Damien coach Eddie Klaneski is 4-0 for the second time in five seasons after a 56-14 victory over Canada’s St. Thomas More Collegiate on Saturday at Farrington’s Skippa Diaz Stadium.
Klaneski, who is 43-40 in nine seasons with the Monarchs, is the only one out of 11 head coaches in school history to have a record over .500. He indicated it doesn’t mean much to him, but it shows the program is headed in the right direction.
“It’s not really a big deal to me. I’m just excited that we’ve turned the program around in the time we did,” Klaneski said. “We’re striving to be a championship football team and I think we’re pretty close to being there. We still have a lot of work to do.”
The Monarchs are 32-13 over the last four-plus seasons, including a runner-up finish in the 2017 HHSAA Division I tournament. They are ranked No. 8 in the latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, matching the highest ranking ever for the school.
“We have a winning attitude out there. That’s the main thing for me,” Klaneski said.
With the nonleague victory over St. Thomas More, the Monarchs have outscored opponents 158-78, averaging nearly 40 points per game. Damien scored more than 50 points in a game for the fifth time in school history.
Last season, the Monarchs were 5-4 – their worst record over the last four-plus seasons.
“Last year, we weren’t really confident, but this year we feel like we have it in the bag,” said junior running back Amo Sulu. “We want to keep pushing forward and keep the undefeated streak.”
The Monarchs, who benefited from good field position the entire game against St. Thomas More, showed quick-strike ability with their eight touchdown drives averaging only 3.4 plays.
“It was just good blocking going around for our guys,” Klaneski said. “Our running backs were running hard, our receivers were making big plays and catching balls.”
Sulu scored on runs of 30, 10 and 7 yards and took a screen pass from Jake Holtz and rumbled 74 yards for a score.
He finished with 12 carries for 122 yards and caught two passes for 140 yards.
Damien can match its best start in program history with a victory Friday at Castle.