LAHAINA - Alumni Football U.S.A. has come to the West Side.
Led by 1993 Lahainaluna High School graduate Mike Kahula, football fever is spreading along the leeward coast of Maui with the inaugural AFUSA game for former Luna players against Maui High alumni.
Kickoff is slated for Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.
Lahainaluna High School alumni will play Maui High graduates in a football game on Nov. 27. Pictured, from left, are Mike Kahula (LHS Class of ’93), Christian Hett (’94), Peter Hett (’97) and Coach Joe Siofele.
Alumni Football U.S.A. is a nationwide program that reaches across 24 states and allows some 75,000 football players from all over the country - and from different eras - to come together to their own field of dreams to put on the pads and get one more shot with the game they love.
Basically, AFUSA provides all equipment and logistics to put on the game, while the communities and schools bring the former players to compete in the contest.
"All this comes with one goal in mind, and that is to raise money for the respective schools, with all profits from the ticket sales going back to the schools' athletic programs or to the program of choice within the school," reported Kahula.
"Tickets ($10) for the game are available from participating Lahainaluna alumni in communities island-wide, or you can call me directly at (808) 357-2119 with any questions or to purchase tickets," he added.
According to Kahula, the Lahainaluna alumni team currently has a roster of 56 players and has been practicing for about two months.
Luna alumni from long ago like Paea Lapale, Josh Perry, John Kahula, Christian Hett, Peter Hett, Bennet Kalawaia, Jonah Versola, Chad Santiago and Jason Cabanilla, and others from more recent teams like Jake Manning, Brandon Knight, Josh Costen, Sam Filiai and Ikaika Iapo, have been working at preparations for the game.
Practices are held Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lahaina Recreation Center field, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wailuku Elementary School park.
"The beauty of this is not only to be able to play once again, but the different eras of former players ranging from 1989 to 2012 getting back on the field. The lokahi and bonding are unbelievable! Hopefully, this will become an annual event every year and, as we like to say, a tradition. Coach (Bobby) Watson and the staff at Lahainaluna have always preached to us about giving back to our school and this is our time," said Kahula.