HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The “HI Finest” 7-on-7 football team returns to the islands as champions, bringing home the Mecca Pylon 18-U Football Championship from Las Vegas, Nevada.
The team — which is based out of Waianae — returned to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Tuesday afternoon to a welcoming party of friends and family, solidifying a feeling of accomplishment for the team — especially after a year of the pandemic.
“It feels awesome man, been working hard all this time, the boys putting work the whole year, dealing with COVID and just crazy circumstances for our seniors and for them to like this.” Offensive Coordinator Tyler Fabrao told Hawaii News Now sports reporter Kyle Chinen. “Winning the Mecca is pretty special.”
The pandemic shut down youth sports throughout the state, leaving many kids in the 808 without their favorite pass time, but when some restrictions were eased coach Fabrao and his staff got to work trying to get his team ready for what might have been their last shot at a title.
It was crazy, it took us three years as a team to get to this point. “ Quarterback Tarent Moniz-Babb said. “It’s just crazy how successful we’ve turned out a lot more special, knowing that this might be our last time together, it was kind of crazy.”
“Yeah, especially since COVID took away our football season,” Wide receiver Carroll “Sonny Boy” Kapahu said. “This one hit us more than we expected.”
Sonny Boy also came home with the game’s Most Valuable Player award, however for this group of young athletes, making Hawaii proud is their greatest award.
“We represent the 808 over everybody and we just love to bring something back for our state.” Moniz-Babb said.
“And our city, especially our city.”