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Youth football in Hanapepe, Kapa‘a on Saturday

HANAPEPE — Just 4.6 seconds remained on the game clock on Saturday when Koloa Raider Kapa‘ali Yasay found open ground and scampered 42 yards for a touchdown in the Cubs division matchup against the Hanapepe Colts at the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League games contested at Hanapepe Stadium.

Despite the last-second breakaway, the Koloa Raiders’ comeback effort fell short, 29-36 in the contest that preceded the league’s 10 and Under full-pads tackle contest.

“We’re just letting the kids play,” said Alden Pablo, the Hanapepe Association’s president. “We don’t have enough for full teams so we just make do. The players are doing 8-man teams playing on an 80-yard field. But, they’re in full pads, and this is tackle football.”

Tackle football is different from the flag format followed by the Cub and Bobcat division. During flag football, teams take over from the 50-yard line and march toward the end zone. If the drive stalls, the opposing team returns to the 50-yard line for its cycle.

The contests are played with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols where spectators are limited to the participating teams on the field, sitting socially distanced and in, as the county’s road sign read, “Small kine pa‘ina,” which means, no large groups. Face masks must be worn, and once the games are done, spectators must adjourn the stadium with the teams.

This Saturday, the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League remains at Hanapepe Stadium because the Kaua‘i Youth Football inaugurates its season at the new stadium in the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Park.

KPWFL features six games on tap starting with the 12 Under Lihu‘e Patriots going up against the Hanapepe Colts on a 7:30 a.m. kickoff. Games continue until the 3:30 p.m. kickoff featuring the 14 Under Kapa‘a Eagles going up against the Kekaha Titans. Games must be completed by sunset in consideration of the endangered seabird fledging season.

Over at the new stadium at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Park, Kaua‘i Youth Football cheer coordinator Tiana Pegeder said the program launches on Saturday. No times were posted on the league’s website, but feature three teams — the Hanapepe Cowboys, Lihu‘e Red Raiders, and Kapa‘a Jr. Warriors — playing in three tackle divisions with no weight limit, and three flag divisions with cheer participants ranging from age 5 through 14 years old.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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