It’s a role that hardly anyone wants to take, but when presented with the opportunity, it can be a very rewarding accomplishment.
The role of spoiler was handed to the Kapa’a football team after they were eliminated from KIF title contention this season.
“Our kids still got good spirit. They know they always one play away. Now we get to be the spoiler. They’re (Kaua’i) going to depend on us to beat Waimea,” Kapa’a head coach Sia Salausa said.
A win by the Warriors tonight against the Menehune (2-1-1) would hand Kaua’i (3-0-1) at least a tie for the KIF championship.
Tonight is also homecoming for Kapa’a and Salausa reminded his players what happened at last season’s homecoming contest.
“They remember last year. We got nothing to lose. Waimea’s got more to lose than us. Last year winning on our homecoming was great and we want to repeat that. I think we ain’t going to have a problem this year. I think the penalties and cheap shots have gone down drastically,” Salausa said.
The Warriors have played the Menehune tough this season. In their two contests, Waimea was able to edge out Kapa’a by scores of 3-0 and 14-6.
“They’ve come a long way. Even the officials complimented us on our sportsmanship. That really means a lot to us. Our kids always say the officials are against us,” Salausa said.
According to the first-year head coach, defensive standouts, Jetson Wakuta and Nathaniel Langi are key players who will not suit up for tonight’s game. Also, fullback Derek Saiki wasn’t clear to play and quarterback Waylan Kupihea is still questionable for the game.
Salausa’s son Coty, a sophomore, will get the starting nod at the quarterback spot.
“He still doesn’t want to play quarter-back. He likes to run and catch balls, but we’ll go with him tonight,” Salausa said.
His favorite target, Evan Lotu will once again be a threat in the open field. The sophomore caught the Warriors’ only touchdown in their last game against the Menehune.
“Evan has good hands. He’s young and sometimes he’s not as serious as I’d like him to be,” Salausa said.
“My assistant coaches have done a heck of a job this season. Our kids get overexcited and over pursue sometimes. We need to buckle down, but we’re a young team and they’re still learning the game. We need to get them comfortable,” Salausa noted.
Kapa’a’s homecoming celebration will take place during halftime. The JV contest begins at 5 p.m., with the varsity game starting at 7:30 p.m.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org