Mililani begins the 2015 season exactly where it ended 2014.
The defending state champions are picked to repeat according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Preseason Top 10. The Trojans received 10 of the 14 first-place votes and were in the top two for all 14 voters.
This is the 40th year of varsity football at Mililani and things have never been more exciting. Head coach Rod York has brought a lot of excitement to Trojanville as he enters his sixth season with a record of 47-13.
Coming off a perfect 13-0 season last year, the Trojans are loaded again with quarterback McKenzie Milton and running back Vavae Malepeai leading the way. Milton, the reigning Star-Advertiser offensive player of the year, enters his senior year with 4,959 passing yards and 1,385 rushing yards. Another 3,300-yard passing season like he had as a junior would make him the all-time career passing leader, moving ahead of Saint Louis great Timmy Chang.
Malepeai, who has committed to Oregon, is no slouch either. He enters his senior season already with 2,619 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns. He’d need 1,810 yards this season to surpass Joe Igber‘s career mark, but another season on par to his previous two would put him among an elite group of runners, joining Igber, Aofaga Wily, Mark Atuaia, Kama Bailey and Mosi Tatupu. The big number for Malepeai is 14, as in 14 rushing touchdowns, which would break Igber’s career mark of 56.
The offensive talent doesn’t end there. The Trojans also have a solid group of receivers led by senior Kalakaua Timoteo, who like Milton has committed to Hawaii for next season. Timoteo fell just short of 1,000 receiving yards as a junior but was a monster in the state final, catching four touchdown passes.
Mililani lost two all-state performers on the offensive line but has returnee Andru Tovi back to anchor the group.
Defensively, Tielu Mamea will stabilize the secondary and expect Kaimana Padello to come blazing off the edges all season creating nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.
The Trojans are primed for a repeat run at the state title and a scrimmage against Saint Louis on Saturday will be the highlight of opening weekend. Mililani is the clear favorite in the OIA and has a real opportunity to join Kahuku as the only schools to repeat as state championships since the HHSAA tournament was formed in 1999.
For more on Mililani and just how impressive the Trojans have looked in scrimmages so far, check out Paul Honda’s countdown story in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.