HANAPEPE — Four Kauai Pop Warner Football League players received national scholastic recognition followed by six football games Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
The KPWFL launched its tackle football season at the Jamboree attended by a good-sized crowd, eager to watch the aspiring football players and cheer squads.
Breaking tradition, the Jamboree launched the first six games of the season following the recognition of four All-American Scholars.
Andrew Liberato of the Koloa Redskins topped the scholars, receiving a Certificate of Excellence from the Wescon Region and being placed on the All-American Second Team.
Corey Agena of the Hanapepe Colts joined Jayson Hawthorne and Kauahoa Hermosura in being presented with Certificates of Achievement from the National Pop Warner Little Scholars program.
Millie Ah Hee, the KPWFL academics coordinator, said all four players earned grade point averages of 96 percent or better on their report cards. This is a requirement by the national Pop Warner league in order for the student athletes to be considered for scholastic standing in the Western Region.
Gilroy Yorkman and Arthur Furuta were recognized by the Koloa Pop Warner Association for their countless hours of volunteering for the program.
The pair was joined by Darryl “Jazz” Unciano, Larry Manuel and Warren Golden who were recognized by the Kekaha Pop Warner Association for their volunteerism to the Kauai Pop Warner program.
With the scholastics out of the way, it was time for the football players to take the field.
Kekaha Titans Junior Pee Wee, struggling to keep its team intact leading into the season-opening Jamboree, participated in an exhibition match against the Lihue Patriots.
Shiloh Louis-Kaneakua broke a 0-0 stalemate with 4:42 left in the final quarter to give the Patriots JPW a 6-0 edge.
The Kekaha Titans Mitey Mite players came back to redeem the JPW loss when Damian Akita scored two touchdowns in its 13-6 edge over the Lihue Patriots MM.
Akita broke a 0-0 tie with 1:27 left in the half on a 3-yard charge to paydirt with Maikoa Baniaga doing the point-after honors for the 7-0 margin at the break.
Lihue answered in the third quarter when Jayze Padilla broke open for a 91-yard touchdown romp with 4:10 showing in the frame. The point-after failed to give Kekaha the 7-6 bulge.
Akita iced the win in the fourth period, scoring on a 43-yard breakout at the 2:30 mark. The PAT failed for the 13-6 final.
The Koloa Redskins Junior Midgets opened the scorebooks early against the Kapaa Eagles JM when the Redskins marked a safety two minutes into the game.
The blemish served to ignite the Eagles who scored two touchdowns from Kalena Harder and Teili Fonua passing for a TD and running one in. Ekolu Rivera was 3-for-4 in point after boots for the 30-2 final.
Harder found the end zone with 1:12 showing in the first quarter, hitting paydirt on a 5-yard run and Rivera booting the first of three PATs for the 8-2 go-ahead.
Early in the second quarter, Fonua found Harder in the end zone on a 30-yard scoring pass with 7:36 showing in the half, Rivera’s PAT giving the Eagles a 16-2 lead at the half.
Fonua opened the second-half scoring with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter, finding the end zone following an 8-yard run and Rivera’s PAT boot giving the Eagles a 24-2 lead.
With less than a minute peeled off the final period, Harder took off on a 14-yard scoring run for the 30-2 final, triggering the running clock.
Kawelo Huddy came up with a touchdown and a PAT boot to lead the Koloa Redskins JPW to a 20-12 showing over the Kapaa Eagles JPW who got two touchdowns from Kahanu Davis.
Davis broke into the scorebooks first, striking the end zone on a 14-yard run at the 7:11 mark with Huddy doing the PAT boot. Huddy added to the score, finding paydirt following a 34-yard breakout with 3:38 remaining in the first period for a 14-0 Koloa lead.
The Eagles answered the 14-point deficit in the second frame when Makoa Gorospe found Isaac Nagahisa on a 21-yard scoring pass at the 8:32 mark.
The Eagles’ defense struck when Kawika Na-o stripped the Redskins’ ball and ran it back 46 yards for a touchdown with 2:23 showing in the half.
However, with two missed point-after attempts, the Eagles were chasing, 14-12 at the break.
Davis put the game on ice in the fourth frame, striking on a 28-yard run with 8:58 left in the game for the 20-12 final.
Bryceson Abigania and Jaykob Nakaahiki Young each scored two touchdowns to lead the Lihue Patriot JM to a 34-6 win over the Hanapepe Colts in a game shortened by the running clock.
Abigania put the Patriots JM on the boards with 5:33 in the first quarter on a 20-yard scoring run and followed that score with a 43-yard breakout in the second quarter with 8:41 showing in the half for the 12-0 lead.
With 1:47 showing in the half, Nakaahiki Young found the end zone following a 40-yard run and iced the TD with the first of two PAT boots for the 20-0 lead at the half.
Nakaahiki Young came back in the third quarter to strip the ball, recover the fumbled pigskin and run it back 67 yards for the score at the 6:25 mark. He followed the score with his second PAT boot to trigger the running clock.
The Hanapepe Colts came back on a nice drive, Kapono Constanino finding the end zone on a 4-yard charge for the 28-6 reading with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
Christian Manera iced the Lihue win with 5:45 showing in the game, tapping paydirt on a 5-yard run. The Colts blocked the PAT for the 34-6 final.
Bronze DeCosta scored two touchdowns and Chet Pimsaguan added a TD to lead the Koloa Redskins MM to a 20-0 win over the Kapaa Eagles MM.
Pimsaguan put the Redskins up 6-0 with 1:43 showing in the opening period.
The 6-0 reading stook until the third quarter when DeCosta broke out on a 49-yard run to the end zone with 7:44 showing for the 12-0 lead.
With 7:37 left in the game, DeCosta struck for the second time on a 42-yard run and graced the TD with a PAT boot for the 20-0 final.
Games continue Saturday, although a schedule and site were not available at press time.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.