New High School Football Team Makes Debut this Football Season

Joe Onosai
Joe Onosai
Gabriel Miller
Gabriel Miller

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A new high school varsity football team breaks into the interscholastic league of Honolulu. It's the first new team in 34 years.

The Word of Life Academy, a small private school in Honolulu makes their debut this coming football season in the ILH -- joining the likes of Damien, Punahou, Kamehameha, Iolani and St. Louis.

And despite the fact it has an enrollment of less than 300 hundred kids, the Firebrands are ready to take care of business.

They don't have their own field, so they hold practices at Kakaako Park. And despite all the other obstacles they face, the word of life Firebrand football team is excited to get their own squad organized for the upcoming season.

"Just being able to represent your own school is a privilege, and I know it's a huge undertaking for a school of less than 300 kids, but we really believe that we can field a team and hopefully we'll be competitive," said Firebrands head coach Joe Onosai.

"With those challenges it just makes us want to work harder to represent ourselves in front of everybody," said Jacob Deknee, Firebrands quarterback.

For almost a decade word of life players competed in Pac-Five; a lot of small schools that couldn't field teams of their own. But they're ready to branch out and showcase their own brand of football.

"We want to show that we came out to play football period, that we got to show them stuff that other people haven't seen before coming out of a small school," said Gabriel Miller, Firebrands running back.

One thing that will separate the Firebrands from every other team is the way they incorporate religion into football.

"We can really emphasize our Christian faith and worship and incorporate prayer and have that freedom to worship god on our team," Coach Onosai.

After only one week of practice, the players know it's all about enduring to the end.

"We know that at the end we're only going to get better, so we're looking forward to the end result," said Deknee.

"Perseverance that's what's gonna get us through," said Miller.

The Firebrands will join Damien, Iolani and Pac-Five in division two.