Kaua’i youths learn the basics from the pros

A sea of white shirts sat in awe as they waited for their chance to get their white shirts flooded with black signatures from all of the NFL players and cheerleaders in attendance at the 2006 Pro Bowl Youth Clinic, yesterday at Hanapepe Stadium.

The NFL contingent included Atlanta Falcons running back Fred McCrary and guard Kynan Forney, Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu, a Farrington graduate, Green Bay Packers free safety Earl Little, Jacksonville Jaguars guard Vince Manuwai, a Kahuku grad, San Diego Chargers quarterback A.J. Feeley and wide receiver Eric Parker, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, Tennessee Titans tight end Erron Kinney, and Oakland Raiders fullback Zack Crockett.

The pro cheer squad included Dawn Gilbert of the Arizona Cardinals, Summer Alvarez of the San Diego Chargers, Colleen Murphy of the Seattle Seahawks, and Teresa Cunha of the San Francisco 49ers.

Nat Moore, who was in charge of the event and a former Dolphins player, was sporting his trademark Dolphins visor, while threatening the youths misbehaving to do some pushups.

“This is the fourth year we’re doing this event here, with the help of the NFL and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority. We’re glad to be back here and it’s just a great experience for all involved,” Moore said.

Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste, along with council members, Jimmy Tokioka, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Joann Yukimura, and Mel Rapozo, were all in attendance to support the program.

“This doesn’t happen magically. It takes players that are dedicated to serving you,” Baptiste said to the youths.

The NFL players and cheerleaders shared a glimpse of their knowledge and experience to the youths, who ranged in age from 9-18.

The cool, brisk winds at Hanapepe Stadium was a surprise to some of the players including Chargers QB A.J. Feeley.

“Is it windy here like this all the time,?” Feeley asked before the start of the clinic.

The former Oregon Duck signal caller mentioned that his team had some hard luck this past season, after barely missing the playoffs.

“We played an extremely tough schedule, but we got no one to blame but ourselves for what happened,” Feeley said.

The Chargers stopped Indianapolis’ run for perfection, but were eliminated from playoff contention the following week.

The Pro Bowl Youth Clinics serve around 10,000 kids throughout the state and about 400 on Kaua’i.

The players and cheerleaders are chosen based upon their ability to communicate well with youths and ties with Hawai’i.


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