Lahaina Pop Warner Football teams to kick off new season on Sunday
LAHAINA – Roll on Red Tide, roll on. It is no secret that Lahainaluna High School’s enduring success on the gridiron as one of the top-rated programs across the state – with their consistent appearances at the state playoffs at Aloha Stadium and atop the Maui Interscholastic League Division II standings – is directly connected to the quality of the Lahaina Pop Warner Football organization.
The Lahaina Chiefs just keep rolling along, propagating the grit and spirit that translates into an elite program such as Luna football, and the 2015 season will see no recession of the Red Tide down at the Lahaina Recreation Center field.
The West Side representatives of the Maui Pop Warner Football Association passed out the pads and helmets last week to begin gearing up for the upcoming kick off Jamboree on Aug. 30 at War Memorial Stadium.
With a total registration of over 100 youngsters ages 5-14, the Chiefs will field teams in the Tiny Mite (ages 5-7 and 35-75 pounds), Junior Peewee (8-11 years and 65-115 pounds), Peewee (9-12 years, 80-130 pounds), and Midget (10-14 years, 90-150 pounds) divisions for the 2015 season.
Veteran coach Kale Casco, returning to the Lahaina Chiefs’ fold – he revived the youth football program in Lahaina in the early 1980s – after some ten years in Oregon, is back as one of the top youth football leaders on the Valley Isle and will mentor the Midget team. He will be assisted by some familiar names such as Boom Casco, Cliffane Casco, Eric Casco and Jesse Dudoit. The board of directors includes President Stacy Bookland, Vice President Alex Bianco, Secretary Lahele Kulukulukalani and Treasurer Liz Bell.
On the other end of the Chiefs’ spectrum, the Tiny Mites are guided by an energetic couple in their first year with the Lahaina program. Tatiana Labore has stepped in the TM president’s position, and husband Brett Labore is the head coach. The board of directors includes Vice President Shawnee Opunui, Secretary Marilyn Valencia and Treasurer Dana Pante. The assistant coaches are Jarvis Imamoto and Andrew Gallagher.
More familiar names fill the leadership roles with the JPW team. Leading the coaching staff is Jason Cabanilla, and he is joined by assistants Jordan Cabanilla, Hoku Gonzales and Wyatt Loft. The team’s “front office” has Uilani Castro as president, Kai Castro as VP, Cindy Koyama as treasurer and Jennifer Howard as secretary.
Ginny Yap is the Peewee Division president with Nate Williams as VP and Liza Williams working double duty as secretary/treasurer. Kai Keahi is the head coach with Kia Neizman, Ikaika Neizman and Joey Clark working as his assistants.
All four Lahaina teams will play a two-round regular season against rosters representing Wailuku, Kahului, Kihei and Upcountry. Maui Pop Warner Association champions will be eligible for state playoff competition with the opportunity to advance to regional and national events.
Tiny Mite Division President Tatiana noted that the Lahaina teams are organizing for the program’s major fund-raising event – teriyaki burger sales – at the Maui County Fair later this year.
“Our thanks goes out to Leilani’s on the Beach restaurant, the Royal Lahaina Resort, and Fleetwood’s Restaurant for their support of our fundraisers,” she said.
“And we’d like to put the call out for volunteers to help with the event and for our coaching staff.” Call 419-1805 for more information regarding Lahaina Chiefs Pop Warner Football.