Hundreds of Kaua‘i keiki turned out at Vidinha Stadium on Saturday, and at Hanapepe Stadium on Sunday as the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Association kicked off their first round of play in the 2003 season with games in the Junior PeeWee, PeeWee, and Midget divisions.
In addition to the familiar football contests taking place on the gridiron, there is also the Pop Warner cheer program which involves girls in the same age divisions as the football players.
These pepsters work the crowd in preparation for their big competition which will take place later this season with the winners having an opportunity to advance to national competition.
Additionally, Pop Warner participants go through the same rigorous grade checks that their high school and college counterparts endure ensuring that the youth develop not only physically, but academically.
Zack Octavio, island manager of American Medical Response, is also a familiar figure on the sidelines, ready to respond in the event of game injuries or emergencies.
In addition to the familiar para-medic, referees from the KIF league are also on hand to officiate the games, many of whom also have children of their own that are part of the Pop Warner program.
This cross training leads of ensuring that there will be an adequate staff of officials at the KIF level.
The flag football program for younger athletes was earlier this year turned over the the Kaua‘i Police Activities League (KPAL) under the direction of Mark Ozaki.
Richard Morris is the league’s president that is made up of five regions – Kekaha, Koloa, Lihue, Kapaa, and Northshore (Anahola).