Friday | November 17, 2017
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Hawaii Football Club gets players involved

HILO — The Hawaii Football Club will be collecting canned goods at the Merrie Monarch parade today for Hawaii Island’s Food Bank, a community service project that goes hand in hand with Keala Pule’s mission and motto to “build life champions.”

“I want to make that truck hard to push,” the club president said. “I want to make it a tradition, bring a canned good, feed a family.”

Pule wants his youngsters to connect with the community, work hard in the classroom and go to college, hopefully on a football scholarship, completing a cycle that fulfills his club’s mission.

HFC doesn’t have a weight restriction and puts an emphasis on school work. The club’s Champions Bowl is between the two teams (for seventh and eighth grades) with the highest grade-point average. It’s an early lesson in the life of being a student-athlete for high school.

Pule also does his part, holding clinics to make his youngsters better. The club held a speed and agility clinic on Friday at Andrews Gym, featuring well-known local trainer Chad Ikei, who has worked with NFL and University of Hawaii players.

Also, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, a former UH player, and Tennessee Titans safety Suaesi Tuimaunei, a Kahuku High graduate, and Las Vegas Locomotives wide receiver Aaron Woods from the United Football League were guest coaches along with NFL draft hopefuls Paipai Falemalu and Richard Torres from UH.

“We’re trying to create opportunities for kids,” Pule said. “Like us, Chad shares the same vision that there’s a lot of talent in the islands. It’s a reason he came back to Hawaii to train pro athletes. We held fundraisers so a few of our players cou