HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The coronavirus pandemic has sidelined Hawaii prep football for the 2020 season — despite that delay, the Polynesian Bowl is still set to host their prep football showcase in January.
Vai Sikahema, member of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors and the game’s color analyst, says that the board is working with Hawaii State officials as the conditions of the pandemic evolve.
“We remain in communication with state leaders in Hawaii as we continue to prepare for the 2021 Polynesian Bowl in January.” Sikahema told Hawaii News Now. “We know the top high school players in the country, really around the world, look forward with great anticipation to being a part of the greatest experience in their young lives.”
That being said, the top 25 local prep players invited to the 2021 game, will be invited based off of their 2019 campaign.
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has released the first round of Hawaii-raised players selected to this year’s game — which feature two of the top defenders in the ILH.
Punahou outside linebacker Kahanu Kia and Kamehameha Kapalama defensive lineman Kuao Peihopa are the first two local selections to the 2021 Polynesian Bowl Showcase.
Kia was a part of a Punahou defense that averaged 9.8 points allowed a game in 2019, leading the Buffanblu to a second place finish in the ILH Open division — going into what would have been his senior year with 15 Division 1 offers, including the likes of Utah and Notre Dame.
Peihopa is already committed to the University of Washington, after a standout career with the Warriors of Kamehameha.
For the past four years, The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has invited the top high school prospects to the islands to celebrate Polynesian culture and showcase their talents on a national stage.
The 2021 Polynesian Bowl is set to kickoff on Saturday, January 23, 2021 on the CBS Sports Network.