Red Raiders back at practice & hoping to compete - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Red Raiders back at practice & hoping to compete

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

What a difference a few days make. Friday the Kahuku Red Raider football team was down and dejected when it heard it would not be able to compete in the state tournament.

Monday the Red Raiders were back at practice smiling, horsing around, and clinging to hope they may be able to participate in the state tournament after all.

By the time practice ended the players had been told that on Tuesday a state judge would hear their case for reinstatement.

"This is good news. I just don't want to end the season with the team right now," Aofaga Wily, a Red Raider running back, said.

"We always pride ourselves on doing our best and it's just we've been working so hard at a chance for a state championship and right now it's taken away from us, and as a senior this is our last shot to try and get the state championship," said Punga Vea, a wide receiver.

Kahuku went a perfect 10-0 on the field, but coach Reggie Torres knows winning in court will not be easy. One of the things working against the Red Raiders is the prospect of trying to fit a seventh team into a tournament designed for six.

"It's tough. I mean there's ways you could do it. You could do a play in game, but this late in the week it's going to be tough because you have to fly in an outer island team and one of the Oahu teams has to fly to Maui, so strategy wise it's going to be tough, but it can be done," Torres said.

Torres said playing the ineligible fifth year high school student was an oversight, a mistake the school made, not the players. Torres is sorry the boys on the team have been caught up in this and sorry it is affecting other schools as they prepare for the tournament.

"I want to apologize to them because, you know, during this trial situation for us they are lacking the media coverage that they deserve. We're not trying to affect them in this way. We just want a chance to play," Torres added.

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