LIHUE — Kapaa Eagles’ Kelston DeSilva bulled in the point-after run to give the Eagles a 7-6 go-ahead in the final two minutes of play Saturday during the Kauai Pop Warner Football League Jamboree which launched the 2015 games at Vidinha Stadium.
With two minutes remaining, the Lihue Patriots answered with a concerted push to move the ball downfield, but the effort fell short as the Eagles took control of the pigskin with 56 ticks showing.
Earlier, Lihue Patriots broke a 0-0 stalemate in the final five minutes of play when quarterback Bronze DeCosta hits Dwight Apao in the end zone for the first score of the strong defensive matchup.
The Eagles blocked the point-after boot, and came back to answer with a score of their own when Nakoa Peragine broke open for an 18-yard scoot to the end zone with 2:12 showing on the clock. Kelston DeSilva, getting an interception earlier in the game, cradled the ball and pushed up the middle through traffic for the point-after to give the Eagles its 7-6 edge.
“We’ve got about 500 kids playing between tackle football and the cheer program,” said Teddy Arroyo, KPWFL commissioner. “This year is one of the best enrollments we’ve had. I think the board’s efforts at trying to keep the association fees reasonable have a lot to do with having more of the young people being able to enjoy football and cheer.”
Traditionally, the jamboree signals the end of training and conditioning as the teams meet on the field following the tribute to honorariums and encouragement from dignitaries.
After serving for just one year, Mamoru “Mamo” Kaneshiro earned his first championship in 1971. He served the Pop Warner football program as head coach and board member until 2000. His philosophy of giving back compelled him to volunteer as a baseball and football coach for more than 30 years in the Koloa community, doing it beause it’s from the heart.
Leon “Angus” Gonsalves started on the sidelines as a parent, joining the Koloa Raiders as an assistant coach in 1978 and rising to the head coach of the Koloa Raiders in 1980.
The Raiders were a Bantam division squad of 14 to 16-year-old youth and Gonsalves piloted the team to close out the program on a winning note as the Bantams left Kauai, the winning team made up of players as young as 11 year old and the eldest being 14 years old.
He continued to serve as coach until 1997 when he was called to fill the shoes of Kauai Pop Warner League Commissioner until 2004.
Kenichi “Stupe” Shimogawa started with the Pop Warner football program in 1963 when there were just five Bantam division teams. A player with the barefoot football league, Shimogawa named the Koloa Packers after his Plutes team, selecting the colors of red and gold because they are the colors of Hawaiian royalty.
In 1964, Shimogawa donned the black-and-white officials uniform for both Pop Warner and the Kauai Interscholastic Federation. With his entire family involved in Pop Warner football, Shimogawa was one of the first officials to include women as down marker, chain game, ball people, and time keepers. He also served as league commissioner where in was instrumental in changing some of the rules for Kauai which included that if a player was ejected from a game, the head coach is also ejected.
The “mandatory play” pleased many parents whose players completed the required plays and sat out the remainder of the game. This led to the Shriners Game, a benefit for the Shriners Club, evolving to become a game where mandatory players played the entire game.
At 90 years young, Shimogawa continues to serve as a crossing guard at the Kalaheo Elementary School, greeting students each morning with knuckles or high-fives.
Blake Probasco of the Lihue Patriots tackle football program was named to the All American Little Scholars, Second Team and earned a Certificate of Excellence from Millie Ah Loo, the KPWFL scholastic coordinator.
Moanikealohilani Felix-Keamoai of the Hanapepe Colts cheer team was also named to the All American Little Scholars Second Team, earning a Certificate of Excellence.
Kaira Kelekoma, Zyana Vea, and Ashlyn Agena of the Hanapepe Colts cheer team were named to the All American Little Scholars Honorable Mention group, each cheerleading earning Certificates of Achievement.
They were joined by Chloe Hatcher, Barak Aviguetero, both of the Kekaha Titans program, also shared All American Little Scholars Honorable Mention accolades.
On the gridiron, Wade Pimsaguan of the Koloa Redskins, Sam Odel of the Kapaa Eagles, Keane Tibon of the the Lihue Patriots were named to All American Little Scholars Honorable Mention honors with Certificates of Achievement.
Makoa Vanaman and Pookela Camarillo, both of the Hanapepe Colts earned similar honors.
The next KPWFL games at Vidinha Stadium start at 8 a.m. Saturday.