Maui Big Boyz Football Kicks Off 2014 SeasonApril 6, 2014, 1:54 PM HST · Updated April 6, 1:58 PM 0 Comments
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.”