Kahuku Practice Field Ready To Rumble
All may seem quiet within the Kahuku football program at present, but by the end of the month, the Red Raiders will ring in spring practice with what they do best – learning to play fast and physical.
“Definitely,” said head coach Reggie Torres, when asked if he would take advantage of the OIA’s allowing a week of full contact. “We don’t want to get anyone injured, but we want to be able to see who can help us. We want to identify our athletes. We can already see the kids who can move and the kids who can run, but it’s a different story when they put the pads on. We find out who our football players are then.”
Kahuku is coming off another stellar season in which it went 12-0 en route to winning both the Division I state championship and the OIA Red title.
Only five starters return (two on defense, three on offense) from that 2012 team, so all jobs are open this spring. Kahuku is currently in the midst of its weight training and conditioning program, and officially will begin practice May 21 – when they’ll go with helmets, shirts and shorts only. The following week, players don full pads in preparation for the annual spring game June 3.
Following that, OIA teams won’t wear full pads again until the start of fall camp in late July. Weight training, conditioning and 7-on-7 pass leagues will consume the weeks leading up to fall camp.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” admitted Torres, who expects 100 players to show up for spring workouts. “We lost a lot of good seniors from that team, and now we’re trying to determine which kids will step forward.”
Asked to access Kahuku’s off-season participation, Torres was candid. “We did OK, but you can always do better. We had a decent amount of kids working out every day, but we’d like to see more consistency. The group of seniors we had here last year showed everyone how to win, which means working hard in the off-season. We have to get some of the younger guys to commit more.”
“The kids who have bought in will help us,” he added, “but you want more depth and a lot of kids competing (for starting jobs and playing time). That’s what we’re trying to get right now.”
Among the returnees are line-backer Cliff Ramseyer and twoway lineman Lamone Williams. Both have been among the team’s most diligent in the off-season, according to their coach.
“Lamone is not a big vocal leader, but he’s a leader by example,” Torres said. “Both guys understand what it takes.”