LIHUE — Lenny Rapozo, the director for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and a sports official, was recognized for his contribution to the Pop Warner football program, Saturday during the 54th Pop Warner Jamboree at Vidinha Stadium.
“The Kauai Pop Warner Football League appreciates all of the work Lenny has done for the program,” said Teddy Arroyo, the KPWFL president. “Not only has he contributed as an individual with more than 20 years of referee work, but we also appreciate his work for Pop Warner football in his affiliation with the parks and recreation department.”
Rapozo, in the legacy of his father, Leo Rapozo, also receiving accolades from a previous Jamboree, unveiled his latest contribution — the youngest referee in the Kauai Officials Association.
“This is Kelsen,” Lenny said. “He’s only 11 years old, and is the youngest referee. Dallas Correa was 12 years old when he started officiating, making Kelsen the youngest referee.”
The 54th Jamboree marks the start of the KPWFL season, which brings together the hundreds of people who make up the five associations that belong to the association.
Official practice started on Aug. 1 and the Jamboree brings people together to see how far they have progressed and an opportunity to showcase the people who make up the program through a day of exhibition football games and fellowship.
“One of the new programs this year is the introduction of the National Football League Flag Football,” Arroyo said. “We have two teams — the Lihue Atlanta Falcons and the Hanapepe Colts — with roughly 50 young people registered. The addition of the flag football program opens up opportunities for the youth ages 5, 6, and 7 years old.”
Kristie Linoz, the KPWFL scholastic coordinator, said the league’s scholar athletes have been growing as well.
Ashlyn Agena of the Hanapepe Colts program was named as a Pop Warner Little Scholar first team selection, a rare honor as she was selected from a field that included teams from around the country.
Other Hanapepe Colt scholar athletes include Makoa Vanaman, Kody Erdmann, Zyana Vea, Wendell Batangan, Meani Arvilera and Kiete Casillas. The group was joined by Keane Tibon and Justice Funamura-Sasil of the Lihue association, Joseph Sams and Nathan Rego of the Koloa association, Sereniti Williams, Ben Hanohano-Kuhaulua and Nathan Hall of the Kapaa association, Nathan Hall, Cailin Pasion, Kekai Morimoto, and Kean Minia of the Kekaha association.
Cherie Linoz of the Hanapepe Colts association added that a large number of cheer youth were invited to participate in the Citrus Bowl during the annual JAMZ cheer day camp which was held last Saturday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.
“This is the first time KPWFL has had so many young cheerleaders chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Cherie said. “This selection is in addition to the eligibility to the National Pop Warner Cheer and Dance competition which will be determined during the island-wide cheer competition later this year.”
Games for the KPWFL will start from 8 a.m., Saturday at the Vidinha Stadium.
“We have games all day, with the last games starting at night,” Arroyo said. “KPWFL has been very blessed to have so many people involved. We try to make things better each year.”