Rickard steps into co-head coaching role with the Lunas
LAHAINA – The coaching leadership of Lahainaluna High School football has changed. Dean Rickard has stepped into the co-head coach position alongside Bobby Watson, but don’t expect to see much of a difference in the program moving into the 2019 campaign.
As the offensive line coach, Rickard, Maui County’s deputy chief of police, has worked alongside longtime offensive coordinator and co-head coach Garret Tihada, who has stepped away from the program. Coach Dean has patrolled the sidelines for the Lunas for some 35 years and predicts more of the same in the current season for this Lahainaluna team that has captured ten consecutive Maui Interscholastic League Division II titles and three straight Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships.
“We’re just trying to familiarize the student-athletes with the program and also develop the leadership core, especially with the seniors,” said Rickard last week before practice at Sue D. Cooley Stadium on the Lahainaluna campus. “We had a good turnout with the Big Boys team in the spring and a productive training camp on the Big Island on July 24-27.
“We had scrimmages with Waiakea, Keaau, and Kamehameha Hawaii over there, and all the kids got reps and some good conditioning sessions. It was a good experience for all and led to bonding of the team and improved communication for the entire team,” added Coach Dean.
He noted that the Lunas will again line up in multiple offensive sets with varying personnel in the spread, power, and slot formations that have become their staple over the years. Coach Watson’s defense will continue their odd front 3-4 scheme.
In the Lunas’ preseason opener versus Damien of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu two weeks ago at Sue D. Cooley Stadium, Lahainaluna ran out to a 31-7 lead in the third quarter but ran out of gas from that point on, as the Monarchs rallied to hand the home team its first loss in two years, 38-31, in overtime.
The Lunas will now prepare for a rematch of last year’s state title contest with the Kapaa Warriors of Kauai coming to Lahaina.
“We’re just working to give the opposition more to think about,” Coach Dean said. “We have the potential to do some great things, and the entire team has shown a great work ethic over the off-season. We’ll just keep working to develop a mentality of discipline, responsibility, work ethic to represent the school, family, community, and most of all, themselves. We want the kids to understand that they will represent the community for years to come.”
Rickard added that the Lunas’ coaching staff of Watson, Mike Arakawa, Clifford Corniel, Kekoa Mowat, Sonnie Waiohu, Joey Tihada, Nolle Smith, Randy Arakawa, Kenui Watson, Dal Magno, Chase Rogers, Randy Casco, Lawrence Kauhaahaa, Craig Wise and Jeff Kihune has been together for so long that “we all feed and grow off of one another to develop game plans. Nothing is going to change.”
“This group is also academically sound, and this is a testament to them and the support of the West Maui community. This team is young, but they are tight and experienced. We ask for your continued support as there are no better fans than we have here on the West Side,” concluded Coach Dean.