Upgrades to the Kalaheo athletic field are ongoing, and the hope is for the school to host football games there eventually.
The football team has never hosted a varsity game on campus and has been practicing off-campus the past two seasons while work has been going on.
Right now, grass is coming in, and when that strengthens and the field gets the final OK, the Mustangs soccer teams will be able to jump on and practice and host games this winter, according to Mustangs athletic director Mark Brilhante.
A lot would still need to be done for the school to host football games within the next few seasons, though.
“The areas of concern are parking … we need a press box, a ticket booth, concession stands, bathrooms,” he said. “We could bring in port-a-potties, and use other creative ways to host a game. Maybe the neighborhood and the church (Kailua Assembly of God) could help with the parking. There are no lights and will not be any … that’s my understanding … because the (neighboring) Kawainui Marsh is a sanctuary for birds. So it will be daytime games.
“We look forward to soccer games being played on the field. We already have ball stoppers up, netting to stop balls from going on the road. We have new goal posts and a new scoreboard. It hurt us to have to practice away from campus — at Kaha Park this year and at Kainalu Elementary last year. The City and County’s Kailua district has been helpful in getting us the usage of the other parks.”
Brilhante can picture, and dream of, the day when the Mustangs football team can play games at home.
“It would be a dream of many of the alumni of Kalaheo High School,” Brilhante said. “Especially those who remember the amount of work (former athletic director) Lee Cashman put into the school and the fields. He used to come and weed the field on weekends and his family would never see him. His daughter, Colleen Cashman-Valdez, is a counselor at the school. She remembers coming here with him on Sundays to hang out.
“The alumni is excited to see the field being worked on. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to host a (football game). Let it be known that Kalaheo will take any help to get us to that point.”
Mustangs football coach Darrell Poole is excited about the field improvements for many reasons, including not having to travel for practices.”
“We’re in a position right now where it’s headed toward us hosting our first real home games,” Poole said.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., the Kalaheo football team (1-2, 1-1 OIA Division II) plays Waialua at Farrington’s Skippa Diaz Stadium.