HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The OIA officially canceled all of their fall and winter sports on Tuesday, dashing the hopes of many that high school athletics would make its anticipated return, but instead, the COVID-19 crisis has shuttered prep athletics once again.
One of the bigger sports canceled was football, leaving many coaches — like Mililani’s Rod York — understanding the difficult decision had to be made, but still in disbelief.
“We kind of felt it coming, but it was one thing to see it and have it officially canceled by the OIA. Coach York told Hawaii News Now. “First thing I thought of was the kids you know, obviously a lot of texts from the parents and the kids coming in to try and confirm it, a lot of kids I guess never really hit them until they saw it on social media.”
Instead of dwelling on the past, York shifted his team’s focus on what’s next, giving them a life lesson on how sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
“I sent the text out to the kids, then we got to zoom with most of the kids and I was able to talk about the future and where we go from here.” York said. “I didn’t want to talk about what could have been or what we could have done, what we ‘coulda shoulda woulda’, for me it’s like life man, you are dealt with the cards and sometimes it doesn’t go your way.”
York says that his main focus continues to be the seniors, helping them get to the next level or their post-football life and for the rest of the team, they will have to approach this year a little differently.
“We’ve still got the same vision, same goals, but we’ve got to attack it differently, it’s a different time, different era, you know we’ve got different rules.” York said. “So you know we’ve got to figure out a plan of attack and go plan B you know.”
As far as the team moral goes, York says that he knows that they are hurting, but that won’t stop them from working hard with whatever they do.
“We’re doing our best, we’re doing whatever we can with what we’ve got and we just pray that the leaders that are leading us have their hearts in the right areas.” York said. “So we’re just trying to keep the mindset of our players up, stay positive and for the most part the kids are good, you know they understand, they’re disappointed but not defeated.”
The OIA’s announcement does not affect their remaining spring sports season, hoping that they can play later in the school year.