HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Discipline, attitude, sacrifice and habits — the four words that now best describe Searider football on Oahu’s Leeward Coast.
“We’re more disclined, there’s no bad attitudes on the team,” said Saege Ayala, a Waianae High School wide receiver. “There’s no individuals on the team, because now we’re all one unit, one family.”
Since taking over the Waianae football program earlier this year, first-year head coach Mike Fanoga has taken to condensing those four words into the handy acronym 'DASH.'
It's something he's learned over the course of a nearly-30 year coaching career that's included stops at Kentucky and New Mexico State.
"That's the word we have," Fanoga told Hawaii News Now earlier this week. "That's our brand."
After winning just one game over the course of the 2018 season, Waianae has already matched their victory total from a year ago, topping Waipahu last weekend in Fanoga's debut as head coach.
The Marauders entered the game as the reigning Div.1 state football champion.
While Fanoga hopes the commitment to DASH continues to produce wins on the field, he recognizes that there's more to high school athletics than that.
"It's not about football, we also teach them life," Fanoga says. "I want to give back to the kids the things I have gained and learned throughout my coaching career. I want to give back to them because they deserve something better."
It's already paying off for players like Adonnis Puou, a Searider lineman.
"That program has influenced us a lot," he says. "During school, he got us into the career center and is looking towards our future after high school."
For now, the Seariders are worried about a future that's happening a little sooner than that. The team will look to make it 2-0 on the season on Friday against Kapolei.