Goodwill players to honor Kahuku's Tafuna
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Players from both the East and West squads will remember Kahuku's Keoni "DeeDee" Tafuna by wearing a helmet decal for Friday's annual Hawai'i Union Builders Goodwill Senior Football Classic.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Kapolei High School.
The players will wear the decals that read "DeeDee" and "42," Tafuna's nickname and jersey number for Kahuku.
"There will be a moment of silence before the game," West assistant and Kamehameha coach David Stant said.
Tafuna was a linebacker/safety, as well as co-captain of the Red Raiders football team.
Kahuku is well-represented with eight players on the East squad.
The East has the luxury of having representatives from Division I state champion Saint Louis and Division II state champion 'Iolani.
Among the Crusaders is Oregon-bound QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee-bound defensive end Juda Parker and Oregon State bound defensive lineman Na Alii Robins.
Others giving verbal commitments playing in the game are McKinley's all-purpose player Solomon Dixon (Idaho) and Kaimuki RB Chester Su'a (Washington State).
The West has multi-talented QBs in Mililani's Trent McKinney, Waiana'e Puletua Wilson and 'Aiea's Freddy Taliulu.
"I'm honored to be playing with all these guys up here," McKinney said. "We didn't have that much practice, but we look pretty good, pretty confident in what we can do."
In previous years, the teams had two weeks to prepare. This time, they started practicing only from Monday. The East, led by Kailua coach Gary Rosolowich, while the West, led by 'Aiea's Wendell Say, worked out at their respective schools. However, the West worked out at Aloha Stadium yesterday because 'Aiea's field hosted soccer.
The game was always held at Aloha Stadium, but was moved to Kapolei for financial reasons, OIA football coordinator Harold Tanaka said.
Tickets are $5.