Day 1, Pupule Paul’s prep football photo tour commences
Tour stop: Saturday, Aug. 27, 2013
It happens. The e-mail comes in. The photo tour schedule, organized by the venerable Eli Kapu, is released. Load the tank with gas and hit the road. In the “old” days, the 1990s, I’d circle the Big Island with photographers like Baron Sekiya to get preview stories and art for West Hawaii Today’s annual football tabloid.
Nothing like a car wreck on the mauka highway in North Kona at 4 a.m. — caused by a goat — to remind travelers exactly where they are, no matter what the mission.
On Oahu, things are not quite so vast or bizarre. And there are plenty of pit stops between locations. Thank you, 7-Eleven and Starbucks.
This season, the first day of shooting includes Leilehua and McKinley.
9 a.m., Hugh Yoshida Stadium, Leilehua High School
I learned long ago that a coordinated, successful football program at the high school level is coordinated from top to bottom, from practice plans to photo shoots. At Leilehua, Nolan Tokuda’s team is always dressed, lined up and prepared. Sometimes the shoots are as early as 8 a.m. This time, it’s mid-morning. But it’s a Saturday morning, and teenaged athletes can be spotty on weekends. Not these guys.
Always on a mission.
Some very special visitors: former Mules quarterback Andrew Manley and family with Coach Tokuda.
On the way out of Wahiawa, stopped in at Dot’s for the first time. I had the pancake sandwich and a side of fried rice. Tasty!
I didn’t eat the loco moco, but I’m told it’s awesome.
1:30 p.m., McKinley High School
Tradition is tradition at William McKinley, where the football team always does its photo shoot next to the statue of the school’s namesake.