Quarterback Justin Uahinui attended his second football practice with the Farrington Governors on Tuesday. The junior showed nimble feet during some cone drills.
In the spring, he was with the Kaiser Cougars and looking impressive, guiding the offense in team drills effectively.
Why the switch, which was first reported by Billy Hull on Monday?
In Uahinui’s own words: “It wasn’t my decision. It was my parents’ decision. They wanted to be closer to their jobs so we moved (from Kaimuki to Kalihi). I will miss those guys (at Kaiser) and everybody there was cool and we had good coaches. And I’m comfortable here (so far).”
Apparently, Kaiser’s players and coaches were caught by surprise when they learned of Uahinui’s transfer this week, with the season coming up so soon. The Cougars play a tri-scrimmage against St. Francis and Kailua on Thursday at Kailua before opening the season Aug. 7 at Kapolei.
“I was working out with coach Chad (Ikei) one day and I was going to go to the school to tell coach (Cameron) Higgins. But before we went, I got a phone message telling me they already knew.”
Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said Tuesday that he has never seen Uahinui play and that Uahinui will battle last season’s backup Joziah Anakalea and Bishop Rapoza for the starting position. Rapoza is a transfer from Moanalua. Anakalea is a senior and the other two are juniors.
Uahinui was once enrolled at Saint Louis and has been going to Crusaders assistant Vince Passas’ quarterback camps since he was in eighth grade, according to a Hawaii Prep World article by Paul Honda in May: http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/football/qa-saint-louis-qb-coach-vince-passas/.
A year ago, a similar late-season quarterback transfer also had to do with Kaiser, but the other way around. Uahinui was slated to be the sophomore starter, but was lost for the season with a broken collarbone. Just before the season began Kalawaia Judd transferred to the Cougars from Kauai and eventually started every game at quarterback.
In a sense, Uahinui just beat the deadline. Had he waited until school started later this week, he would not have been able to transfer. A new transfer rule will go into effect, and any player going from an Oahu Interscholastic Association team to another OIA team to play the same sport will have to sit out a year.