Despite being away from the islands, Rainbow Warrior fans represent in Vegas

Hawaii residents rallied together to cheer on the UH football team and other notable island athletes.
Published: Nov. 13, 2021 at 5:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - All four Hawaii counties were represented in Vegas for the the University of Hawaii and University of Nevada Las Vegas matchup on Saturday.

Before kickoff, a game day rally was held at the Mandalay Bay Resort for UH fans and alumni of all ages — with lots of ti leaves and pompoms to go around.

Among those in attendance was Lemoe Tua, who played football for UH from 1986 to 1990. He says whenever the band plays the Hawaii Five-0 theme song, it makes him want to suit up again.

“I think I’m still playing. I’m still running out of that tunnel. I close my eyes and I’m there,” Tua said. “Words cannot describe it. For many, this weekend is like a reunion, a chance to see family and friends for the first time since the pandemic.”

The same sentiment was shared with other UH alumni and fans.

“It’s just really nice to reconnect with all of our alumni here and all of our families that are just so happy to be here to support our team,” said Judy Oliveira, an UH alumna.

“For us we never traveled during COVID, so it was definitely a bonus just to watch Hawaii all this time and seeing all this Hawaii people out here is just that much more special,” said Kaeo Kinoshita.

“We’re just ready for normal. I got my vaccine, got my booster. I’m ready,” said Shannon Taparra.

Another highlight for Hawaii residents was watching a game at Allegiant Stadium, which is also home to the Las Vegas Raiders. And a lot of these same fans will be back here at the stadium on Sunday to support Hawaii’s own Marcus Mariota as the Raiders taken on the Kansas City Chiefs.

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