The Aloha State had the most per capita football players drafted into the NFL last month. There’s no denying the popularity and proficiency of football and high school football in the 808. Last week tons of those high school coaches around the state put together a video to rally their players in this uncertain time.
“Let’s use this time to increase relationships with our ohana,” said Kahuku Red Raiders top guy Sterling Carvalho, while holding his two young children in the video. “Find creative and fun ways to excercise. We’re all in this together. Keep the faith. And live Aloha.”
Eddie Klaneski, the head coach at Damien spearheaded this project that was a chance for the football community to reach their student athletes with a shared goal.
“Just want that message to be there where the kids can know that there’s something that they’re training for and they’re studying for and those kind of things,” he said via Facetime. “It’s not just about athletics and stuff like that. But for us that’s a big part of it. And we just want to make sure that everyone is following the rules, being smart, staying safe. Giving some more encouragement to those athletes that are out there cooped up, not being able to do much.”
“Find time to train,” shared Kamehameha Hawaii head coach Ulima Afoa in the video. “Unplug. Get outdoors. Always be kind. And be patient.”
We don’t know when high school football season will start in here Hawaii. Coaches, just like players and everyone involved will be impacted by an inevitable gridiron shakeup.
“All the coaches enjoyed doing it,” said Klaneski. “They all miss being out there on the field and miss coaching and being around their athletes. So I think it was a no brainer for them to do it.”
“Let’s make a gameplan together as one team and beat this pandemic,” said Wendell Say to lead off the 11:33 video found here. “Embrace your role. Let’s do this together guys. Stay home. Stay safe.”
The message to more hopeful NFL draft picks: stay positive even when football’s return is still a question.
“I know this COVID-19 has punched us in the chin. But it’s not how many time you get knocked down, it’s how many times you can get back up,” said a motivational John Hao, head coach at Castle High School.
“Stay in love. Be intentional about the things you do. Be encouraged. We’re going to make it through this,” spoke Kaimuki leader David Tautofi.”
“I think it’s going to be on a pretty level playing field because we’re all kind of cooped up and we all can’t really do much so it’s pretty even,” said Klaneski. “And when we all get back out there we’re going to be really happy and I know our kids will too. We’re just looking for that day when we can gather and see our kids face to face.”