HANAPEPE — Kauai Pop Warner Football League president Teddy Arroyo told the several hundred football players and cheer squad members, they play for their communities during the opening of the 57th season of Pop Warner football on Kauai.
“When you need help, you go to them with your hands out,” Arroyo said. “They come through, and you are able to enjoy whatever program you needed help with. The community, and the many volunteers who make it possible for Pop Warner football are why you play.”
Arroyo was speaking at the Pop Warner Jamboree, the traditional opening day of its season, and welcoming players and cheer from all five Kauai associations and its support staff of volunteers, parents, and fans.
The annual event celebrates the scholastic achievements of the league’s scholar-athletes as well as community members who contribute to the program which emphasizes scholastic academics, leadership and character development in addition to the game of tackle football.
New this year, the KPWFL presented Walmart gift cards to two individuals from each of the five associations. These recipients were encouraged to use their new-found gifts toward school supplies and other essential needs with the donation from Walmart.
Recipients included Jason Kaleiohi and Kauana Goais Jerves from the Kapaa Eagles, Thomas Takase and Kalena Correa from the Lihue Raiders, Bryden Coyaso and Aaron Bascuel from the Koloa Rams, Micah Balderas and Maeani Arbilera from the Hanapepe Colts, Blaze Dela Cruz and Kilileo Alquiza from the Kekaha Titans.
Arbilera was also on the 2017 All-American Scholar Second Team that was announced by KPWFL Acting Scholastic Coordinator and Commissioner Blaine Agena. Each of the national scholar-athletes was presented the Dick Ueoka excellence plaque and certificate for their achievements.
Joining her are Kyrie Linoz, Jaiden Sams, Kade Erdmann, Cody Manibog, Joseph Sams, and Jonah Sandal. Kiara Gandia is on the All-American Scholar Honorable Mention listing along with Ashley Pabustan, Jaidalyn Cummings, Samaria Kelley, Maiya Oshima, Elias Casillas, and Cayden Artaho.
Lance Miyao has been running the clock and scoreboard for countless numbers of Pop Warner football games and was acknowledged for his effort that keeps football players and fans on track.
Players from the ranks of the parade filtered forward with lei and congratulations as Lani Cummings was named the Wescon Region Female Volunteer of the Year, along with the Kauai volunteers of the year, Randi Levinthol and Ginny Agena.
Michelle Chiba, adviser for the Kekaha Titans’ Junior Varsity cheer squad, rolled out the names of the 2017 JV national cheerleader competition.
A full schedule of games filled the remainder of the day where premiums like 55-inch televisions and an assortment of Yeti coolers could be had for a donation.
Games continue Saturday with a schedule to be announced.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.