HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For all the fanfare and excitement surrounding the 2019 Polynesian Bowl this week, it’s important for the players and coaches in this year’s game to understand the culture and history of not just Hawaii, but all of Polynesia.
While Wednesday’s trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center will serve as an eye-opening experience for all players in the game, today’s visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial was a humbling one. And an experience that puts everything in perspective.
"It was kinda like getting to know what I signed up for,” said Navy commit and Kahuku linebacker Tausili Fiatoa. “It's very humbling to get to come here and visit the men who died for this country and died in this attack.”
The impact was felt by the players, despite being just teenagers.
Team Makai head coach Mike Bellotti reflected on his first experience at the memorial, saying that he hopes everyone has the opportunity to look back on history and find a newfound appreciation for those who serve in the armed forces.
“I have never seen it. I’ve been here many times playing games, but as a coach I was always involved with meetings,” Bellotti said of the memorial .”it’s amazing. I think it’s history reborn for you. It makes you appreciate everything people went through and what they did.”
The 2019 Polynesian Bowl takes place this Saturday, January 19th at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. HT and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.