MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Jenessa Gladstone
Despite having ten new offensive starters, only six points came between the Mililani Trojans and their first state title last year.
Among the newcomers was sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton, who stepped up to lead a team in the midst of major reorganization.
"He was a surprise to us in the middle of the season. We knew he was fast. We didn't know he was that fast," said head coach Rod York.
"He's definitely taken his game to another level this year with his arm because now he can hit all the spots and throw all the throws and we're looking forward to a good year with him."
Semifinalists four times in the past five years, the Trojans are hoping 2014 is the golden ticket.
"I'd say the biggest goal this season, since we lost so many of our players, is to recreate that family bond to really ensure that when it comes down to it to a game like that, we know that we'll play for each other that we'll be there, that we'll be able to work together to the fullest," said defensive lineman Rex Manu.
Under Manu's lead, Mililani's defense ranked first in the OIA for point's allowed per game last season.
But this year, the focus is working together to get back to the championship stage.
"If we win a state championship, I don't care if I'm ranked best quarterback or the worst quarterback," Milton added. "If we get a state championship, that'd just be sweet for this community, for this team, for all the coaches, for all the boys."