Shane Kady was 5 when he started playing football.
It was for the Kihei Dolphins on Maui and his father, Kevin, was the coach.
He went on to play Pop Warner in New Jersey for a little while before returning to the islands. He’s now a three-year starter at defensive end for the fourth-ranked Mililani Trojans (8-4), who play Friday night in the Open Division semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships against top-ranked Saint Louis (10-0) at Aloha Stadium.
Kady is headed to Oregon State next fall, where he will fit a need as a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid.
He will miss the friends he made and the closeness of the Trojans, especially the defensive unit that just may be the best the school has ever seen.
It was a seven-day preseason trip to Samoa when Kady started to realize just how special this Mililani team was.
That’s also a time when he and his buddies were tested in trying circumstance.
“Toward the end, we really wanted to go back home,” he said. “We were running out of clothes and all that. We went to our flight after cleaning up the big gymnasium where we were staying and enjoying the last few moments in Samoa. It was a small airport and a hassle to get through the TSA. We get on the plane and everyone fell asleep. The flight was 9 p.m. We woke up at 3 a.m. thinking we had landed, but we found out we hadn’t moved. Something was wrong with the plane. Everyone was sweaty and disgusting. We all got off the plane, got our luggage and went to a hotel. We made the best of it. We had a lot of fun at the hotel. It was right on the beach and we stayed up all night, swimming and really bonding. We made the best of a bad situation.”
The Trojans face an even tougher test Friday against the Crusaders, who have won 36 games in a row and are ranked No. 6 in the nation.
“We can’t make mistakes,” the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Kady said. “We have to play a perfect game. We want to play our best game. If we do that, that’s all that matters.”