This is not your ordinary Hawaii high school team going off island for a football game on the mainland.
This is the Kahuku Red Raiders going to Las Vegas. To the team itself, it’s another game, to be taken as serious as any other game. This ain’t no foolin’ around.
For the citizens of the North Shore hamlet we call Kahuku, this is a carvival-like thing. Hawaii Prep World reported a few weeks ago that 2,000 tickets, the Red Raiders’ allotment for the game on Saturday against Bishop Gorman, were sold in an hour. Turns out that on the Kahuku High website, it shows those tickets were actually gone in 45 minutes.
The Red Raiders revelers were out en masse Tuesday doing the Red Mile, according to Kela Miller, a fan and an organizer with a Kahuku alumni group who flew to Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Earlier Tuesday, when she was heading to the airport, Miller said she saw people gathered outside to line Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku holding signs and tooting horns and yelling, “Go Big Red.”
She said Pop Warner teams, Big Boyz football teams and lots of elementary school students and other proud members of the community showed their support.
“It was really touching to see the community get out there, all the way from Kahuku to Hauula,” Miller said.
According to Miller, Red Raiders alumni from as far away as Germany, Japan and Kuwait are in Las Vegas for the game on Saturday, when No. 17 Kahuku (USA Today Super 25) and No. 1 Bishop Gorman play. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Pacific time and 4 p.m. Hawaii time.
“I have people calling me and asking me if I have any more tickets,” Miller said. “I have to tell people that I’m sorry I don’t.”
The Red Raiders (5-0, 5-0 OIA Blue) fly out of Honolulu International Airport at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. They will be staying at the Suncoast Hotel.
On Thursday, a rally is being planned by two Kahuku alumni groups (based on Oahu and Las Vegas) at 5 p.m. at the Fremont Street Experience.
Anybody who wants more information about the rally, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call one of three phone numbers — 702-503-0455, 702-972-9190, 702-972-9201.
According to the Bishop Gorman website, adult tickets for the game at its Fertitta Field on campus are sold out and that student tickets will be available.
The Gaels (3-0) have wins over Cedar Hill (Texas), Cocoa (Fla.) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower Calif.).