Luna varsity football team to open up offense
LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School varsity football team will kick off the 2010 Maui Interscholastic League season this Saturday night against King Kekaulike at Na Ali‘i stadium Upcountry.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m., preceded by the junior varsity contest that is set to start at 4:30 p.m.
The Lunas are coming off of a 6-4 2009 season that took them to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) Division II playoffs as the MIL champion, and the outlook is optimistic on the West Side for the Red Tide this year.
Co-head coaches Garret Tihada and Bobby Watson and Mike Arakawa, Randy Arakawa, Joey Tihada, Dean Rickard, Sonnie Waiohu, Kekoa Mowat, Clifford Corniel and Kenui Watson form the most experienced staff in the MIL.
They have been pleased with the off-season work ethic of the team — particularly the seniors.
“We’ve got 17 seniors on the roster, and they’ve all worked hard in the off-season to get stronger and bigger. The effort in the weight room over the summer was better than ever before, and they are all in good condition. They have seen the results of their work. Now, they must continue to work hard, and then we’ll be all right. We’ve got 36 players on the roster right now, and these kids can accomplish anything they want to if they keep working hard.”
Coach Garret went on to say that the team is inexperienced on the line on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve got 12 returnees from last season and some seniors in key positions and good team speed. We’ll try to throw the ball a little more than in the past, and we’ll line up in a shotgun formation almost exclusively and run the veer and fly offenses.”
Defensive coordinator Bobby Watson leads a stalwart group that returns five starters from last year’s team.
They will line up in 4-3 and 3-3-5 sets depending on what their opponents are doing.
The Lunas will play eight MIL games, with home games on Oct. 9 and 16 on the new Matrix Field Turf on the Lahainaluna campus.
According to Coach Garret, the MIL comprised of Baldwin, Maui High, King Kekaulike and Kamehameha is up for grabs.
“There are new coaching staffs at some of those schools, so we don’t know what to expect, but we’ll soon find out.”