There was just a tiny window of opportunity when Kahuku coach Makoa Freitas graciously spent a few minutes chatting with Hawaii Prep World on Thursday.
Freitas is in his first season as head coach and the Red Raiders are unbeaten in Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I play, in the throes of what could be another epic title run. Freitas, the former Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman, is as even-keeled as they go. Not surprising for someone who considers Tony Dungy one of his greatest mentors.
Freitas chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Thursday afternoon.
HPW: When you think about Campbell and the 45-6 win your team had over them a few weeks ago (in the regular season), what stands out?
Freitas: The first time we played Campbell, we had 62 yards rushing and 2.2 yards per carry. The score really doesn’t show what the game was like. They have good defensive coaches and a good D-line. I give my hats off to them. I think Rocky Savaiigaea is their D-line coach. They played hard.
HPW: What was it like through the bye week going into the playoffs?
Freitas: There’s always a lot of things we can do better and continue to improve.
HPW: The Kahuku defense was so consistent with everything, including intensity, against Kapolei last week. Whether it was a one-touchdown game or three TDs up, they kept bringing the same level of great defense.
Freitas: I think all our players love to play regardless of the score. They always play hard.
HPW: Campbell’s offense has that deep-ball dimension, but Kahuku has negated passing offenses all season.
Freitas: Their offense is dangerous. Poki‘i (Adkins-Kupukaa) gets the ball and he is dangerous.
HPW: They’ve used him a lot on defense. It’ll be interesting to see how early they get him involved offensively.
Freitas: We’re prepared for anything. We want to play every play like it’s our last.
HPW: Last year, Sekope Latu was one of your kickoff guys and he normally got the ball into the end zone for touchbacks. I know he’s a full-time linebacker, but will you use him for kickoffs maybe?
Freitas: We use Sekope, (Ethan) Erickson and (Duke) Heffernan.
HPW: Latu is also a tight end and he almost got a TD catch against Kapolei. This is an era when a lot of teams don’t throw much or at all to tight ends. It can be a huge weapon.
Freitas: We want to attack using multiple formations and get favorable matchups.
HPW: Is your pre-game speech going to be a little different at this point of the season?
Freitas: It’ll be about our effort, our ride in our school and ourselves. Pretty much the same.
HPW: I’ve never asked you about this, but what’s the personality of the team this season?
Freitas: I’m not sure yet. I’d say blue collar. Show up to work, get the job done, have pride in it and don’t complain.