Maui News

Opening coin toss of Super Bowl LVIII to acknowledge Lahainaluna football after Maui wildfires

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Lahinaluna football. Photo courtesy: NFL Films

The NFL today announced it will recognize Lahainaluna High School football team members as honorary coin toss captains at Super Bowl LVIII. The opening toss acknowledges the role players and coaches have and their community efforts in the wake of the devastating Maui wildfires in August.

Lahainaluna High School football coaches Dean Rickard (co-head coach), Garret Tihada (associate head coach) and Bobby Watson (former head coach) will join players Morgan “Bula” Montgomery, Teva Loft, Kaulana Tihada and Kuola Watson as honorary coin toss captains at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 11. 

In August 2023, Maui was tragically affected by the worst wildfire in the state’s history and the deadliest fire in over a century in the US. The fire burned a five square mile area, destroying much of the historic Lahaina Town. More than 2,200 structures were damaged or destroyed, with the estimated cost to rebuild in Lahaina projected at $5.52 billion. 


Many of the coaches and play​ers on the Lahainaluna High School football team lost their homes, possessions, and in some cases, loved ones. 

“Amidst the devastation, the resilience of the Lahainaluna High School football team emerged as a source of inspiration and rallying point for the broader community of Lahaina, Maui and Hawaiʻi. Through the support of the local community and the school, the Lahainaluna football team was able to rally together and complete their shortened season, successfully advancing to the state’s championship high school football playoffs,” according to the NFL announcement.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota will narrate a special introductory video before members of the football team walk onto the field for the Super Bowl LVIII coin toss. Mariota is a native of Hawaiʻi and has provided continued support for the community in the aftermath of the wildfire. 


“The Lahainaluna High School football team embodies the power of football to bring people together, even in the most challenging of circumstances,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, Anna Isaacson. “We are honored to have members of the Lahainaluna football team join us as coin toss captains at Super Bowl LVIII to recognize their incredible efforts in inspiring and rebuilding their community.”

The NFL remains committed to supporting the Lahaina and Maui communities as they continue their recovery. Through the NFL Foundation, the league’s philanthropic arm dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football, the NFL has provided the Lahainaluna High School football team and two other local football programs – the Lahaina Intermediate School and Lahaina Chiefs Pop Warner team – with grants to fund new equipment.

“The school would like to thank the NFL and its partners for this unimaginable opportunity and their continued support for Lahaina,” said Lahainaluna High School Principal, Richard Carosso. “We are very excited for our coaches and players to be a part of the Super Bowl and are proud of how well they represent the values and spirit of their team, the school, and the Lahaina community.”


Through additional support from USA Football and Riddell, the NFL is replacing all football equipment, including helmets, shoulder pads, girdles, jerseys and pants for the Lahainaluna High School and Lahaina Intermediate School football teams. The NFL will also be providing footballs, mouth pieces, cleats, blocking pads and tackling sleds to the Lahaina Chiefs Pop Warner team.

NFL Films is proud to bring awareness to this story of resilience and community through its recent documentary, NFL Films Presents: The Lahainaluna High School Football Team. The documentary highlights the Lahainaluna football team’s incredible journey from the tragic wildfires in August to their season-opening game. Watch the full documentary here.

NFL Films Presents; The Lahainaluna High School Football Team

For more information and to get involved in the rebuilding efforts of the Lahaina community, visit:

*Maui Now’s Wendy Osher contributed to this report.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments