Vavae Tata can’t help it.
The first-year Kahuku head football coach is in the midst of an epic season as the unbeaten, top-seeded Red Raiders (11-0) head into Friday’s semifinal matchup with Waianae in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Championships at Aloha Stadium.
But immediately after the Kahuku-Waianae game, OIA runner-up — and defending state champion — Mililani will take on ILH champion Saint Louis in what is one of the most anticipated semifinal matchups in tournament history.
Tata has ties, strong ties, to both programs. His nephew, Vavae Malepeai, is a prolific running back for the Mililani Trojans. Four of the coaches on staff went to Saint Louis, some being Tata’s teammates back in the day when he was a devastating Crusader defensive lineman.
And during those years, his coaches included current head coach Cal Lee and offensive coordinator Ron Lee.
“Best to both teams. I’ve got family at Mililani in Vae, and the (Crusaders) there have done such a great job,” Tata said. “Cal coached me in high school. Shout out to both teams.”