Red Raiders get back to work following 2015 state title

Red Raiders get back to work following 2015 state title

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seven shut outs, 13 wins, no losses, and a state title. 2015 was a good year to be a fan of Kahuku football. Now, the Red Raiders are already putting in work to up the ante in 2016. The team held their first practice of spring ball on Monday where the message was clear, they're hungrier than ever.

"You know it's, it's funny. They talked about the shut outs, and we like to evaluate ourselves during the off season, and a lot of our kids on defense said, 'hey coach, you know, a lot of those teams that got away we own this year'," said Kahuku head coach Vavae Tata. "I think we're looking to do some good things on defense."

That defense, which Tata was key in installing last season in his first year as head coach, held its opponents to just over four points per game. But, according to the Red Raiders, they're putting in the work now to make sure that number is even lower in 2016.

"I guess now it's just goose eggs every game," said senior defensive back Kekaula Kaniho. "We're working, that's it. Studying film, putting in some new calls here and there, but mostly just working hard every day."

Considering the team lost seven first team all state players to graduation (six of them on the defensive side of things) putting up those kinds of numbers again will be no easy task. But, the Red Raiders have been using this off season to develop a new crop of talent to fill those very successful shoes.

"We did lose a lot of good leadership, but like I told the team when we headed out here, the next man up is the best man up," said Tata.  "Kahuku is a true reload program. Guys are confident, they're decisive and I'm excited to see that."