‘Bigger than Kalihi’: Farrington football’s trip to Oregon opens world of opportunity off field
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Farrington High School’s football team recently played a road game against McMinnville, a high school in western Oregon. But the Governors’ six-day trip went way beyond the gridiron, spilling into the realm of college life.
“Not every kid will be able to play football at the next level. We know that. But every kid has the opportunity to attend college if they choose to,” head coach Daniel Sanchez said.
The student athletes visited six colleges and universities in Oregon from small schools to Division 1 campuses. At every stop, Sanchez tapped into Farrington contacts.
“Every place we went, we knew people and were able to make contacts,” he said. “It was just an awesome visit.”
Awesome because for many of the players, it was their first time to the mainland.
They lived in the dorm, ate in the cafeteria, practiced on the football field and studied in the study hall.
“There was that reality that they needed, having these island boys go up and see that it’s not just fly up there, play ball, and call it a day. There’s work that needs to be done in that classroom,” said educational assistant Evelyn Utai.
Farrington senior Laauli Liki got a glimpse into his future.
“My goal is to play college ball,” he said. “I got an offer from Pacific. And this trip gave me an opportunity to get pending offers from Linfield and Willamette.”
Farrington raised funds to cover costs and a lot of people pitched in.
“Trips like this would not be possible without all of these people helping out, seeing our vision, and believing that this is a great thing to do for our students,” Sanchez said.
As for the game, the Governors beat their hosts in a come-from-behind win. But what happened off the field was the real highlight.
“I got to show our kids that the world is bigger than Kalihi,” Sanchez said.
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