Tigers still on prowl despite tough loss

The Tigers won't give up on the 2015 season. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
The Tigers won’t give up on the 2015 season. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Whatever may be churning in the football community, the McKinley Tigers are still standing.

Athletic Director Bob Morikuni responded today to feedback from some who wonder if the Tigers should continue on after a 90-0 loss to Waianae over the weekend.

>> No serious injuries. Morikuni reported that the team is relatively healthy.

“Hopefully we can just finish (the season) and not have to forfeit any games,” he texted.

>> No excuses. The Tigers, under first-year head coach Sam Cantiberos, are making a concerted effort to keep a sound academic standard.

“We make no excuses. We don’t have the numbers and we are keeping players out for many reasons,” Morikuni noted. “The committed kids and the ones that take care of business off the field want to play. So we will keep playing and want to finish this season for better or extremely worse.”

>> Quit? Morikuni says absolutely, positively not, despite a word or two on social media.

“I just talked to my coach. We are having regular practices and planing on finishing the season. We don’t want to quit and don’t plan to,” he added.

>> Changing the mind-set and attitude.

“Sure, we are the laughing stock of football, but Coach Sam and I are committed to trying to change the culture of the program. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but off the field we are trying to get rid of and change the attitude of the players thinking they can do whatever they want and get away with whatever they want off the field and in school,” Morikuni wrote.

“For us, it’s more than just football. To everyone else, all they see is football and the score. It hurts us, too, but we’ve got to do what’s right and that’s what we are trying to do. Hopefully, the kids see that through all of this.”

Morikuni declined to comment on the long-standing format in OIA football that has 14 of its 23 programs, including the Tigers, in Division I. McKinley is 0-5 overall (0-4 OIA Red) with losses to Roosevelt (39-0), Mililani (73-14), Waipahu (47-2), Kahuku (78-0) and Waianae.

The Tigers play at Kaiser on Friday, followed by Leilehua (Sept. 26) and Castle (Oct. 3).


  1. nanakuli September 7, 2015 5:36 pm

    Coach Sam learned a good lesson this year. It is not easy to coach in the OIA’s Red and Blue division’s. Good luck to the next Mckinley coach in 2016.

  2. Meagan kini September 7, 2015 5:45 pm

    Change the attitude of the kids he said?! why don’t he change the attitude of the teachers and staff who really don’t give a damn at that school for these kids that’s struggled.. One counselor said ” they’re just ghosts on campus” if the staff don’t give a crap, the kids wont either.. Kids need initiative. These kids are not bad kids, they just need direction. I know cuz I pulled my son from McKinley. Hats off to these boys who keep going.

  3. Big Mauka September 8, 2015 1:18 am

    That’s the way you instill that never give up attitude, even though you know the outcome. Life lesson it’s not how hard you hit, it’s if you can pick yourself up after you get hit. Hang in there guys!

  4. Old School Dave September 8, 2015 11:09 am

    Kudos to the current McKinley players. Keep fighting and don’t give up! Life lessons you are encountering, now, that will only make you stronger and a better person (even though, it may not seem like it at the moment). Being successful in your life is about overcoming hardships and adversity.

    Even though McKinley was a cross-town rival back in the day, it hurts to see this program fall into the depths that its at now. There’re a lot of talented kids in the district, and a large one at that. Perhaps, there needs to be more in terms of encouraging kids down at the middle school level to come out for football and rebuilding some community pride. It all starts with a solid JV Football program (off season conditioning, lifting program, etc) – building a strong foundation from the ground up. Show them the past history of McKinley Football. Yes, it’s challenging in today’s day and age of computers and techno distractions, but I’m sure there are still some very talented student-athletes that can be coached and developed into fine football players.

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