One is twice the weight of the other.
One is headed to a Pacific-10 Conference football scholarship, the other is going to New Zealand to study to become a doctor.
One is part of a long list from his school, the other is his school's first.
The Maui News file photo
Baldwin High School’s Mana Rosa helped the Bears football team win the MIL Division I title and also finished second in the state in shot put.
One is Baldwin High School's Mana Rosa, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end-tight end. The other is King Kekaulike's Reid Hunter, a 5-9, 125-pound middle distance runner.
Together, they are The Maui News' choices as co-Maui Interscholastic League Boy Athletes of the Year for 2008-09.
In listing their accomplishments on and off the athletic venues, it was impossible to distinguish between the two.
THE MAUI NEWS MIL BOY ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
2008-09-Mana Rosa, Baldwin, and Reid Hunter, King Kekaulike
2007-08-Lake Casco, Lahainaluna
2006-07-Manu Adolpho, Molokai
2005-06-Tye Perdido, Seabury Hall
2004-05-Bulla Tuzon, Baldwin
2003-04-J.J. Eno, Baldwin
2002-03-Akamu Aki, Baldwin
2001-02-Ikaika Neizman and Kainoa Casco, Lahainaluna
2000-01-Kawika Kahui, Baldwin
1998-99-Shane Victorino, St. Anthony
1997-98-Jansen Medeiros, Lahainaluna
1996-97-Bubba McLean, St. Anthony
1995-96-Robert Kemfort, Maui High
1994-95-Buddy Perry, Lahainaluna
1993-94-Carlton Okamoto, Baldwin
1992-93-Ray Wilhelm, Baldwin
1991-92-Kalei Awai, St. Anthony
1990-91-Jason Lopez, Baldwin
Rosa, who finished high school with a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average, was the MIL Defensive Player of the Year for the league-champion Bears, and he finished No. 22 on the Rivals.com Northwest Hot 100 list of football players from the states of Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah. That list was led by Notre Dame recruit and Punahou graduate Manti Teo, described by many as the best prep football player ever from the 50th state.
In the spring, Rosa threw the shot put 57 feet and 1 inch in his final act as a Bear - the last throw of the event at the state track meet at Keaau High School Stadium - and it netted him a state silver medal. Rosa's launch was 18 inches better than his previous best and more than two feet farther than any other MIL competitor ever in the event.
Hunter, who sported a 3.7 cumulative GPA, flourished as a senior to finish fifth in the state cross country meet and also saved his best for last - winning the 800- and 1,500-meter state track titles last month, the 1,500 in a state-record time of 4 minutes, 3.98 seconds.
His state-winning time of 1:58.13 in the 800 ranks 84th in the Northwest Region, according to Web site Dyestat.com, and his 1,500 time is 19th in the region.
Remarkably, the two crossed paths as 8th-graders at Kalama Intermediate School.
''I remember he was a tall, gentle guy, very nice, everyone liked him,'' Hunter said of Rosa. ''I can't remember him athletically, but he was a good kid. Humble, very humble, very respectful.''
Sharing this award caused Hunter to reflect on his prep career.
''It is a tremendous honor, one of the highest honors I have ever received,'' Hunter said. ''To think of all the top athletes on Maui and to be amongst the best is just a tremendous honor.
''I couldn't think of a better person to share it with than Mana. He is just an excellent guy, all-around athlete, football player, track athlete - it is incredible that I am up there with him.''
The two shared words of congratulations after Hunter's record run in the 1,500 at state.
''We congratulated each other and told each other what a great year we had,'' Hunter said.
Hunter said he has never seen Rosa throw ''because they do it out in the pasture, but that 57-foot throw just shows how well-rounded he is, and he is just so athletic he can pick up whatever comes his way. He is just incredible like that.''
While Hunter wears a Hawaii state track champions watch symbolizing his athletic accomplishments, Rosa sports two long scars on his left arm - one about 10 inches and the other about six inches, both the result of surgery after he broke the arm in three places at a football camp one year ago. He has 13 screws and two plates in the arm that will stay there for the rest of his life.
His reaction to the award echoed Hunter's.
''It's awesome,'' Rosa said. ''It feels great, but I know there's a lot of people out there that could have gotten the award, so I am just thankful. I am going to remember this (award) for the rest of my life.''
