Linoz gets first taste of spring

Kaua‘i, Waimea spring into action tonight

By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island

Just a year ago, Kyle Linoz was getting ready to coach Pop Warner football for Koloa, but tonight he’s about to move up the ladder and take on his first head coaching duties for Waimea High School in its blue and white game.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking but exciting. I’m interested in seeing our athletes and how they perform,” Linoz said.

The spring game kicks off tonight (7 p.m.) at Hanapepe Stadium. Fifty-seven athletes from both the junior varsity and varsity ranks will battle one another for four quarters (running clock).

“We’re going to simulate a real game as best we can,” Linoz said.

Jerry Jona (head coach), Mason Moriguchi, Tony Garma, Kurt Toma, Rocky Aviguetero, and Vernon Parangao will coach the white squad.

Keli‘i Aguiar (head coach), Russell Wellington, Dominic Agu, Jason Caldeira, Archie Achuara, and Nate Ragragola will head up the blue team.

“(We’re) just trying to get the fundamentals and techniques down as fast as we can. We’re also going to try to get our base running plays executed as well as possible and get them accustomed to their assignments. It’s the same for our defense too,” Linoz said.

At halftime, fans will be entertained by a flag football scrimmage between Waimea and Hanapepe teams.

“I want to see that because I have a nephew playing,” Linoz said.

So far, the first-year coach thinks his team has the make-up of a winner.

“The kids have been great. We try to work them as hard as possible. They’ve been giving almost 100 percent each day,” Linoz said.

Meanwhile, the three-time defending KIF champion Red Raider team also plays spring ball tonight (6 p.m. at Vidinha Stadium).

According to Kaua‘i head coach Keli‘i Morgado, the contest is for him and his staff to set some sort of a realistic depth chart.

“(It’s) just to place people. It also gives players a chance to sell themselves for certain positions. It’s a depth chart for the summer and to see what we really have or are lacking,” Morgado said.

Eighty players (50 varsity) from both varsity and junior varsity will get rotated between 12 plays apiece.

“It’ll be the varsity first, then the JV and we’ll keep rotating them back and forth. We won’t use the clock,” Morgado said.

Morgado’s staff includes Derek Borrero, Mike Tresler, Dean Petro, Dirk and Dod Apao, Kaleo Saiki, and Sean Sakai. Morgado also said there are four new additions to the coaching staff, who will be named later.

“(We have) a lot of veterans on offense. I’m excited about our potential on offense. Defensively we’re young. We’re going to rely on a lot of JV players on defense, which came from a season where they didn’t allow a point,” Morgado said.

Fans at both Hanapepe and Vidinha Stadiums can expect two entertaining and exciting contests.

According to Kapa‘a High School athletic director Greg Gonsalves, the Warriors aren’t having a green and white game.

KIF Spring Football

• Red and White game (Kaua‘i), 6 p.m., Vidinha Stadium

• Blue and White game (Waimea), 7 p.m., Hanapepe Stadium

• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.com.

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