HANAPEPE — The annual Blue and White football game brought the crowd to its feet in rousing cheer during the final play of the Friday night under the lights at Hanapepe Stadium.
The excitement had already drained the crowd, but Travis Planas, a freshman who was buried in the sea of Blue and White throughout the game, re-ignited the energy as he took the handoff from quarterback Keaka Wisneski on the White 20-yard line.
Led by the blocking of Cody Taniguchi, the hole opened and Planas lumbered through, skirting the sidelines as the crowd of several hundred fans and football enthusiasts erupted in cheer.
The ball carrier lumbered on, and by the time he reached the Blue 15-yard line, the wall of football players surrounding Planas was a mix of pulsating, cheering blue and white, reacting in the same magnitude as a championship game when Planas crossed the end zone for a touchdown!
“This is a young team,” said Jason Caldeira, Waimea head coach. “We only have six seniors. I’m really proud of these young men and how they worked. I’m happy with the work they did on both sides of the ball.”
The Blue and White game wrapped up spring practice for about 60 Menehune football players, excluding the eighth graders.
“We’ve only had full pads for two days,” Caldeira said. “They put on the pads about two weeks ago, but have been in full pads for only two days.”
Special scoring was in force for the game with both the White and Blue squads having an opportunity to score. Following the 30-minute half, adjustments were made in the lineup, allowing several players the ability to play on both the offense and defensive squads.
“I like what I’m hearing on the field,” Caldeira said. “I like the excitement shown by the boys. I’d like to see Waimea be competitive, again. The job now is to keep the boys together. This is a clean start.”
Alexa McMogale, a Waimea trainer, said Planas has some challenges but comes to practice every day, working alongside his teammates.
“He only knows one play,” she said. “It’s a touchdown.”