MHS Football Season Comes to an End at HHSAA Championships

Trey Yamamoto, Reporter

On Nov. 24, the Hawai’i High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) Football Championships were held at the Aloha Stadium. Varsity teams from MHS, Saint Louis, Waipahu, Hilo, Lahainaluna and Kapa’a challenged opposing teams in their divisions for the state championship title. On the last game of the night, MHS played Saint Louis, the final game of the season. Though they didn’t win the game, MHS was able to put a few more points on the board, ending the game with 38-17.

“I felt that we gave it all we got and played our hearts out. I love my guys and I’m glad we got to play in that game together,” said Senior varsity quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

With this being the last high school football game for Gabriel, he feels that there is room to become better at his craft and plans to continue working hard everyday. In regards to the HHSAA game, Gabriel has learned to stay patient and fight through adversity.  In February, Gabriel is looking to sign to a D1 school. “My top three are USC, UCF, Georgia,” said Gabriel. “They are all top 25 teams with a bunch of momentum. I want to play in a system that fits but is also big time football.”

Also playing for MHS was Senior varsity wide receiver and slot Reichel Vegas. By the end of the game, Vegas was able to accumulate 79 yards and around 13.2 yards per carry. With this also being Vegas’s last high school football game, the HHSAA game was a small bump in the long road ahead.  “It didn’t go in our favor I feel — well yeah obviously — but it was a great experience overall. Just playing with my team for the last time and putting everything we had,” said Vegas. “I could improve on my leadership skills and making sure my team plays with the confidence that they need to have all the time stepping onto the field. There is always room to improve on no matter how good you are, the sky is the limit and I’m on my way to shoot pass the sky because there is no limit to the greatness that I’m trying to achieve.”

Whether it be the 21 point loss or having lost the last game of the season, the HHSAA game served as a learning opportunity for Vegas and the team.  “I learned that you’re not always gonna get what you want in the end, you always got to work for it. Even though you work hard you’re not gonna get the outcome and the result that you did want. Just always push through, keep your head up high and move onto the next,” said Vegas. “Overall we could have been doing our job better, executing, doing what our coaches told us to do. I guess overall playing our hardest, like our lives depended on it.”

Though Mililani didn’t win the HHSAA Championships this year, they were able to retain the title of rank No. 2 in the state. The next football season will start in around February when the team will begin training. With a new quarterback and wide receivers, Mililani will have new faces for the upcoming seasons.