Friday nights are for high school football

I was a little distressed that a former journalist and PR executive would put out information in the media using a Trump-like scare tactic in his comments about athletics in trying to justify the closing down of night football on Kauai.

To make a comparison using the NFL and CTE to high school sports is quite outrageous. College and NFL players know the risk in athletics and do so because of the love of the sport and the financial benefits.

It is fine to list all of the medical results that all high school athletic departments compile yearly. It would be interesting to know how many athletes in Hawaii contacted CTE or died from concussions.

The state of Hawaii is a leader nationally in athletes safety by placing athletic trainers in all high schools in the late 80s.

Thank heavens for legislators with vision. I don’t know why you noted that only recently the governor mandated athletic trainers. These medical results you listed are collected and used by the schools to improve athlete safety. We are one of the few states than mandate that parents and athletes attend a risk management class prior to the start of their season. Coaches are also certified nationally in athlete safety prior to been hired.

Friday nights are for high school football. Saturdays are for college football and Sunday for the NFL and due to greater finance greed, the NFL added Monday and Thursday. The reason this was formulated was to make sure that these venues do not compete with each other.

The public needs to be informed that the KIF football revenues are the major contributor to cover all the other 35 teams expenses at each KIF school.

Most of the other 35 teams do not generate a revenue gate. I know that the KIF and the individual schools have suffered greatly holding games on Saturdays because the crowds are small which are mostly due to college games televised during that time.

KIF football is no match for an Alabama vs Clemson game. I would venture to say that we on Kauai are the only footballs teams nationwide that are not allowed to play on Friday nights.

Friday nights used to be family night where parents would get out of work and head straight to the game, buy a meal at the food booth which directly benefits the school who use those revenues to defray the cost of team travel to state tournaments. Today, our parents, athletes and coaches get punished for qualifying for state tournaments when they have to take on the burden of team travel because their league does not generate enough money to help subsidize cost.

The average cost per athlete is $300. That is why you will see these student-athletes selling sweet bread, beef sticks, donuts and car wash tickets all year long. Should the student-athletes fail to make quota, than the burden shifts to the parents.

During my time as athletic director my coaches’ and athletes’ cost was covered by league subsidy and revenue from food booths during Friday night games.

Football teams qualifying for state tournaments are fortunate that airlines, banks, businesses, labor unions and individuals subsidize their expenses through the HH5AA and their 50S program for it would be impossible for our small league to cover those kinds of cost. All other teams must find out a way to meet expenses.

It would be so wonderful if you use your journalism and PR skills to research funding for KIF sports and the kill ratios between night football, feral predators, highway lights, parking lot lights and hotels, business lights.

Also, to find out where else do these sea birds nest. I am taken aback that they would only nest on Kauai when there are 100s of islands in the Hawaiian island chain.


James Kitamura, former athletic director, is a Kalaheo resident.


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