Pop Warner scholastic achievements celebrated

  • Courtesy of Kauai Pop Warner Football League

    Nine nominees for the Pop Warner National All-American honors are presented by Dick Ueoka, co-founder of Kauai Pop Warner, left, and Blaine Agena the Kauai Pop Warner Football League commissioner during the Scholastic Banquet held Saturday at Ha Coffee Bar. Shown are (front) Naia Gordon-Medeiros, Tristan Raposas, Nia Pablo, Ambriel Kanahele, (back) Ueoka, Nicholas Gandeza, Brennen Fernandez, Kyren Toma, Duke Alderete-Labuguen, Kody Erdmann, and Agena.

LIHUE — The Kauai Pop Warner Football League celebrated nine nominees to the Pop Warner National All-American Honors, Saturday during the league’s Scholastic Banquet held at Ha Coffee Bar in Lihue.

The nominees will be competing for national and regional scholarships that, last year, totaled nearly $100,000.

Pop Warner football is not just playing football and cheering. Through the efforts of the KPWFL, student athletes participating in Pop Warner football must maintain minimum scholastic or academic standards through the season that starts in August and runs through November.

The standards are monitored by the league through its Scholastic Coordinator who maintains communication with the scholar-athlete’s school and keeps track of the individual scholar-athlete’s academic accomplishments.

The nominees being celebrated by KPWFL represent the best of these academic achievements.

Hailing from the Kekaha Titans association, Brennen Fernandez, Kyren Toma, cheer squad’s Naia Gordon-Medeiros, Tristan Raposas, and Ambriel Kanahele are the KPWFL selections.

Lihue Raiders has Nicholas Gandeza holding the standard, and the Hanapepe Pop Warner Association selections include Duke Alderete-Labuguen, Kody Erdmann, and Nia Pablo.

Mel Rapozo, long time Kauai Pop Warner supporter, coach, former association board member, former league commissioner and president, and former Western Conference Regional Director, offered words of inspiration and congratulations to the more than 50 people attending the scholastic achievement pa‘ina.

Dick Ueoka, co-founder of Kauai Pop Warner football, thanked the parents for supporting their children, noting that without the parents’ commitment to their student athletes’ success, there would be no accomplishment celebrations.

KPWFL president Teddy Arroyo said that football is a family tradition, noting the large number of fathers, including KPWFL commissioner Blaine Agena, who played under his coaching.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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