SUMMER summary: Kaiser Cougars

Due to graduation, Kaiser will be without third-team All-State pick Andrew Kaufusi in 2017. Second-year head coach Arnold Martinez sees a bright future for his young Cougars. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prep World will be releasing early summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.

SECOND IN A SERIES

KAISER COUGARS

>> 2016 record and finish: 2-7, O-6 (OIA Blue, D-I); lost to Farrington in the first round of the OIA D-I playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 7
>> Number of returning seniors: 7
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 13
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 15
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Andrew Kaufusi, third-team utility.
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> Among 2017 key returnees: Casey Nguyen, Jr. QB; Reece Kaonohi Jr, S/RB; Joaquin Tafao, Sr., OL.
>> Cougars with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: 1 (2013, D-II)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 1 (1979)
>> All-time OIA championships: 2 (1979, D-I; 2013, D-II)
>> 2017 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open

Head coach ARNOLD MARTINEZ on the Cougars’ outlook for 2017

“In 2016, we really just layed down the first layer of a foundation. We’re touching the surface because we had such a short time to prepare last season (Martinez was hired as head coach five weeks before preparation for the first game). We set the expectations, the cultural and program structure. In addition to trying to field a team, we taught scheme and technique and were dealing with team psychology, what the expectations are, the commitment level, team maturity, and we spent a lot of time dealing with that. It was on really short notice and it was really hard for the kids to buy in right away and for us to get all the parts moving in the right direction together. It was a challenge, for sure.

“We saw a lot of growth in the kids, the ones who wanted to accept change. We saw a lot of development in technique and people-wise. We saw some guys come around and that was nice. We saw Andrew Kaufusi get a scholarship to play football at Azusa Pacific. If the kids do their part and they have the right character and right team-first attitude, we can help them and be successful.

“This year, we’re in building mode again and we want to continue that with this first real offseason. We had a decent turnout in February, more than in the past, from what I’ve been told. We’ve been working out up to about 40 kids during the offseason.

“We’ve got about 62 kids altogether without incoming freshmen and the bulk of that (44) is on JV. I believe we have a great youth movement, with families and kids coming in. We want to see them become good people, good students, good athletes, and they’re accepting of that. They’re excited. We’re exciited. We’re building team chemistry, program chemistry, team unity, program unity. Technique. We’re building confidence and teaching them to be great teammates in how they treat each other. That’s what we’re looking for this year. We want teammates who love each other and work together for each other and don’t put themselves before team. To sacrifice individual ideas for the betterment of the team. This young group has a chance to compete. They’ve been group bonding since February and working hard at it. Building a program is a process and we’re in the infancy stage still. The offseason is valuable. You don’t win games in August. You win in February. They’re in the weight room, doing community service, taking life skills classes, getting to know each other and building relationships. If coaches sense love from the players, and the players love each other, then you have a chance to be successful. We’re pouring our energy into that and we’ve seen a lot of great progress. We’re working on it. Along with the new culture, we’ll be blessing a new field turf, a new track and a remodeled, college-style locker room. There’s a lot of excitement in building this program.”

VIDEO: A first look at Kaiser’s new stadium

2017 Kaiser football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Thursday, July 27
>> Kaiser at Kaimuki (scrimmage)
Friday, Aug. 4
>> Kaiser at Roosevelt (nonleague)
Friday, Aug. 11
>> Mililani at Kaiser
Saturday, Aug. 19
>> Radford at Kaiser
Friday, Sept. 1
>> Kaiser at Campbell
Friday, Sept. 8
>> Kaiser at Aiea
Saturday, Sept. 16
>> Kaiser at Kahuku
Friday, Sept. 22
>> Moanalua at Kaiser
Saturday, Sept. 30
>> Waianae at Kaiser

2017 Kaiser varsity football staff
>> Head coach, defensive coordinator, linebackers: Arnold Martinez (2-7, second season)
>> Head junior varsity coach: Trey Johnson
>> Defensive backs/running backs: Tim Seaman
>> Offensive coordinator/wide receivers: Ryan Nakamura
>> Offensive line: Pono Kalua
>> Defensive line: Dan McMoore
>> Linebackers/running backs: Daniel Correa
>> Defensive line: Keanu Lockwood
>> Football operations: Nick Hironaka, Justin Keane, Emmett Mossman
>> Strength and conditioning: Rick Wood, Guy Steele

Next up: Aiea Na Alii

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*