Just over a month away from the start of training camp, the University of Hawaii football team received a commitment that will create competiion.
Kaiser graduate, place kicker Kyler Halverson elected to stay home instead of kicking the pigskin in the Pac12 as the 2021 Polynesian Bowl honoree originally committed to Washington State earlier this summer. However, prior to packing up for the Palouse he had a change of heart and accepted an opportunity with the Rainbow Warriors.
“It’s definitely important to me, ever since I was growing up I always wanted to play for my home team and play for my state and represent them any way I can,” Halvorsen told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “I just feel like given this opportunity to stay home is a blessing. It’s amazing.”
Halvorsen, who kicked a 53 yard field goal as a junior at Kaiser is the younger brother of recent Santa Clara women’s soccer national champion Kaile Halvorsen says that the opportunity to have family and friends able to easily follow his collegiate journey played a big factor in his decision.
“I can’t wait. I have so many friends and family telling me that they’re going to come and can’t wait and going to make signs and all that. It just sounds amazing. I just can’t wait for it.”
A two-sport star at Kaiser, Kyler was named an All-State selection as a junior forward for the Cougars soccer team and was a Cover2 Chad Owens Award finalist for special teams player of the year in 2019, setting up a much anticipated senior season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic though, he along with many others in the state did not have an opportunity to take the field for his 2020-21 seasons. That time away from competition and comradery has provided a chance to reflect on the importance of sports in his life.
“I just missed the feeling of working day by day with my teammates. Coming out on the field with my whole team and school behind my back. It’s definitely a feeling I’ve always cherished and not being able to have it or experience it this year definitely made me want to have it even more. It just grew my love for sports even more,” said Halvorsen. “Everything happens for a reason and no matter what happens the only thing I can do is get better day by day, so I just decided to stay home, practice as much as I can, get better at my craft and just do the things that I can to improve.”
The Rainbow Warriors are scheduled to hit the field for training camp at the end of July. Currently UH has three other place kickers on the roster including returning starter Matthew Shipley. The true freshman in 2020 went 8-for-14 with a long of 44 yards.