Mililani coach Rod York isn’t taking the state tournament first-round bye that his team earned for granted.
“Heal up, rest up,” York said. “Stay healthy, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The last two days, the second-ranked Trojans (11-0) practiced for 45 minutes each. On Thursday, York said, they will taper it off a little in preparation for Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. Division I semifinal game against No. 4 Farrington.
“The practices are at a high level, though,” he added.
York is glad to have his offensive line back intact. Andru Tovi and Derek Fetui-Suapaia had a full week of practice. Tovi’s knee is stronger and Fetui-Suapaia has a club cast on his arm, according to York.
Kainoa Wilson, a slotback with shoulder problems, is likely to play wide receiver, the coach said.
“Overall, everyone is good,” York said. “We are confident. I like to remind them that we don’t want to be watching the championship game on TV and to keep their eyes on the prize. And … to not listen to what others say.
“We look at it like we’re 0-0 and by 7:30, we’ll be 1-0.”
York also does not want his players to think about any other opponent than Farrington (9-2).
“Other people talk about (top-ranked) Punahou (which plays No. 3 Kahuku in the other semifinal),” he said. “They say it to me, so I’m sure our players hear it. Our only concern is Farrington.”
Specifically of concern is Farrington’s running game.
“That’s how they got here, so yeah, their running game poses a problem,” York said. “They have two good running backs (Ranan Mamiya and Challen Faamatau) and they’ve got some beasts at fullback and tight end doing the blocking. The first time we played them (a 41-14 Mililani win on Sept. 27), they took some of our guys down.”
York likes the fact that the Trojans are playing in the early game.
“Pretty much only the parents are at the stadium,” he said. “We’re used to that. We practice at that time (4:30) every day and we’re the only ones out here. The first quarter is going to be very important. We want to get it rolling from the get-go.”
If the Trojans can get by Farrington, they’ll face Kahuku or Punahou in the title game for the second year in a row. And if they eliminate the Govs, York and his team can start thinking about and talking about avenging the state title-game loss to the Buffanblu.
“If we focus, execute and do the jobs we’re supposed to do, we should be fine,” York said.