Menchville LB Koa Naotala (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
Stepping from under the shadow: the time is now for Menchville LB Koa Naotala
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit757
Four years ago, Menchville starting defensive lineman Kalepo Naotala stepped on the scene. I approached him at the Nike Opening which was then at Centreville High School in Clifton, Virginia after a day in which he didn’t perform his best. By the end of the season he was prepared to commit to the University of Hawaii in which he did so with conviction. That next summer, his younger brother Seth was preparing to enter Menchville for his freshman season. Seth showed up at an NUC Premier Showcase event located in Newport News with the support of his family gearing up for a successful camp.
Now getting ready for his senior season at Menchville, he was able to separate himself from the ever growing pack of linebackers in the Peninsula District last season accumulating 157 tackles and eight sacks.
Coming in as a freshman last season at linebacker was another Naotala brother that goes by the name of Koa (2022 LB 5-10 190). As if Menchville needed another bruising linebacker that could match the intensity of Seth, Koa is a spitting image of his older brother and together they were able to give the Monarchs a formidable duo at the linebacker position. Koa picked up 96 tackles and four sacks in route to Honorable Mention recognition within the Peninsula District this past season despite the Monarchs finishing the season with a 1-9 record.
Seth was sidelined with an ankle injury this past Saturday and wasn’t able to participate in the recruit757/Sparta Science Elite Showcase. Older brother Kalepo was also under the weather and wasn’t able to show up to Redskins Park. However, Koa was able to show up and perform joined by Menchville starting running back Javoni Hales. For most of the day, Menchville prospects could be seen linked up with those from Woodside which will change once the season ramps up in late August. Although Koa is still in the developmental phase, he’s proving to be exactly what the Monarchs need for defensive success over the next few seasons.
– Brandon Mitchell