Another Chance To Put On The Pad

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - February 02, 2011
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Carson Peapealalo
Carson Peapealalo

All they want is another chance - at football.

That might be the unofficial motto of the fledgling Hawaii Professional Football League. The HPFL, with four teams and dozens of former local high school and college standouts, will start its inaugural season later this month at Aloha Stadium - and in case there is any question, it’s full-on football with 11 on each side in helmets, pads and colorful uniforms. The players are deemed professionals because they each will receive a stipend of approximately $50-$100 a game.

“You can expect a lot of hitting, and a lot of exciting offensive schemes,” says HPFL president and commissioner Carson Peapealalo, a former full-back for the University of Hawaii by way of Kahuku High School. He’s currently a logistics manager with the Air Force, stationed at Camp Smith. “We’ve got a number of well-known players to showcase, and we can show off the great talent base here in Hawaii. All of them just want to play football.”


The four teams are Waianae Sharks, Honolulu Volcanoes (owned by former Rainbow Warrior Darrick Branch), Koolau Hurricanes and Kailua Storm. Some of the most recognizable names include former UH stars Nate Jackson, who will play for Waianae, and Mike Lafaele, who will play for Honolulu.

The No. 1 draft picks are excellent players, too. Defensive line-man George Kawalu was the first overall choice and went to Waianae. Honolulu tapped defensive lineman Fatu Fatalaiga, Koolau chose defensive lineman Brandon Sika, and Kailua went with running back Jason Rego. The oldest player on any of the rosters is 44-year-old Noa Waikoloa, a wide receiver for Honolulu.

The HPFL kicks off its first season Feb. 26 with a pre-season doubleheader at Aloha Stadium. A six-week regular season will commence March 4 with inaugural games at the stadium, and then at either Pearl City or Radford high schools. A four-team playoff is tentatively scheduled for April 15, with the championship game on April 22 at Radford’s stadium.

“I’d like to call it the Poi Bowl, but we’re still talking about the specific name,” says Peapealalo. “We’re going to get input from the different fan clubs.”

The HPFL will have a few different rules, and at least one of them is very local.

“Instead of a pre-game coin toss, we’re going to do Jen-Ken-Po, best two out of three,” says Peapealalo. “We’re also encouraging the Haka in pre-game festivities, and we will allow celebrations after touchdowns.”


The HPFL will hold its inaugural fundraiser this Saturday night, Feb. 5, at the Pacific Beach Hotel. A silent auction, dinner, entertainment and speakers will all be a part of the festivities. For more information, call 489-1139 or visit hawaiiprofootball.com.

“It’s our first year, and success will come as we grow together and work together,” Peapealalo says. “All these guys getting another opportunity is remarkable.”

Sometimes all you really need is a second chance to make that big tackle or big catch - the HPFL is your ticket for spring professional football in Hawaii.

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