SPRING-ing into FB season: Kaiser Cougars

Kaiser is searching for a new head coach after the departure of Cameron Higgins. This spring, Richard Torres, an assistant under Higgins, has been running drills. Torres likes the fight he sees in the players, but due to his work schedule, will not be applying for the vacant head coaching job. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser is searching for a new head coach after the departure of Cameron Higgins. This spring, Richard Torres, an assistant under Higgins, has been running drills. Torres likes the fight he sees in the players, but due to his work schedule, will not be applying for the vacant head coaching job. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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KAISER COUGARS

>> 2015 record and finish: 4-5 (4-3 OIA Red), lost 27-21 in first round of OIA playoffs
>> Number of returning starters: 6 (2 offense, 4 defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 9
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 17
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 20
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Michael Eletise (first-team OL), Jensen McDaniel (second-team RB), Nic Tom (third-team U)
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: None
>> OIA Red All-Stars lost to graduation: Jensen McDaniel (first-team RB), Michael Eletise (first-team OL), Nic Tom (first-team U), Jalen Pinks (second-team WR), Chance Kalaugher (second-team DL)
>> OIA Red All-Stars returning: None
>> Among 2016 key returnees: Rhys Galeai (OL, Sr.), Pootie Sua (OL, So.), Keoni Pangan (RB, Sr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Keoni Pangan (DB, Sr.), Noah Cambra (DB, Sr.), Tyson Creekmur (DE/LB, Sr.), Andrew Kaufusi (LB/SS, Sr.), Pootie Sua (DL, So.)
>> Cougars with Division I FBS college offers: None
>> All-time state championships: 1 (2013, D-II)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 1 (1979)
>> All-time OIA championships: 2 (1979, D-I; 2013, D-II)
>> 2016 conference: OIA Blue (D-I)

Assistant coach RICHARD TORRES on the Cougars’ outlook for 2016:
Note—Head coach Cameron Higgins stepped down after two seasons and the Kaiser administration is in the process of hiring his replacement.


“The biggest challenge for us is we lost a lot of guys. We don’t really have a lot of numbers coming out. As far as these guys go, though, they’re the hardest working group I’ve been around since I’ve been here. They really take it upon themselves to get things done. They’re asking me to work out instead of me hassling them to work out. As a coach, it’s a beautiful thing to see.

“We’ve got a good group of seniors working with the young kids so we can work closer as unit. I think the boys are ready for whatever is in front of them. We’re not sugar-coating anything this year. The guys know what they’re up against. I’ve old them straight up — the first game is Mililani and we know we don’t have a lot of guys on the team, so its going to be a tough battle for them. But they’re not shying away from the challenge. The seniors are really embracing it and are going to have to play both ways and will spend this offseason learning both offense and defense. They’re doing their best. They’re doing ball drills on their own. They’re always looking at doing something to get better. They know it’s not going to be easy, but they’re ready to compete.

“We’ve got 50 out for football on the JV and varsity combined and we might have more kids come out on the first day of school. We’re talking to some kids on campus who are on the on fence right now. They might come out. We’ve told the boys to go out and invite their friends to come out, and they’re trying their best to see if they can get guys to come out. It’s not going to be a lot more and we’ll still be low on numbers. But our goal is to have 30 on the varsity. You can compete with 30.


“One of our promising returnees on the offensive line is transferring to the mainland — Stephan Bernal-Wendt. We have other guys who will step up.

“These kids have have the potential to do what no one believes that they can do. It’s a huge challenge, maybe the biggest they’ll face in their lives. If they embrace it like I think they can, and come together as one unit, we’ll be competing with teams and suprising some. You don’t have to be big to play football. I think you just gotta want it.

“I am not going to apply for the head coach job because of my work schedule fluctuating so much.”


2016 Kaiser football schedule
Check here for the latest schedule updates: http://bit.ly/2958rWe
>> Aug. 5: Roosevelt (nonnleague)
>> Aug. 13: at Mililani
>> Aug. 19: Campbell
>> Aug. 26: at Radford
>> Sept. 2: at Waianae
>> Sept. 9: at Moanalua
>> Sept. 16: Aiea
>> Sept. 23/24: Bye
>> Sept. 30: Kahuku

2016 Kaiser varsity football staff
>> Head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line: Arnold Martinez (hired in June, first season)
>> Offensive coordinator and offensive line: Mark Gardner
>> Quarterbacks: Akoni Ah Yat
>> Running backs: Alex Miguel
>> Running backs: Curtis Bell
>> Wide receivers: Grant Kadoguchi
>> Wide receivers: Ryan Nakamura
>> Defensive line: Quinton Flores
>> Linebackers: Daniel Correa
>> Defensive backs: Richard Torres
>> Defensive backs: Tim Seaman
>> Equipment/video: Nick Hironaka
>> Operations: Mike Sai
>> Strength: Dave Tom

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