Kona Schwenke, a Kahuku graduate that played on the defensive line for Notre Dame and in the National Football League has died at the age of 25.
Family and friends confirmed Schwenke’s passing this morning in his hometown of Laie.
Schwenke most recently took part in the The Spring League, which is a pro football scouting event and showcase. He caused a fumble in a game against former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel at the April 8 event.
The cause of death is unknown at the time of this post.
Schwenke was an all-state standout at Kahuku, ranked as the top defensive lineman and fourth best player in the state of Hawaii by Rivals.com, and top-35 in the county during his high school career.
Schwenke then went on to play college ball at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, alongside fellow Laie natives Manti Te’o and Robby Toma.
The three Hawaii players were part of the Fighting Irish’s National Championship game appearance in 2012.
“Kona meant a lot to everyone he came across. If you needed help Kona was always there. We were taught growing up to leave things better than you found them. Kona left Laie, Hawaii and Notre Dame better than he found it. The amount of people reaching out in support of Kona and his family is amazing and truly shows the amount of love people have for him. I always considered him as a brother and I am truly grateful for the time I got to spend with him growing up. He will always be with us and will be always be missed,” Toma told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Following his collegiate career at Notre Dame, Schwenke signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
He would follow up his time with the Chiefs by spending time on the pre-season and practice roster for the Patriots, Jets, Raiders, and Seahawks until 2016.