Rod York has had to solidify the quarterback position more this season than he has in his whole time as the Mililani coach.
The line of succession through the years from Trent McKinney to Jarin Morikawa to McKenzie Milton seemed — to outsiders anyway — smooth and seamless.
But, when Milton — the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s All-State player of the year as a junior — went down with a broken AC joint in his right, throwing shoulder late in the regular season, York turned to backup Kaysen Higa and then to freshman Dillon Gabriel, who was brought up from the junior varsity.
Gabriel suffered a broken collarbone to his right, nonthrowing shoulder in the third-ranked Trojans’ 20-7 loss to No. 2 Kahuku in last Friday’s Oahu Interscholastic Association.
So, the decision was made this week to bring up another freshman JV quarterback, Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi, to start at quarterback for Mililani in the first round of the Division I state tournament on Friday against Hilo at Aloha Stadium.
York told Hawaii Prep World that Kuboyama-Hayashi is “athletic and a competitor” and added that he “has an arm.”
Kuboyama-Hayashi, who is 5 feet 11, 160 pounds, was Gabriel’s backup on the JV team. He was also a starting wide receiver.
York’s decision to start Kuboyama-Hayashi was first reported by York himself on The Galdeira Show on KHKA, 1500-AM radio on Wednesday night.
Milton has been cleared by doctors this week to fully participate in practice and play in the game.
York told radio host Kyle Galdeira on air that he will likely work Milton into the game at some point against the Vikings (7-4).
In addition, York said two-time Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State running back Vavae Malepeai is now the third-string quarterback.