Flag football season opens

LIHUE — Saturday saw the Steelers take on the Steelers in football at the North Vidinha fields.

“The coach likes the Steelers,” said Matt Gonsalves, a team parent on the sidelines. “And, look at the tent — it’s the Steelers.”

The contest on the field pit the Kapaa Steelers against the Lihue Steelers in a 7-8 age division matchup as the Kauai Police Activities League opened its flag football season at the field where the grass rebounded from the soccer tramplings of the Kauai Soccer Association recently closed season. The Kauai Youth Football league also wrapped up its spring season with a post-season game against Nanakuli Saturday.

“I take over starting Sunday,” said Kauai Police Department’s Lance Okasaki, interrupting his tour of distributing police stickers to the collection of players and families. “Mark Ozaki — he’s a captain now — started this, and he’s on vacation so I get to do this. We’re also have to think about K-PAL boxing, too.”

KPD’s Bobby Thompson said there are more than 400 young people from all over Kauai registered for flag football, playing in four divisions. The Cubs are players between 5 and 6 years old; the Bobcats are 7 and 8; the Troopers are 9 and 10; and the Wildcats are 11 to 13.

“This works,” Thompson said. “I’ve been assigned to Waimea High School as its special resource officer and I get to work with young people.”

The assignment also fit because Thompson used to officiate Kauai Interscholastic Federation football prior to becoming a police officer.

“We get a lot of volunteers,” Thompson said. “We have the judge — Randal Valenciano — helping when he can, and a lot of the KIF officials come out to help. I even have the giant, my son who used to be a ball boy, helping.”

Games are played on Saturdays starting at 8 a.m. at the North Vidinha fields through July 15 with the exception of the July Fourth weekend.

“We even play this weekend when the Kamehameha Day parade takes place,” Thompson said.

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