LIHU‘E — Saturday’s KIF football game between Kapa‘a and Kaua‘i will be moved from Kapa‘a New Town Park to Vidinha Stadium due to the condition of the playing field, a news release from the KIF states.
The game — scheduled to be the first played at the field in Kapa‘a this season— will instead be played in Lihu‘e.
Parks and Recreation Director Lenny Rapozo released a statement concering the move as well.
“We are aware of the concerns regarding the field and have been working with Kapa‘a High School to identify an acceptable six-month time frame to do the work with minimal impact on users of the facility,” Rapozo said in the statement. “We hope to identify that time frame very soon and complete the work in the next 12 months.”
Normally the home of the Red Raiders, Vidinha Stadium has hosted all three of Kapa‘a’s home games this season as renovations at the Kapa‘a field have been on-going.
Kapa‘a head coach Keli‘i Morgado said moving the game to Vidinha was a priority of his.
“There are many reasons why I feel like Vidinha is a better venue,” Morgado said. “The field condition is one. The fan perspective is another.”
Morgado said Vidinha is a much better stadium for fans to get a seat and see all of the action taking place on the field.
He also said Vidinha offers amenities that the Kapa‘a field lacks, such as locker rooms for players.
He related the situation to his playing days at Punahou on O‘ahu.
“The vast majority of the games were played at Aloha Stadium which was a neutral site,” Morgado said. “I’ve always thought that Vidinha should be the neutral site where we play all of our games. It’s the best venue on the island for everyone involved.”
Kapa’a High School Athletic Director Greg Gonsalves is out of town and didn’t have much of a role in the moving of the game. When reached for comment, Gonsalves said a meeting will take place next week to decide whether the Oct. 22 game versus Waimea in Kapa‘a will be moved.
Morgado would like that game to be played at Vidinha as well, but said it’s ultimately the KIF’s decision.
“I appreciate the county and the league’s efforts to give Kapa‘a a home site and we look forward to the date when they complete the work on the Kapa‘a park,” Morgado said.
Saturday’s games begin with the JV at 2 p.m. followed by the varsity at 4:30 p.m. Morgado said Kapa‘a will occupy the “home” West side of the field and encourages Kapa‘a fans to sit in that section.
• Tyson Alger, sports writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or by emailing talger@ thegardenisland.com. Follow him on twitter.com/tysonalger.