Former teammates square-off Sunday

Aaron Francisco
Aaron Francisco
Chris Kemoeatu
Chris Kemoeatu

By Jason Tang - bio | email

KAHUKU (KHNL) - In 2000, high school seniors Aaron Francisco and Chris Kemoeatu helped Kahuku win their first state championship in school history.

But come Sunday, when the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Arizona Cardinals, the two former high school teammates will square off against each other for a Super Bowl title.

"Yeah I'm excited to play against Aaron -- big Aaron. And he looks good out there, man," said Kemoeatu.

"Everybody's calling me, texting me every day, emailing me about how excited they are," said Francisco.

Head coach Siuaki Livai won four state titles in his 10 years at Kahuku, and coached both Francisco and Kemoeatu during their state championship season in 2000.

"We knew all along they were capable of making it in the NFL, and if they're on the right team they will end up in the Super Bowl," said Livai.

This will be Francisco's first appearance in the Super Bowl. As for Kemoeatu, he already has a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Steelers 2006 team, but was sidelined during that big game because of an injury.

This year marks the first time that Kemoeatu started every game at left guard.

"I know Aaron wants at least a ring, and he might say, 'hey, Chris, you got one.' But like I said, Chris would say, 'this ring it would be more meaningful to me than the first one,'" Levi said.

So whether it's Kemoeatu's Steelers or Francisco's Cardinals, coach Livai says he isn't rooting for one more than the other.

"One thing's for sure -- I'll be rooting for Kahuku, so we'll definitely come out as winner," said Livai.

The Cardinals and Steelers will square off in the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1, beginning at 1 p.m.