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Grateful for community’s aloha

Thank your for the article on the Kapaa community (TGI, Monday, Dec. 2).

Kapaa High School may not have won the state football championship this year, but they are truly champions at heart. My father, Wayne Watanabe, passed away suddenly on Aug. 13, 2019. He was a former Kapaa football player, principal and football coach, and he loved Kapaa School and the community very much.

Four years ago, Coach Philip helped us bring my dad, who was already in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, to what would be his last football game. At halftime, the coaches and players each shook dad’s hand as he stood there so happy and proud. Coach Philip Rapozo, Principal Tommy Cox, and Athletic Director Greg Gonsalves arranged to have all of the Kapaa High JV and varsity teams wear dad’s football number, 37, on their helmets as a tribute to him this whole season.

They also dedicated their homecoming to dad, and had his three oldest grandsons come out to do the coin toss. Pastor Matt Higa, his wife Allison, and the Kapaa New Hope Church dedicated their time to help our family plan a wonderful memorial for dad at his beloved Kapaa School.

Coach Rapozo and his staff attended the memorial with all of their football boys suited up in their jerseys. Each one of them came through to greet our family, just as the players had gone through to shake dad’s hand at his last football game.

We always root for the Kapaa Warriors, but this season was especially meaningful to us.

We are so grateful for the aloha from our community, and we commend the Kapaa Warriors for an outstanding season, on and off the field.


Pua Cobb-Adams is a Hanamaulu resident.
Source: The Garden Island

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