The Hanapepe Cowboys, a Kauai Youth Football team, traveled last weekend to Oahu to play the Pearl City Jr. Chargers, as part of the Jr. Prep Sports Kauai Goodwill Games at Nanakuli High School.
The Hanapepe team defeated Pearl City, 12-6, on Sunday.
“It was a tough game. They’re much bigger than us, as usual. We’re the smallest guys usually,” said Kylie Linoz, Hanapepe head coach. “It was a good experience for us. We played at the Nanakuli High School football field. It was 6-0 at the half, and then we scored again in the fourth quarter to make it 12-0. Pearl City scored with a little under two minutes left to make it 12-6.”
Lono Kaneko rushed for more than 100 yards and TJ Ceria accounted for two touchdown-saving tackles for the Cowboys.
Linoz said for his Division I team, which is comprised of middle schoolers, the experience of playing on a high school field on Oahu was worthwhile.
“That’s big for them,” he said. “A lot of these kids that we have, they’re first-year players. They couldn’t make weight to play in Pop Warner, so they’re playing with us. They got firsthand experience of what it’s like to play in a big-boy league, and also to go challenge those Oahu guys that’s been doing this for 10 year now. And, they’re huge.”
The Hanapepe Cowboys traveled with three teams representing KYF’s Lihue organization to Oahu for the goodwill games. Linoz said Lihue won one of their three games Sunday.
“They had teams go up there in D1, D2 and D3,” he said. “Just us and them. Kapaa went two weeks ago. Kapaa has a full organization also.”
He added: “It was called the Kauai Goodwill Games. Whatever Kauai teams that were willing to come up, they have a goodwill weekend for us and they’ll match us up with Oahu teams. It was a first for us.”