Life lessons from the gridiron

LIHUE — The message was clear Saturday.

Are we going to make fun of others who don’t play football? Are we going to make fun of someone who is bigger than us, or smaller? Are we going to be leaders?

No, no and yes.

Darla Abbatiello, wearing the supporter shirt of her son, Jordon Dizon, a former National Football League Detroit Lion player, roused 450 players into enthusiastic answers during the Pop Warner Football League Fun Day at Isenberg Field.

Abbatiello effectively demonstrated how a smaller person and a larger person can work effectively to score touchdowns. The demonstration sent the message of not making fun of other people.

“What about the people who don’t play sports?” Abbatiello said. “Fans are important, too. How would you feel if you were playing and no one came to watch you?”

Teddy Arroyo, KPWFL commissioner, said the Fun Day is intended to check and verify all the players before the start of the season in two weeks. KPWFL provided free hot dogs, waffle dogs, shave ice and an assortment of bouncers and inflatables for the enjoyment of the young athletes.

“Our enrollment at 450 players and cheer is up,” Arroyo said. “In fact, this is the second year, we have one of the highest enrollment increases in the Wescon district. We have been very blessed.”

The KPWFL season starts on Sept. 6 at Vidinha Stadium with the opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. and the first games taking place from around 9 a.m., the KPWFL commissioner said.

He said the league added two new divisions — the PeeWee and an Unlimited — for the 2014 season.

“This year, the big thing KPWFL is working on is how the players represent the organization in the classroom,” Arroyo said. “The players and cheer members represent the organization whether they’re on or off the field. We’re trying to instill these life lessons on the young people.”

KPWFL offers tackle football and cheer to youngsters islandwide through its five associations including Kekaha, Hanapepe, Koloa, Lihue, and Kapaa.

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