The inaugural Polynesian Bowl will be telecast on ESPN3, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame and ESPN announced Wednesday.
But the telecast will be blacked out in Hawaii.
Hawaii News Now (Raycom Media), who owns television stations KGMB-CBS and KHNL-NBC and operates KFVE in Honolulu, will be providing the local production.
The Polynesian Bowl is a high school all-star game that will feature elite senior football players of Polynesian heritage and other ancestries from across the country.
The game — which is run by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame — will be Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. at Aloha Stadium. It is part of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
“The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is proud to collaborate with ESPN on the inaugural Polynesian Bowl,” said the game’s chairman and co-founder Jesse Sapolu, the former San Francisco 49ers star center, in a news release. “The live ESPN3 telecast will allow us to showcase the world’s elite high school football players of Polynesian heritage and other ancestries.”
The telecast team will be Kanoa Leahey and Polynesian Football Hall of Fame inductee Vai Sikahema. Leahey, who will do play-by-play, is an announcer for high school sports on Oceanic Time Warner Cable and college basketball on the ESPN networks and a co-host of the “Leahey & Leahey” TV show. Sikahema, the former BYU star running back who will serve as color analyst, is an award winning sports director and news anchor for NBC 10 in Philadelphia.
Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, an Alabama commit, and highly recruited defensive lineman Aliki Vimahi of Kahuku, are two of Hawaii’s representatives in the game.
Quarterback Dylan McCaffery, a Michigan commit who plays for Valor Christian High School in Colorado, is among the big names headed to the bowl.
Seventy-five percent of the 84 players in the bowl will be of Polynesian ancestry.