Seventy-two signees, 72 stories.
None has a story quite like Mika Makekau. When the 72 seniors signed their letters of intent during the Education 1st letter-of-intent signing ceremony at the Waikiki Elks Lodge early Wednesday morning, a new chapter opened for 72 families.
The ‘Iolani senior signed to play football for the University of La Verne (Calif.), just months since setting a new record for longest field goal by a female kicker in Hawaii high school history. Her 44-yard field goal was one of three in ‘Iolani’s win over Damien at Aloha Stadium. At the time, her range topped out at 47 yards, she said. Now, she’s splitting the uprights from 50 yards out — without a tee.
“I’ve been working out, doing weights and conditioning,” she said.
And, now, Makekau becomes the first female place-kicker in La Verne history. She’s been waiting some time for this day.
“About a couple of months ago, the moment they learned I’m a girl and they were still interested. I’m super thankful for how I got here. It’s crazy how this journey has been. It’s been long and hard, but I got here,” she said.
La Verne feels like a fit, Makekau added.
“The school is super nice, kind of like ‘Iolani. That’s one of the things I like about it. It’s not too big, not too small,” she said. “The coach said I would be doing field goals and kickoffs. There’s one kicker that’s there now. He’s a junior, I believe.”
Makekau plans to major in kinesiology.