Super Bowl XLIII days away for local NFL players

Enoka Lucas
Enoka Lucas
Chris Kemoeatu
Chris Kemoeatu
Aaron Francisco
Aaron Francisco

By Jason Tang - bio | email

TAMPA (FLORIDA) - Three days remain before Super Bowl XLIII, and three local boys will play in it, or so it seems. When Pittsburgh and Arizona do battle in Tampa this Sunday, there will actually be four players on the field from the Islands.

Former Warrior Travis LaBoy, and former Kahuku Red Raiders Chris Kemoeatu and Aaron Francisco.

However, if you look beyond the published rosters you'll also find Kamehameha alum, Enoka Lucas. The former Oregon Duck is a center on the Arizona practice squad, and even though he probably won't play in the big game, he's in Tampa with the team, and just as proud to represent the 50th state.

"We come from a small island, and it's just a blessing to have three people from Hawaii (on the Cardinals), representing Hawaii as an 808 State. To have camaraderie with the whole team, we're happy to be here in Tampa, beautiful weather just like Home, and we definitely do miss Home, but hey, to have God bless us to be here it's awesome," said Lucas.

He's not the only one to miss all the island has to offer either, the same can be said for the rest of the local players.

"Food," said Pittsburgh Steeler starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu,when asked what he misses about Hawaii. "(It also) depends on what time of the day I'm eating. Breakfast, the loco moco, all the local food," said Kemoeatu.

"Man, the beach, the food, the people, Icould go on and on all day," said Arizona Cardinal defensive end Travis LaBoy.

The group of four may be small in number, but coming from a state with about 1.3 million people, the numbers don't lie.

"The percentage of players Hawaii is putting out is up there with all these self declared great states like California and Texas and Florida and people forget about Hawaii, they sleep on Hawaii, so you know I think it's good to represent the Islands well, and I think all the Hawaii players will do that," said LaBoy.

"We got the heart, that's the one thing that separates us from everybody,we got the heart, and i'm just glad to see, that even though we're from a small Island, we're expanding, we're coming out i'm telling you," said Lucas.

The game kicks off this Sunday at 1 p.m. on KHNL NBC 8.

The Steelers are favored to win by about a touchdown.