HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
It's only a scrimmage, but history will be made next week in Hawaii high
For the first time in 90 years, Saint Francis School is playing a varsity
It's a significant milestone, but now the team has to hit the ground
The 40 players on the roster have only played together for a few months and
everyone is dealing with the growing pains.
"Half of the kids, they didn't even know how to play football," said Mike
Ulufale, the team's head coach. "They didn't come to St. Francis to play
football, so teaching first timers to go up against Punahou and St Louis and
Kamehameha, the big three, it's tough. These guys had to grow up quick."
One of the guys helping accelerate the growth is senior linebacker-- George
He played the last three years for Pac-Five and is excited to be a part of
"It can be hard at times because it really tests your patience and it brings
out your character, but it's also fun," Pakele said. "I like being a leader,
showing everybody, leading by example."
Before the boys could play a single down, the school's head had to put in the
work off the field.
For the last six years, Sister Joan of Arc Souza lobbied the Interscholastic
League of Honolulu to approve a team and donors to pay for it.
She says putting together a squad could cost upwards of $100,000.
"It costs a lot of money," Souza said. "From uniforms to equipment, we did
get some things donated, but start-up costs last year, with the intermediate and
the JV, it hit us hard, but we're doing it. We've got the funds."
The team has no shortage of confidence.
"They're shooting big," Ulufale said. "I mean, who dreams little? Our goal is
to win D-II and the boys, they said it themselves, they're hungry."
Despite the program's youth, one thing is clear, the St. Francis Saints are
ready to take the field.
The Saints' scrimmage is set for August 1 at Kailua High.
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