The Kapolei football team will play a high school team from Texas this fall, according to Hurricanes coach Darren Hernandez.
Kapolei will visit Fort Worth, Texas, for a Sept. 4 game against Nolan Catholic, marking the first time a football school from Oahu will play a team from Texas.
“We travel every two years,” Hernandez said. “Initially, it was going to possibly be a trip to Boston or Washington, D.C. To me it’s about education, not just football. A lot of these kids are only exposed to the West Coast. A lot of times, they only look at West Coast and don’t open their minds to the entirety of what’s out for there for them education-wise and to experience other cultures. That can be super valuable.”
The Kapolei trip will include a lot more than just the game. The team will take a tour of Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University as well as a tour of AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
The Hurricanes will also see Alabama play USC in college football at the AT&T Stadium neutral site on Sept. 5. Former Kapolei quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is a member of the Crimson Tide.
In addition, Kapolei will visit the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and the Forth Worth Stockyards Rodeo and Texas BBQ.
“What got me interested in Texas was seeing that Taulia and Alabama are playing USC there, thinking, ‘Man, this would be a great thing for the kids to see a former Kapolei player,’ ” Hernandez said. “I don’t think any Hawaii high school team has gone to play in Texas or that far East.”
Playing in a private-school league, the Nolan Catholic Vikings went 11-1 a year ago, according to MaxPreps.
Kapolei went 4-6 a year ago, competing in the OIA Open Division.
“We found a fit against a really good team,” Hernandez said. “They present a great challenge. They have great team speed and I believe speed in places like Texas and Florida is what puts them on the map. We will be trying to be compete by bringing our power and our size and the physicality that Hawaii teams play with and are known for.”