With new coach Joseph Cho, the McKinley Tigers have a new approach this season.
They have 42 on the roster and former head coach Bobby Grey remains as an assistant. Another former head coach, William Moeava, is the running backs coach.
Cho, a former all-league linebacker at McKinley, coached in Oregon for 38 seasons before returning last month. The question now is whether there’s enough time for the Tigers to learn the nuances of Cho’s offense, which has some fly action somewhat similar to Lahainaluna’s attack.
That would put the speed of Solomon Dixon, who recently committed to Idaho as a cornerback, to good use. Jace Bolosan and Jason Guan are among other speedsters who could thrive, but that perimeter burst is effective only if the inside game is established.
Another former Word of Life standout, MacKenzie Tolofau, is lining up for the Tigers. That gives them another big blocker in the new system.
Left tackle Kamalani Moeava, nephew of Will Moeava, is enjoying the new approach.
“It’s more fun burying people. The tackle has to be an athlete,” he said.
Last year’s offense, which relied on run-and-shoot elements, is still somewhat intact.
“Pass protection is easier to do,” left guard Jordan Malaga said. “Our offensive line is pretty much based on strength. Most of it comes from the weight room.”
In the White Conference (Division II) of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, line play is key. There are several teams in the White, including McKinley, that would compete well in the Red Conference (D-I) in terms of size, though depth is a question mark.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser