Non-profit group helps local athletes reach next level

Chauncy Makaina
Chauncy Makaina
Doris Sullivan
Doris Sullivan

By Jason Tang - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - Only a month remains before football season kicks off again for high schools across the state.

However, for some people behind the scenes, they've been working year round to ensure our local athletes have a chance at making it to the next level.

This year's UH football camp wraps up on Wednesday, but the work is just beginning for Doris Sullivan and the Pacific Island Athletic Alliance.

"We market the athletes to hundreds of a colleges around the country, we have a recruiting sheet that goes out with all their information on it," said Sullivan.

Sullivan heads the PIAA, a non-profit group looking to help place Pacific Islanders in football programs across the country.

"Before I never signed with the PIAA, I never had any college coaches talk to me, but once I signed there, they started to contact me," said Chauncy Makaina, Kailua High School offensive guard.

And now Chauncey has a scholarship offer from UH. However, with thousands of local athletes, and only a limited number of Warrior scholarships available, these players have to find other opportunities.

"If the University of Hawaii can't use them for some reason, they're going to have to go somewhere else, so we let them to keep their options open, and let them know what their options will be, and work along with their coaches to get them the best that they can get."

Something parents can appreciate. With tough economic times, football can be a vehicle used to pursue higher education, and with the PIAA's help, many families have benefited.

"If it weren't for Doris Sullivan, I don't think my two older sons would've have gotten all the recognition nationally, and all the offers they received from division one colleges that they did have," said Linda Fehoko, a mother of four sons.

The Pacific Island Athletic Alliance also attends the annual American Football Coaches Association in Tennessee.

Last year, Doris and her group of volunteers distributed four thousand DVDs of local players to coaches across the country.