The kid has closing speed. He also packs a punch. Safety is where he was meant to play.
His name is Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa and he’s only a junior. He’s been making plays for two seasons, and now he is starting to do the same ol’ thing this year.
He wears jersey No. 3 for the Campbell Sabers. If you go to a game, check him out. He holds an offer from the University of Hawaii and could get more from Division I schools.
Three plays from Saturday night’s 54-14 win over Hilo were sort of a mini-showcase of his abilities.
Twice, Adkins-Kupukaa — with teammates covering a Vikings opponent — came in to show who’s boss. Both times, catches were in the process of being made, and both times, Pokii-Adkins came in with a passion to lay a hit and dislodge the ball.
“That’s why we’ve got him back there,” Sabers coach Darren Johnson said. “He makes the plays when we need them. He’s one of the best football players I’ve ever coached. He’s going to hit you, he’s going to run by you, he’s going to do whatever he’s got to do.
Hilo coach Kaeo Drummondo was impressed, but, coming in, he already knew what kind of player Adkins-Kupukaa is.
“That play he made on the sideline pass, the breakup, it’s a Division I (college) play,” Drummondo said. “He’s got range. He’s a great player. I wasn’t surprised. We know he’s a playmaker.”
Adkins-Kupukaa also scored a touchdown on a pass from Kanaiala Kalaola. He went across the middle to receive it, got hit, nearly went down, but put his hand down to keep himself upright, and then he avoided a few more tackles en route to a 33-yard touchdown.”
Said Adkins-Kupukaa: “Coach wants me on defense. But I scored a touchdown on offense.”
The Vikings (0-1), who are the defending state Division I (second tier) champions, won’t play again until the BIIF season opener Aug. 31 against Hawaii Prep.
The Sabers (1-0) await their debut in the new OIA-ILH Open Division (top tier) alliance Aug. 18 at home against Farrington (1-0).