The family of King Kekaulike quarterback Franco Melgar Martich moved from Argentina to Hawaii in search of a better life.
Life as a football player has been rather poor for Na Alii’s football team the last few years, but things might be starting to look up.
Melgar Martich did an excellent job of multi-tasking as King Kekaulike halted a 41-game losing streak by beating McKinley 30-0 in a nonleague game Saturday at Farrington’s Skippa Diaz Stadium.
“Man, I’m feeling overjoyed,” Melgar Martich said. “This is one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in a really long time.”
Melgar Martich, a senior, completed eight of 15 passes for 105 yards and one touchdown and rushed 11 times for 68 yards and a score for Na Alii, whose last victory was a 23-13 triumph over Kamehameha-Maui on Sept. 5, 2014.
Melgar Martich also made a field goal and three PAT kicks and punted with one going out of bounds at the 5.
He has come a long way, literally.
He said his family first moved from Argentina to Hawaii when he was 6 months old. They had been going back and forth before finally deciding to settle in the islands.
Melgar Martich said his parents thought Hawaii was a better option because of political reasons and the opportunity for a better education.
Since he’s spent time in Argentina he’s also pretty good at soccer.
When asked which sport he’s better at, Melgar Martich said: “I’m from South America, so we grew up playing soccer. I don’t know. I feel like I want to lean a little more toward soccer, but I feel like I can be great at football as well.”
As for Saturday’s victory, members of Na Alii’s staff took photos of the scoreboard with their cell phones.
King Kekaulike coach Tyson Valle said the work put in during the summer made the victory possible.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” he said. “The time that they spent in the offseason, it does pay off. These guys committed to the offseason and this is the start for us.”