Kahuku football player keeps one special person in mind on game day - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kahuku football player keeps one special person in mind on game day

Aulola Tonga Aulola Tonga
Reggie Torres Reggie Torres

By Jason Tang - bio | email

KAHUKU (KHNL) - The semifinals of the high school state football tournament gets going on Friday, with the final four teams looking to bring home the title.

Before Kahuku's starting safety Aulola Tonga ever steps foot on the playing field on game day, he first spends a few minutes here, the Laie Cemetery where his dad is buried.

"Before the game I will spend a few minutes at the graveyard talking to my dad, talking about how it'd be if I were to see him watching my game," said Tonga.

His father died in a construction accident when Aulola was only 11, leaving him as the man of the house with his mother and three younger sisters.

"I tried to step up and play a role as a father to my sisters and do whatever I can for my mom," Tonga said.

Aulola's mom did the same for her children. As a single mother she took on a lot of new responsibilities so they could have opportunities in the future.

"For him to turn out as good as he is, a lot of credit should go to that mom of his, she's doing a wonderful job with him," said Red Raider head coach Reggie Torres.

Now a senior with the Red Raiders, Aulola is looking to help his team recapture a State Championship.

He knows his father is looking down on him, and he's playing with his dad in mind.

"When I'm playing football I'm always thinking of my dad, thinking of him cheering for me, watching me," said Tonga.  "After I scored the touchdown for the Farrington game, that's when I felt my father's presence."

A feeling he's working towards every time he steps on the field.

The Kahuku - Leilehua game kicks off at 4pm at Aloha Stadium.

It will be followed by the Farrington - Punahou game which is scheduled to begin at 7.

The winners play for the State Championship on December 5th.

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