K-PAL flag football nearing end of summer run

LIHU‘E — More than 700 young athletes between kindergarten through 12th grade spent their Saturdays this summer on the gridiron at the North Vidinha fields, said Mark Ozaki, coordinator of the Kaua‘i Police Activities League.

The athletes were hosted through seven groups including the Waimea-Kekaha, Hanapepe, Kalaheo, Koloa, Lihu‘e, Kapa‘a and Anahola associations, Ozaki said.

“We didn’t really have enough players for the high school division so we ended with two 8th Grade teams,” Ozaki said. “Overall, we ended up with 31 teams. Lihu‘e had nine teams so there were some weekends where they played each other.”

Team make-up was spread over four divisions: K through Grade 1, Grades 2 and 3, Grades 4 and 5, and Grades 6 through 8, Ozaki said.

He said throughout the summer, students have been improving and this Saturday is the final week they play flag football before some of the players prepare for the upcoming Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League and the Kaua‘i Youth Football fall season.

“This coming Saturday is the final flag football games,” Ozaki said. “We start at 8 a.m. and have games all the way through 2 p.m. There is no admission. Just come and watch the players have fun.”

Among those helping officiate the games, KYF President Brad Hiranaka had some tackle football gear on display at the officials tent so the players could see the quality equipment available to them.

“We have fall registration next week,” Hiranaka said. “This fall, there will be two divisions, Grades 4 through 6, and Grades 7 and 8. We’ll also have ‘No weight limit,’ and 11-man football for players ages 5 through 7.”

Hiranaka said the Kapa‘a registration will be Monday at the Kapa‘a Neighborhood Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and the Lihu‘e registration will take place July 25 at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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