Kahuku senior center Jed Heffernan is one the Red Raiders’ team leaders on offense, and he is waiting in eager anticipation for the season opener much more than previous seasons.
Why? That’s because early last season, Heffernan’s junior campaign came to a halt because of a cracked vertebrae.
“It was really, really hard going to practice all last year, just watching and not playing,” Heffernan said at a practice session last week. “And it was painful to watch the offense struggling at some of the games.”
The 6-foot, 265-pound Heffernan got plenty of action in a scrimmage on Friday against Mililani and will be starting when the Red Raiders open their regular season this Friday at home in a nonleague game against Campbell.
Heffernan confirms that Kahuku is on a mission after losing by a field goal, 13-10, to Punahou in the state semifinals a year ago.
“The Monday after that game, everyone was in the weight room and we’ve been hungry to get back on the field ever since,” he said. “We’re a tight-knit community and football is important here. Lots of teams want to win the championship, but not as much as us. We’ve got to continue the legacy (of seven state championships since the tournament began in 1999), so there’s no holding back.”
The weight room is a place Heffernan is quite familiar with. He is the first cousin of University of Hawaii strength and conditioning coordinator Tommy Heffernan as well as the nephew of Tommy Heffernan Sr., who spent many years as a Kahuku assistant.