Radford Rams finding success despite still lacking home field - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Radford Rams finding success despite still lacking home field

Radford's track and football field remain under construction after dangerous substances were found in the soil during excavation. Radford's track and football field remain under construction after dangerous substances were found in the soil during excavation.
Quarterback Quintin Iriate (13) drops back to pass in a 2015 game against Roosevelt. Quarterback Quintin Iriate (13) drops back to pass in a 2015 game against Roosevelt.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -


Dillon Sunday grew up on the sidelines of Radford High School's John E. Velasco Stadium. Ten years ago, he was a water boy on the last Rams team to win an OIA Championship. 

Now a senior defensive lineman and a team captain, Sunday should be preparing to spend his final hours on the only football field he's ever called home. Instead, Sunday and the rest of his teammates will play their next home game, as they have each of their other home games during the past two seasons, at nearby Aiea High School.

"It's been a little disappointing and rough," Sunday said. "We always want to have a home game, bring the crowd out, but it hasn't set us back too much. We still know it's just a game we have to play."

Nearly two years ago, crews began work installing a new synthetic track at the school. Soon after excavation began, dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and mercury were found in the soil underground, buried remnants of what the school later learned was a former dump site for the U.S. military.

"Obviously, it didn't work out for the field, as far as whatever circumstances came about, why the field isn't ready," said Fred Salanoa, Radford's head football coach.

Because of the health hazards associated with the contaminated soil, which was also discovered at neighboring Makalapa Elementary School, Radford has just completed its second regular season without a home stadium. 

"That's just one of our bumps in the road, that we don't have a football field," Salanoa said. "We have to travel everywhere we go. Our home games are played at neighboring schools."

Salanoa and his team captains have refused to let their lack of home field affect their on-field performance; Radford is the top seed in the OIA's Division 2 playoffs and undefeated during the 2015 football season. 

"That's what makes this team that much more special, that they're able to handle those situations and able to push forward no matter what those circumstances is," Salanoa said. "And that's what we preach all the time. Things will not always go your way, and it's about 'What are you gonna do from tomorrow on?'"

The Rams will have an opportunity to continue their 9-game winning streak on Saturday against Waialua. Work on the new track and football field at Radford is expected to be completed before that start of next football season. 

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