski said. “My main goal was always to get to college … Hopefully, I’ll get out there and make it big.”

He added he hopes to eventually play college ball at the Division I level.

Kauai High’s football team won the Kauai Interscholastic Federation title and was runner-up at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II football state tournament this past year.

In addition, Bukoski was named ScoringLive Division II Defensive Player of the Year. He will formally receive the award Sunday on Oahu.

“I was stoked … I didn’t really try (to win awards). Just tried to play my game,” Bukoski said. “Getting defensive player of the year in the state means a lot … That’s a big jump from an islandwide thing to a statewide thing.”

Cox said the former Red Raider was a team leader and is deserving of such recognition. Bukoski started at middle linebacker on the varsity squad for three years.

“He’s a good kid … For him to get that honor is a pretty big deal,” Cox said about Bukoski. “He plays hard. He doesn’t take any plays off … He plays with a lot of heart and emotion.

“It will be a good opportunity for James to play at an NAIA school and get a degree … Usually, whatever he sets out to accomplish, he gets it done,” the Kauai coach added about Bukoski playing at Peru State.

It was previously reported Bukoski’s cousin Pono, who also played for Kauai High’s football team, won the defensive player of the year award.

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