Rosa also recalls their talk at the state track meet.
''I congratulated him and I was just happy that he was a Maui boy making it big, and he did great at the state championships,'' Rosa said. ''I watched his 1,500 at state. I used to have weight training with him in 8th grade and we used to run. He was always the one in front and I was always the one trying to keep up with him, so now I look at him and I think, 'Whoa, he must have been training really hard.' That was good for him. I didn't know him really well at Kalama, but I remember he is a cool guy.''
The respect is definitely mutual.
''That state record means he has drive and desire for what he likes to do,'' Rosa said.
Both athletes point to youngsters below them that could wipe their marks out of the books in a hurry.
''It feels good, but I know that there are more people coming up that could possibly break the record, so I just hope it stays up there and lasts for a while,'' Rosa said.
Hunter said: ''I don't know if the state record has sunk in yet. It is kind of interesting because there are so many fast kids coming up, I already have to let it go. I think it might be broken.''
Rosa dominated from his defensive end position for the Bears and was a major reason why they have rung up a 37-0-1 record against MIL foes dating back to 2004. He may be moved around for the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.
''They want me at D-end, but I'm not too sure if they need more help at outside linebacker. I might jump in there,'' Rosa said. ''They want me to report maybe a little bigger, maybe 260, 255, but quick.''
Rosa's prowess on the football field is even more remarkable when one realizes that he only played one season before arriving at Baldwin - as a 6th-grader for the Kahului Warriors Pop Warner midgets team. He was too heavy to make the weight limit in the sport at the Pop Warner level in all the other seasons he was eligible.
Hunter overcame some demons to dominate on the track in his final prep season. He was second in both the 800 and 1,500 as a junior at state and was somewhat disappointed with fifth in the 2008 state cross country meet.
A big turning point for Hunter came when his track coach, Jesse Henderson Sr., told him to just have fun going into this track season.
''It was just so disappointing not to accomplish what I wanted to, but it made me grow as a human, learn to set goals and achieve it,'' Hunter said. ''Even though I didn't accomplish them, I learned a lot and I would never take that away. In life you get knocked down, but then you know you can stand back up and keep fighting. You can achieve your dreams if you really believe in yourself and put your mind to it. All my failures were lessons and they were great motivators. It made me accomplish what I did this year.''
He did that in his last chance on the Big Island.
''I accomplished all the goals that I wanted to this track season,'' he said. ''I delivered it in style and that is all I could ask for. I was hoping for sub-4, but the record was the goal and that is what I got, so I can improve and build off this for next year and years to come.''
That sub-4 time evaporated when Leilehua's Bryce Jenkins, the state cross country champion, decided to opt out of the 1,500 state final after watching Hunter run in the preliminaries. Jenkins won his 1,500 preliminary at state, but ran only the 3,000 on finals day, albeit in a state-record 8:52.90.
''I don't know,'' Hunter said with a laugh when asked if Jenkins ducked him in the 1,500 final. ''I did think he was going to be in it because he broke the record in the 3,000 in trials, so I thought he was going to focus on the 15, but he just wasn't there. I can only focus on whoever shows up. I think if he was in it, we would have gone sub-4 possibly.''
While Rosa will go the much more conventional path for a standout American athlete, Hunter will go to New Zealand - he has dual U.S. and New Zealand citizenship - to attend Massey University and pursue a medical career. He will run under the tutelage of coach Chris Pilone of the Bays Cougars Running Club. Pilone coached 2004 Olympic champion triathlete Hamish Carter.
Hunter got the idea of going to New Zealand when he watched a documentary on their running tradition on TV as a 12-year-old.
''I just thought then, that would be so cool to be a part of all that,'' Hunter said.
Rosa, the sixth Baldwin boy to be named MIL Athlete of the Year in the 19-year history of the award, has always known he wanted to be a football player. OSU shut down its men's track program a few years ago, but if it ever comes back, he may be part of it.
''I am going to miss it,'' Rosa said of track, a sport he has only done for three years. ''If Oregon State ever brings it back, I would think about it. Now that I have thrown that 57, maybe. But I am really excited for football. I leave in less than a month and I am just excited to go up there and play ball. I miss it already.''
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org.