Aca­demics A Big Fo­cus In Pearl City’s Foot­ball Pro­gram

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

The two “A’s” are what drove the Pearl City foot­ball pro­gram through­out the off-sea­son.

And as the Charg­ers re­turn to the field this week to of­fi­cially be­gin spring prac­tice, their com­mit­ment to aca­demics and hav­ing the right at­ti­tude re­main the pre­vail­ing theme, ac­cord­ing to sec­ond- year head coach Robin Kami.

“Aca­demics and at­ti­tude can go a long way,” said Kami. “We have seven to 10 kids from last year’s team who are go­ing to col­lege for foot­ball (and school). They re­ally bought into what we are try­ing to ac­com­plish here. Our big­gest thing here is the aca­demics. We’ve been hold­ing study halls through­out the year. If we take care of those things, then (suc­cess on) Fri­day nights will fol­low.”

The Charg­ers are com­ing off a solid sea­son in 2013 that saw them win five straight at mid-sea­son and seven of eight games at one point en route to a 7-5 over­all fin­ish. Pearl City was the OIA White run­ner-up to Kaiser and earned a berth in the Di­vi­sion II state tour­na­ment.

“We want to ride that mo­men­tum,” Kami said.

As Kami and his staff pre­pare for their 2014 sea­son over the next 10 days of spring prac­tice, they will do so with a num­ber of rel­a­tively new faces.

“We lost 30 to 33 se­niors from that team, but we’re re­ally ex­cited for the kids who are com­ing back,” he said. “Our JV team runs the same things our var­sity team runs, so it has been a smooth tran­si­tion for our kids, and we have the same (coach­ing) staff. We don’t have to go to a new of­fense or de­fense, which helps.”

Un­der OIA guide­lines, schools have two weeks in which they can hold 10 prac­tices. Spring foot­ball also marks the first time since the end of fall sea­son that teams can don full equip­ment. Even so, Kami said the Charg­ers will limit the amount of con­tact in their drills to avoid in­juries.

“We’ll hit and wrap (up on tack­ling at­tempts), but we won’t take any­one down,” he said. “We’ll be in full pads, but not go full-on. We just want the kids to get used to the equip­ment again. We’re go­ing to go back to the ba­sic fun­da­men­tals of foot­ball (in the spring).”

Among the Charg­ers’ key re­turnees are quar- ter­back Jordan Taamu and two-way line­man Kordell Vaa. Both will be se­niors in the fall.

Taamu threw for 1,649 yards and 11 touch­downs last fall, while Vaa is the only Charger to move up to var­sity when only a sopho­more.

“Jordan is a good kid who works hard in the class­room,” Kami said. “He’s very com­posed out there, and he’s like a coach on the field. He’ll be one of the top one or two quar­ter­backs in the (OIA) White Con­fer­ence.

“Kordell will be a big help to us with his ex­pe­ri­ence and his ma­tu­rity,” he added of Vaa, who packs 245 pounds into a 6-foot-2 frame.

“He’ll con­trol the of­fen­sive line for us.”

Pearl City’s Pur­ple and White Spring game is set for June 7.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.