Discipline and hard work are at the core of Mililani’s football success.
The product that goes on the field on game days is the result of that perspiration and preparation.
What looks like a mistake-free, high-powered, complicated passing game is actually a lot simpler and more error-prone than most people think, according to Trojans coach Rod York.
“It’s execution and repetition,” said York while his Trojans (10-0) were practicing Wednesday evening in preparation for Friday’s OIA championship game against Kahuku (8-1). “People say we’re a well-oiled machine and things like that, but I see mistakes all the time. If you don’t block, you don’t win. If you don’t work, you don’t win. If you run the wrong routes, you don’t win.
“The only way we can get stopped is if we don’t execute. We preach execution and execution is what we do. It really is what we’re working on. We practice up-tempo and we do everything up-tempo.”
The Mililani passing game has wowed people all season, but it’s the running game that York said makes the offense go.
“You have to run the ball,” he said. “And, to me, a screen pass is a run. A quick bubble pass is a run. It doesn’t have to be long passes. You take what the defense gives you.”
The Trojans met at midfield, on the Trojans logo, after practice and York went over the itinerary for the trip to Aloha Stadium on Friday while reminding them about how their “attitude” is just as important as their football skill.
The team said a prayer before departing, and a video session was scheduled for a few hours later, after dinner.
Backup slot receiver Chad Senas was all pumped up about the upcoming game. On one roster, he’s listed as 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, but when asked, he said, smiling, that it’s more like 5-2 or 5-3 and 112 pounds.
York said Senas scored against Moanalua when Na Menehune were blitzing and rushing eight to nine guys.
“We just threw it over them to Chad and he scored,” York said.
Senas, who mugged for the camera of Honolulu Star-Advertiser photographer Krystle Marcellus, said with full confidence that he “will be a starter next year.”
That type of confidence abounds at Mililani this season, and now the Trojans face a Kahuku squad loaded with outstanding athletes.
“We’re ready for Friday,” York said. “Our guys are loose. It’s the championship game. That’s the reason why we’ve been training.
“Defensively, Kahuku is ranked No. 1. We’ve scouted them. They are physical and fast and athletic, and we were surprised how big they were.”
Two years ago, Kahuku rolled past Mililani 50-13 in the OIA title game, and York remembers what his team’s breakdowns were and doesn’t expect them to happen again..
The Trojans took the title a year ago and are gunning for a repeat.
“It’s a big game,” offensive tackle Jordan Agasiva said. “We just have to do what we do best and that’s execute. It’s just like any other game. We treat every game like it’s the championship. We’re going to play our hearts out.”