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).