LIHU‘E — Shania Kelley finished the game against Kapa‘a High School with six tackles and a fumble recovery, Kaua‘i High School football coach Jason Apilado said.
“You saw how big those guys are,” Apilado said. “But Shania had six tackles in the game. And, a fumble recovery.”
Kelley plays defensive corner for the Red Raider football squad.
“She’s not a kicker,” said Kaua‘i High School Athletic Director Keli‘i Morgado who has a background coaching football. “Usually, when girls turn out for football, they get put into Special Teams as a kicker.”
Kelley is the sole female participating in this year’s Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation football season.
“Yes, I was very nervous when Coach Jason wanted to send me in,” Kelley said. “I didn’t get to play when the team played its first game of the season against Waimea. It was Coach Jason’s idea to use me against Kapa‘a.”
“Playing football is something I like to do,” Kelley said. “I just like playing the game. I started when I was in the fourth grade and played with the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League and the Kaua‘i Youth Football programs.”
Morgado said defensive football is very tough football.
“But she’s everything a coach could ask for,” he said. “She works hard, and doesn’t miss a practice. She’s quiet, humble and works hard. You couldn’t ask for more. Out on the field, she’s fearless and I admire that.”
Kelley, now a junior at Kaua‘i High School, said she’ll continue to play football until she graduates. Beyond that, “I’m thinking about it,” she said. “I’m not sure about college football. But I know there is at least one girl, Toni Harris, who is playing college football.”
According to the East Los Angeles College Athletics website, Harris, from Detroit, Michigan, and the Central Methodist University has participated in three games, collecting a total of three tackles.
The Kaua‘i High School football team travels to Hanapepe Stadium this upcoming Saturday for its second meeting against the Waimea Menehune.
Because Kaua‘i High School could not field a Junior Varsity team in time for the season start, the Kapa‘a High School JV kicks off against Waimea starting at noon. The Kaua‘i High School varsity team kicks off against Waimea 30 minutes following the completion of the JV contest.
Source: The Garden Island