Restoring the roar
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With 16 straight losses, two forfeited seasons in the last two years and a 0-90 loss against Waianae in 2015, many question what is going on with the McKinley High School football program. The new field and change in coaching staff may be what is needed for the upcoming season.
Junior Ezekiel Samuelu and sophomore Sonee Taylor play on the Tiger’s varsity team.
“I want to work harder so we can change the name of McKinley football,” said Samuelu. “I continue to play with our bad records because I want to make a difference. This season I hope we put everything aside and play for the person next to us.”
The Tigers get to break in their new field. It’s a great opportunity and resource for the team according to Taylor, to use the new facility instead of the baseball field. Aside from the field, there is also a new coaching staff. The new head coach, Pat Silva, is a MHS alumni from the class of ‘75 who played quarterback for the Tigers.
“It’s always been my lifelong goal once I graduated from McKinley in ‘75 to become the head football coach,” Silva said.
“[I want to] make our players believe and understand that there are a lot of good things in life that can happen if they work hard and do their best.”
Samuelu said the team has a strong relationship. However, according to Taylor, the team is lacking trust.
“Our bond is our strength,” said Taylor. “Trusting each other is our weakness. We can’t win if [we] don’t trust anyone. You can’t win on your own. It takes a team [effort].”
When teammates trust each other and their coaches, they begin paying attention to detail, and start to do what they need to rather than what they want to, Silva said. It keeps everyone on the same page, which is important for a team.
“It’s going to take some time. It’s not going to happen overnight,” Silva said. “We’re still going to have some players that still want to do their own thing and believe that the way they did it in the past is the best way. It didn’t work. If it did, they’d be winning.”
The team began practice for the upcoming season on March 1.
“[I want to] bring back the tradition to the McKinley team… When I talk to alumni, they talk about the traditions we lost when they come to the games,” Silva said. “I’m hoping we’ll be able to make everyone understand how important it is, then a lot of good things will happen on this football field.”