Kauai Youth Football president and founder Brad Hiranaka was a recipient of an Ardell Deppe Community Football Coaching Award, presented by NFL quarterback Marcus Mariota’s Motiv8 Foundation.
“I was surprised and thankful,” Hiranaka said on Wednesday.
Hiranaka and Stephen Ferguson, football coach for Lanai High School, were this year’s award winners, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
With the award, $5,000 worth of Riddell football equipment will be donated to KYF. Hiranaka said he plans on getting a football sled for the league’s Kapaa program.
“I was nominated by Riddell. Riddell is a big sponsor for the Motiv8 Foundation,” Hiranaka said. “I guess, you know, I spent a lot of money on football equipment through Riddell. I guess they put my name in the hat.”
Hiranaka attended Motiv8 Foundation’s annual golf tournament fundraiser at the Oahu Country Club in Honolulu on March 25.
There, he received his award and got to meet Mariota, who is the starting quarterback of the Tennessee Titans.
“It was outstanding. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Marcus and a lot of NFL athletes,” he said.
He added: “I was very proud of meeting him and getting to talk to him. It was just really quick. Got to keep things short because he’s so busy.”
Hiranaka hopes to get Mariota to visit Kauai and meet his KYF players.
“I’m still trying to get him down on April 20. We got a game at Vidinha,” he said. “And, I got Nate Herbig coming down. He’s KYF alumni, and he’s entering the draft.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.