Division 1 Champions: Varsity Football Beats Iolani 31-20


By Taylor Ann Ono
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(Timothy Won | Trojan Times) The bond that the team has and the trophy that they won will always remind them of their hard work and well-deserved achievements.
(Timothy Won | Trojan Times) The bond that the team has and the trophy that they won will always remind them of their hard work and well-deserved achievements.

Ending the season on a high note, the MHS Varsity Football team went head to head with the Iolani Raiders for the Division One Championship title. The championship game took place on Nov. 18 at the Aloha Stadium with a final score of 31-20. The season was tough, but the team remains pleased with themselves and are even more proud of their teammates.

“The brotherhood (between players) is really strong. Nothing could break it. I know in the beginning it was kind of hard because a lot of people moved up from JV and there was a lot of new faces, but we came through it,” explained wide receiver Senior Andrew Valladares.

Whether they leave a game victorious or not, the team still turns to each other for support. “Teamwork is everything. The team has to be the strongest. You can’t have a group of individuals and expect to win. Our guys along the season grew together. I feel this game was a great challenge for our team and it really showed how bad we wanted it as a whole; and when we played together, special things happen,” said quarterback Sophomore Dillon Gabriel.

Even when they are not playing, the team is always there to help one another in both the game and in their personal lives. “We always get on each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior, freshman, junior or sophomore, you know you always gotta have someone to push you and that’s what we try to learn from each other. It doesn’t matter what grade you are, you always gotta just motivate someone on the field and off the field,” said Valladares.

The bond that the team has created over the season provides each other with an environment that motivates and reassures. “(The way we play) would be way different (without each other) because we wouldn’t have the chemistry we have with all of our teammates. It would throw our game off and the game plan wouldn’t work,” said defensive lineman Senior Joshua Banks. “Having teamwork helps us to execute what our coaches say or want us to do.  It wasn’t like the first championship I’ve ever played in so I just prepared like I usually would. We just went over a lot of game plans and what kind of schemes we would do and different formations. We’re all used to playing with each other, we know what everybody can do, so it just makes us seem stronger.”

Although this game was a success for the team, it meant something different to each player. “I’m happy that we won because all four years of my (high school) life I always wanted to go off of my senior year with a ring and I’m happy that I got to do that,” said Valladares. “Being around my teammates is truly special. Having the feeling of someone always being there for you is really big. I fed off that and it made me a better athlete for sure. This year, I definitely learned a lot about myself and how I can better my game and just become an overall better quarterback and leader. Going into my junior year, it is definitely going to be a special one and I can’t wait for the challenge,” added Gabriel.

Even though the season has reached its end, the team still holds onto their companionship and continues to inspire one another. “It’s like we’re a bunch of brothers, a big family. Whatever happens to one of the boys is the whole team’s problem. They always influence me to do the better things. If I’m doing something wrong they’ll tell me. I always see them doing good stuff so it makes me do good stuff too,” said Banks.

Besides the win against Iolani, the team had an overall total of nine wins and three loses. They intend to apply the skills and lessons that they’ve learned this season, along with holding onto the friendships that they’ve made.