Maui Big Boyz Football Kicks Off 2014 Season

April 6, 2014, 1:54 PM HST · Updated April 6, 1:58 PM
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Kahului Falcons' offense dominated Kihei Saturday, en route to a lopsided 46-6 victory. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

The Kahului Falcons’ offense scored 46 points Saturday against Kihei. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

The Maui Big Boyz Football League is much bigger now that it’s four-years old. In fact, the league introduced its little brother Saturday at the Kulamalu Field in Upcountry.

The Maui Big Boyz kicked off its 2014 season with a triple header in intermediate action and the debut of the league’s inaugural elementary team from Wailuku.

“We started off with two teams four years ago,” said Jack Damuni, president of the Maui Big Boyz League (MBBL). “In fact, next season’s seniors in the MIL will be our first graduating class. It will be interesting to see how far some of our former players go.”

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The five-team intermediate league welcomed two new teams from Kihei and Lahaina. And with the visiting Ewa Beach teams from Oahu, all six Valley Isle teams played Saturday, including the elementary team coached by Damuni and made up of 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-graders.

Members of the Kihei Waveriders run onto the field Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Members of the Kihei Waveriders run onto the field Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

In the Elementary Division, Ewa Beach beat the Wailuku Hurricanes, 34-14.

In the Intermediate Division (6th-, 7th-, and 8th-graders), the Kahului Falcons defeated the Kihei Waveriders, 46-6; Lahainaluna survived a defensive battle with second-year Kulamalu Panthers, 13-0; and, Ewa Beach outscored the Wailuku Hurricanes, 42-22.

Without the Oahu teams traveling to Maui over the next two weeks, Damuni said there would be no Elementary Division for Wailuku to play in. Teams from Kapolei and Maile are already committed to coming, which makes for a four-game schedule over the next two Saturdays with action starting at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Kahului Falcons' Mosese Aholelei scores one of his three touchdowns Saturday against Kihei. The 8th-grader from Maui Waena scored on a pass reception, a running play and on a punt return. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Kahului Falcons’ Mosese Aholelei (25) scores one of his three touchdowns Saturday against Kihei. The 8th-grader scored on this pass reception and earlier on a running play, and a punt return. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“After that we go to our regular schedule,” Damuni noted, playing two morning games with one team having a bye each week.”

The Intermediate Division is scheduled to conclude Saturday, May 29.

“What’s really good about that is those 8th-graders will be ready and familiar with the system when the junior varsity season starts in August. Nothing is going to be new to them, they are going to have the same coaches that coached them in Big Boyz who are going to coach them at the jayvee level. That was the vision we had and now were are seeing it is happening.

“What this league does is give kids an opportunity to get educated on the game of football at an earlier age. In the past they had to wait to play junior varsity football to get their feet wet.

Lahaina coach Garret Tihada talks to his team during the pre game warmups. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Lahainaluna coach Garret Tihada talks to his team during the pre game warmups. The Lunas won their Maui Big Boyz opener Saturday against Kulamalu, 13-0. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“When Coach (David) Nesmith and I got together to do this we were focused on the long-term benefits this league would provide. Now the players who could not make weight (for Pop Warner) can play right away instead of waiting. We have always felt that we had the skilled players to compete, but our big boys were behind. Now this will give our big boys the opportunity to step up their game and be ready.”

Damuni said five intermediate teams will make for a solid league. He hopes the elementary program develops in a similar fashion, attracting the younger players who can’t make weight.

“The (MIL) coaches realize how important this league is. hen we started it we knew it was going to impact Baldwin and Maui High. What this does is help build those programs.

Coaches from the Kulamalu Panthers give their players instruction during a timeout Saturday against Lahaina. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Coach Clarence Rivers from the Kulamalu Panthers give players instruction during a timeout Saturday against Lahainaluna. The second-year Upcountry team fell to the Lunas, 13-0. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“Our first game was really good today, the kids really showed well,” added Damuni, who was quick to acknowledge the support of the County Parks & Recreation Department.

“The first year we played Wailuku versus Kahului for six or seven weeks.”

More than a hundred new players have been added because of the new south and west Maui rosters.

Lahaina tries to run the ball against Kulamalu's defense in the first-half Saturay. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Lahainaluna running back finds the going tough against a stout Kulamalu defense during first-half action Saturday Upcountry. The Lunas prevailed 13-0. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Damuni said he is grateful for all the help he has received and is excited about the league’s future.

“There are a lot of people who have helped to make this possible, including the officials, they help us out a lot and since we play MIL rules, it’s great. We want to see where it goes from here and hopefully it will get bigger and one day we will be able to bring a Division I football championship to Maui.”

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