Tim Seaman’s journey has been a road less traveled.
First-time player as a senior at Kaiser. A disciple of Ron Lee, Bill Von Arnswaldt, Scott Chan, Cal Lee, Delbert Tengan. He was head coach at his alma mater in 1993 and ’94. Stepped aside to focus on his family. Returned to assist at Kaiser under Rich Miano. Now, after taking over a program that hit rock bottom two years ago, Kaiser is unbeaten (5-0, 3-0 OIA D-II) with a showdown on Friday. The Cougars will host Kaimuki (4-1, 3-0) with a little something at stake. The winner can keep tracking Roosevelt (4-0, 4-0). The loser falls into third place.
Coach Seaman chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Tuesday.
HPW: The turnaround by you and your staff has been amazing. A lot of work. Are you having fun?
Seaman: Fun? I’ve enjoyed seeing the growth in our team. I think that’s a big deal. Our program, it starts from the JV up, I like to think it’s growing. We want to continue to increase participation. A lot of kids come into our school with not a lot of football background so it’s important they get in early and stick with it. The key is our response to the challenge.
HPW: Your defense has been outstanding. Who are your key guys there?
Seaman: We have Joseph Chin on the line. At linebacker, Cavin Lime. Dre Falls and Jesse Stroede in our secondary. Ethan Domen is a hybrid linebacker/safety.
HPW: Who’s your kicker?
Seaman: Our kicker, Kyler Halvorsen, he’s someone who made tremendous strides this year. I’m not sure what his stats are. He had two field goals (against Kalani) last week, consistently pushes the ball into the end zone, including twice against the wind. And he’s only a junior.
HPW: How is his range with and without that powerful valley wind?
Seaman: He’s 60-plus in practice with the wind. He kicked a 53 against Pac-Five. He has the leg to increase the distance. We just have to keep working on the snap and the hold. We can always get quicker. The bigger the game the more important special teams are.
HPW: This is your second season back, but you’ve worked with some of your players longer than that, right?
Seaman: I did work with them as an assistant when they were younger.
HPW: What do you think about Kaimuki so far?
Seaman: Kaimuki’s O-line is big and physical, and they always are well coached.
HPW: I’ve seen them a couple of times and Naomas Asuega-Fualaau really punishes defenses that don’t work together.
Seaman: We need to make sure that we get to the ball with the proper angle. We need to be sure we wrap up and have a lot of bodies around where we need to be.
HPW: Fair to say this is the biggest game of the season so far for Kaiser?
Seaman: To be honest, this is going to sound very cliche, but every game is a big game for us. That’s where we are at as a program. Every team provides a unique challenge for us. We need to practice well all the time.
HPW: How are numbers now for the varsity?
Seaman: Varsity, we’re in the low 50s. The numbers have picked up, which is an encouraging sign, but we need to be able to sustain it. We need guys to play from their ninth grade year. That’s kind what our focus is.
HPW: True. How are the JV numbers?
Seaman: Our JV is around high 30s, 40. We had to bring some guys up, a few more than I would’ve liked. At certain positions we were thin and those kids have stepped up. Offensive line. That’s the nature of Kaiser. We don’t have a lot of big physique guys out here.
HPW: What’s your take on Kaimuki QB Jayden Maiava?
Seaman: He throws a nice ball.
HPW: When I’ve seen him, it might not look like he’s running that fast, but he’s 6-5 and covers ground.
Seaman: He kind of glides and picks up a lot of yardage. We need to do a good job of containing him.
HPW: What about his deep ball?
Seaman: His arm strength is very impressive with how he throws the football. He’s long, doesn’t make bad decisions and throws a real catchable ball on the move. His placement is very good, as well.
HPW: The Yoshino brothers have excelled for Kaiser.
Seaman: I think right now Easton (Yoshino) is working on his progression of reading the defense and getting the ball (out). We’ve had different guys with big games. Four really capable receivers. You never know who’s going to get the ball. Dre Falls is doing a great job on outside. Jesse (Strode) and Mason (Yoshino) are inside slots. Kamakana Mahiko had a couple grabs and a TD the other night. It’s how teams play us and how our QBs make the read.
HPW: What grade is Easton in?
Seaman: Easton is a freshman this year.
Seaman: He’s taken steps forward. We have another QB as well, Brock Perreira, he’s a baseball player. He had a baseball trip during the summer. He’s been coming on lately. He made some nice throws the other night. We feel we’ve got two guys who are working hard and continue to grow.
HPW: Is Brock a stronger runner?
Seaman: There’s not really a whole lot of differences between them. Brock started for the JV last year, so he has more game experience. Easton has played a lot of football growing up, he comes from a football family.
HPW: The winner stays unbeaten in league play. It’s a big game.
Seaman: They’re all big. We’re going to play a very talented and well-coached team, and next week, we’ll play another very talented and well-coached team and that’s the way it is. We can’t just show up, we need to be ready every week.