Broncos’ Mitey Mites Champs Move Up To Junior Pee Wees

The fall of 2012 was good to the Kahaluu-Heeia Broncos’ Mitey Mites, which rolled to a 9-0 record en route to winning the Oahu Pop Warner League.

This year, the components of that team are hoping for the same kind of success as they move up to the Junior Pee Wee Division.

“Our strength is our continuity – having 19 returnees (among a 25-man roster) as well as six of our seven coaches back,” said Broncos head coach and offensive coordinator Chico Furtado. “They have an idea of what we want to do now, and we have an idea of our personnel and what we want to do scheme-wise. The kids know what we’re teaching and what we expect. Several of them have been together with us for three years.

“Our starting backfield this year is our starting backfield from last year,” he added. “Most of our (starters on) defense is back.”

Kahaluu-Heeia’s Junior Pee Wees’ public unveiling is set for Sunday, Aug. 25, when the Broncos play the Kaneohe Knights in a preseason game at Castle’s football stadium. Castle’s stadium was renovated during the last year, giving the school one of the top facilities in the state.

The Broncos’ regular-season schedule for 2013 hasn’t been released yet, although their opener will be held either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1. The focus for Kahaluu-Heeia to date has been largely on fundamentals, as they are still in the early stages of their preparations. Wednesday will mark a week since the team was allowed to hold full-contact drills.

“My job, first and foremost, is to make sure the kids are taught how to play football safely,” Furtado said. “We were real happy with the first week. We’re obviously excited to have so many returnees back from last year. In our first week, we had all 25 kids at every practice.”

Kahaluu-Heeia’s Junior Pee Wees will compete in Division II this fall, although their two controlled scrimmages and their preseason game with Kaneohe will pit them versus Division I programs. Classifications are based on the size of the associations with teams containing larger rosters (numbers-wise) being shifted to DI.

At the Junior Pee Wee level, guidelines are different from that of the Mitey Mite Division. Among the changes is that Junior Pee Wees may blitz linebackers and play multiple defenses, as opposed to the Mitey Mite level, where teams were able only to play a 6-2.

“Offensively, we also can incorporate some motion, so there’s a little tweaking we will need to do,” Furtado said.

As last year at the Mitey Mite level, Furtado plans for Kahaluu-Heeia’s Junior Pee Wees to run the spread offense.

“Right now, speed has been our strength,” he said. “Our bigger linemen have some quickness in their feet, and we have some speed at the skilled positions. We try to get our athletes into space to utilize their quickness and speed.”

Furtado’s coaching staff includes Keoni Yadao, Shaun Kalaukoa, Maui Kahalepuna, Nui Kanoa, Jeff Katto and Brenton Harbottle.