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MIL FB preview No. 3: King Kekaulike Na Alii

August 26, 2011 - Robert Collias
For anyone who hasn't figured it out by now, I am on the Mainland getting my daughter set up for college but nothing stops the Roblog from giving its readers what they want.

King Kekaulike High School football is often in a transition mode — from Jerry Fornelia to P.K. Higa to Dennis Dias to J.W. Kenton and now back to Higa as head coaches, and back and forth from Division I to D-II, where they won the only state football title by any MIL team in 2006.

Now, firmly established back in the ranks of D-I — Na Alii broke Baldwin's league-record 37-game unbeaten streak in the sport in 2009, but stumbled to a 2-6 fourth-place finish in 2010 — King K is trying to rise back to prominence.

Here is the start of Lehia Apana's story previewing this season's Na Alii, who return by far the largest number of starters in the league, with 16:

PUKALANI - Depending on how you look at it, King Kekaulike High School football coach P.K. Higa is either a seasoned veteran or a fresh face out on the gridiron.

Higa served as Na Alii's head coach in 1999 and 2000 and was an assistant at the school for seven other seasons, ending in 2005. In that sense, he's familiar with the school's football landscape.

On the other hand, he returned as head coach again last year to a crop of players he'd never coached before. He spent the last year trying to build team trust, something he said is already taking shape this season.

"We're in more of a comfort zone with the guys and we have a bit stronger relationship," Higa said. "Anytime you come in it's a transition period, so I think this year the relationships have already been established from last year.

"I think there's more trust in what we do as coaches, and I think we trust that the kids are a little more in tune with what we're trying to do, so it's really beginning to feel comfortable."

More than half of Na Alii's coaching staff is made up of former players, who Higa says "bleed the black and teal."

Clich here for the rest of the story.


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