University of Hawaii offensive lineman and Kapaa High School alumnus Sean Shigematsu recently wrapped up his senior season at the school. His greatest moment was beating UNLV on the school’s Senior Night.
“That’s something memorable. All the seniors, we really enjoyed that night. We believed we could do it. I won’t forget that one,” Shigematsu said in a phone interview. “Honestly, I will always think of that Senior Night. That last 15 seconds really put football into perspective as a whole. (I’ve played) since I was 8. It really just summed up my career and it ended at a good note at Aloha Stadium.
“It’s kind of crazy looking back on it. It’s been a great season and I enjoyed every second of it,” he added.
Shigematsu, along with seven UH players, received All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention this year.
“Just as a team, it feels good. It shows that we have guys that can play at this level,” he said. “We just banded together like brothers. We set out with goals we had this season, and I feel like we did accomplish it. We played as a team and never gave up.”
After sitting out most of his junior year because of injuries, Shigematsu started every game this year at right tackle.
UH offensive line coach Chris Naeole said this season was Shigematsu’s best.
“This was his most consistent year as a Warrior. His best game was against Oregon State. He did everything right. He played against some good defensive ends. He was physical. He just had a good game,” Naeole said. “I’ve only had him the last two years. But this year was a big improvement from last year. He had a couple bad plays here and there, but overall he was very consistent.”
Naeole added Shigematsu brought good energy to the team that will be missed.
“He’s a big guy. He always came in with a smile on his face and ready to work,” Naeole said.
“To his credit, he stayed in and fought through some things. … You got to fight through it. It’s a tough game for tough people. If you want to play, you got to be a tough guy,” he added. “I just think it’s a mindset. He had the right mindset.”
Shigematsu, born and raised on Kauai, is set to receive his degree in business management. He said he looks forward to taking a break, then begin training for the school’s pro day in March. He hopes to play professionally.
“It’s going to be a surreal experience. It’s going to sum up my experiences at UH,” he said about graduating. “I wanted to thank the people who’ve stuck by my side and pushed me this far — my family, coaches, friends, my girlfriend, just the people who have helped me, have given me positive vibes and have pushed me.”
He also hopes his experiences will inspire Kauai’s youth to aim high. He said all four KIF schools have great athletes who have the abilities to go far.
“Kauai has definitely supported me,” he said. “Coming from Kapaa, a small school, there’s no place that I’d rather go to. I wouldn’t trade it.”
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
2014 All-Mountain West selections
First Team Defense
Scott Harding, senior, P
Kody Afusia, senior, OL
Ben Clarke, junior, OL
Tyler Hadden, senior, PK
Scott Harding, senior, PR
Sean Shigematsu, senior, OL
Taz Stevenson, senior, DB
Beau Yap, senior, DL