Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 |
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Team has qualified for national tourney in Florida, but still short of
By JASON GALLIC
TGI Sports Editor
Junior pee wee
football has existed on Kaua’i for exactly one year.
In a display of grit
and talent, that’s also the number of junior pee wee state championships the
Kaua’i representative — the Lihu’e Jaguars — have won.
something that we were able to do that in the first year,” said Mel Rapozo, one
of the Jaguars’ coaches. “It was really neat for these kids.”
With its 14-6
victory over the Wailuku Rainbows Saturday, Lihu’e qualified to go to the
national tournament December 3-11 in Orlando, FL. What’s shaping up to be not
quite as neat, however, is the shortage of financial resources the Jaguars are
“Right now, we will be represented at nationals,” Rapozo
said. “But some of these kids, some of them who practiced everyday and banged
and worked so hard, will not be able to go with us.”
According to Lihu’e
Pop Warner President Todd Young, the cost to make the trip, per child, is
“between $1,200 and $1,500.”
There are 35 Jaguars.
“We’ve got about
one-third of the money,” Young said. “That’s about $8,000 to $10,000. We need
And if that’s not galling enough, here’s a disturbing
“We have to have the money by Monday,” Rapozo said.
Monday, November 27.
“We have food booths set up and we’ve sent letters to
all the businesses we can think of,” Rapozo said of the team’s effort to garner
donations. “We’ve even sent letters to the Jacksonville Jaguars and to other
“But there’s only so much you can do.”
In Florida, the
kids will be guaranteed at least two football games. In addition, they will
experience Disney World and other attractions that the Sunshine State has to
“How about adopt-a-Jaguar?” Rapozo said, laughing. “Our only hope
now is that somebody or some people with the means will step forward and make
this happen for our entire team.”
If you would like to help the Jaguars,
please call Kathy Perez at 245-4948 or Mel Rapozo at 245-3539.
if you’re looking for a Christmas tree, the team has about 100 to sell,
according to Young. Call him at 245-5197.
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