Varsity Football - Wrapping Up

September 5, 2015

At breakfast this morning James Kakos and Coach Kale spoke to the boys about last night, reiterating how proud they were of the team for the resilience they showed and persistence in the face of adversity. The boys also heard of the many compliments given the team for their exemplary behavior, their courtesy and the respect they gave to opposing players and coaches, and the stadium facilities. The boys are truly winners for character as well as football!

The morning featured a trip to Santa Clara University, a much smaller school than the universities visited earlier. An admissions official provided a brief introduction to the school, encouraging the boys to think about what size and type of campus would be the right fit for each of them. A very brief tour of the campus followed. The highlight was a squirrel sighting. Initially some of the boys thought it was a mongoose, before realizing that mongooses don't have bushy tails and they can't climb trees. Truly an "only when you live in Hawai'i" moment!

Then it was back to UC Berkeley and the Cal-Grambling football game. The dropoff was far from the Stadium, so there was a long uphill trek that tired out legs already exhausted from the game the night before. It was great to have some of the boys' families join us for the game. Though the sun was blistering, it was good to be with parents and siblings again for a few hours. Cal decimated Grambling – the team had to leave when it was already 49-0, but it was gratifying to see Semisi Uluave ’15 and Kanawai Noa ’15 play in their first college game. Another highlight was the performance by the amazing Grambling Band at half time – it was exceptional!

Navigating through post-game traffic, most of the team napped on the way back to Stanford for a 90-minute night practice under the lights. Then to Hometown Buffet for a final team meal - you can imagine the faces of the few remaining diners when a crowd of 100 blue-clad Puns descended on the buffet like a swarm of locusts.

The bus driver said farewell on that last ride back to the hotel, telling the boys they were true gentlemen, and that they would always be on her highlight reel. At the hotel, the boys signed a team photo taken after their game to present to Mr. Kakos. Then, the final team meeting included an address by Dr. Scott, who talked about the boys exemplifying Ernest Hemingway's description of courage, "grace under pressure." James Kakos emphasized the boys' grit and ability to power through challenges, and reflected on the importance of 'ohana in their lives.

The morning brings an early departure for the airport, hopefully this time with no lengthy delay! It's been four days these young men will remember all their lives; thanks to all those who made it possible.

Mahalo to Dean Reet Ashford for reporting and Mr. Ray Kunishige for photographs.