Faith Lutheran, Kaimuki broaden FB horizons

Faith Lutheran's Elijah Kothe made it into the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Sagan Gronauer on Sunday before Kaimuki's Winslow Sellet and Scout Cruikshank could close in. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Faith Lutheran’s Elijah Kothe made it into the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Sagan Gronauer on Sunday before Kaimuki’s Winslow Sellet and Scout Cruikshank could close in. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The Faith Lutheran football team got to come from Las Vegas to Hawaii to play a game at Aloha Stadium.

Kaimuki got to test its program against a mainland team.

It was a win-win for the two schools, who were fortunate to get the game in on Sunday after the threat of Hurricane Lester postponed what was supposed to have been a Saturday game at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.


“I want to thank the Faith Lutheran administration and Kaimuki for setting this up,” said 6-foot-4 Crusaders wide receiver Elijah Kothe, who caught seven passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in a 49-18 victory. “It’s wonderful opportunity for us — the fellowship with our brothers, keeping God first, going to the beach. There’s nothing like the water here in Hawaii. It was beautiful.”

For Kaimuki head coach David Tautofi, it was a chance to see how the Bulldogs measure up.

“It was special experience for our boys to really get a taste of something other than island football,” he said. “The difference in discipline, the speed of the game, so all of that put together, and having a team from another state is really kind of hopefully going to expand the mind-set of our boys beyond high school football here.”

Tautofi coached with three Faith Lutheran assistants at Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas two seasons ago. He has also been friends with Crusaders head coach and former NFL safety Vernon Fox for a long time.


After the game, Fox presented Tautofi and the Bulldogs a placque showing their appreciation. The two teams joined for prayer after the final whistle as well.

“It was an honor to play mainland competition,” Kaimuki wide receiver Andriess Toussaint said. “We gotta get used to playing with mainland boys for when we go up to college. It’s a good experience.”

Toussaint said the two teams went together to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie and also ate dinner together on Friday.

Fox was glad the game did not get canceled.


“We picked a heck of a weekend to come, with the hurricane watch and all of those things going on,” he said. “There was some apprehension and anxiety in the air. When the game got canceled on Saturday, really at that point you’re just hoping that we can pull off a game. But for that turn of events to turn into us playing at Aloha Stadium, we really feel blessed. It was divine organization. It wasn’t by chance or luck.”

The Crusaders (1-1) return to Las Vegas on Monday. They play Silverado in a nonconference game on Friday, Sept. 16.

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