Spring Practice Starts Next Week For Mililani Football Team

If all goes according to plan, Mililani’s spring practices will have a little extra crunch to them, to hear head coach Rod York tell it.

The Trojans plan to make use of their first opportunity to hold full contact drills since the ending of last season.

“That’s our philosophy – to play physical, play fast and play disciplined,” he said, “and we’ll follow through this year.

“This is the coaching staff’s first opportunity to evaluate the kids in full contact before the summer. There’s a big difference in playing in T-shirts and shorts and playing in full (equipment). We’ll also implement our schemes, some of which have changed.”

Mililani finished 4-6 overall last season, a year after going 10-2 (and winning the OIA Red Championship), but that disappointment fueled the veterans during off-season workouts. In a sense, the 2012 season began in the locker room following their 2011 season-ending loss to Farrington in the OIA playoffs.

“That team improved and came together, but we came up short,” said York. “The kids felt like they still had a lot of football left in them when the Farrington game ended. They’re using that as fuel for the fire. Their attitude has been that we have unfinished business to tend to.”

Mililani will begin spring practice next Tuesday and will be allotted 10 practices under OIA guidelines.

Between the ending of spring ball and the official beginning of fall camp in the last week of July, teams are once again prohibited from full contact.

Mililani’s public unveiling is set for 11 a.m. June 2 at the spring football game on the baseball field. A clinic for youths 5-16 will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the same site. (Fee is $5.)

Six starters return on offense, and seven on defense. Among the top priorities in the next two weeks will be to shore up the run game, which averaged 25 yards per outing in 2011.

The quarterback spot is in good hands with senior Jarin Morikawa back after a productive junior season.

“We’re excited for him – he’s our gunslinger,” York said of Morikawa, who threw for 2,597 yards and 24 touchdowns last fall.

The off-season also saw a change in staff, as York added former Saint Louis School and UH standout Timmy Chang as the team’s new offensive coordinator.

York also talked of wanting to develop the kind of cohesiveness they enjoyed during 2010.

“One thing we have to do is gel as a team, and that’s my job. Two years ago, we believed it, and we lived it. Last year, we didn’t, and it showed in our record. We have to get back to the kids just playing for each other. That’s a big key for us.”

York also noted that seniors Joey Anglemire and Dakota Turner were both offered scholarships by Army recently. Anglemire is an offensive lineman, while Turner is a linebacker. Both are among the returning starters.