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Safe, healthy, fun football

HANAPEPE — The Kekaha Titans Unlimited team had just 10 players available Sunday at the Kauai Pop Warner Football League games.

Normally, the situation would have resulted in a forfeit, but KPWFL Commissioner Teddy Arroyo said the leaders became creative. Coming up with an eight-man format, they ran a scrimmage to give players a chance to get on the field.

“This should be a fast game,” said Tina Albao, a team mother for the Lihue Patriots. “Each team will have 10 plays for a quarter. With just eight players on each team, the field is huge and the boys can run a lot.”

Under the abbreviated scrimmage format, there are no kickoffs or point-after kicks in the interest of safety, and the score is not recorded.

“It’s a shame if the kids can’t play,” Arroyo said. “We put priority on safety, but also want to make sure the kids can play.”

Kelvin Moniz, one of the field officials, also wears the cap of the East Kauai Lions Club, noting that in the interest of safety, the Patriots needed help refurbishing its helmets. 

“The East Kauai Lions Club has always looked at the interests of keeping our young people safe and healthy,” Moniz said, presenting the coaches an award of $500 for its safety enhancement program.

Pink punctuated the KPWFL games, the Kapaa Eagles and Lihue Patriot players donning pink socks, the Hanapepe Colts having bright pink ribbons emblazoned on their helmets, and the cheerleaders wearing oversized pink ribbons.

“This is for October being National Breast Cancer Awareness month,” Arroyo said. “The five associations of the KPWFL has adopted ways to wear pink, a symbol of breast cancer awareness, through the month of October. We also have a male cancer month coming up, too.”

KPWFL, like many other groups, families and individuals, has been affected and impacted by cancer. It joins with the Kauai Referees Association, whose officials through the month of October have donned pink in support of breast cancer awareness.

Eric Rita, whose family permeates through the Hanapepe Colts association, said they try to perpetuate the “old style.”

Rita was helping at the food booth, a duty which comes when an association hosts the games.

“Look at our plate lunch,” he said. “It has the old style with rice and salad, and even Japanese style pickled vegetables. And because it’s hot, we even have hot fudge sundaes.”

On the menu, Rita said the children go crazy for the Goteberg bowl — rice, sprinkled with furikake nori and bite-sized Goteberg.

“This is old style,” he said. “We have Korean chicken, which last time was sold out after four 20-pound bags of chicken. Today, we started out with six 20-pound bags and already had to call people going to church in Lihue to bring back five more.”

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