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For Oahu public schools, football resumes with no fans in the stands

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 9:43 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 16, 2021 at 4:33 PM HST
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KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fans celebrated as OIA football resumed for the first time since the pandemic.

However, they did so from home — or at a distance, since they still can’t be in the stands.

In Kapolei, a group decided to gather in a vacant lot just outside of the makai end zone to watch the Hurricanes open their season against the Kahuku Red Raiders.

“A whole bunch of us decided to get together and tailgate and have a barbecue, and just enjoy the night and make noise for our boys,” said parent Kylie Bagio.

The Kahuku team’s buses arrived in Kapolei after a more than hour-long drive from the North Shore. That’s a long trip that their fans would usually make with them.

This football matchup was on cable for fans, but others wanted to spend the time in person under the Friday night lights.

Nohea Foki even brought a generator for a TV monitor, so she could watch her oldest son play for Oregon — while keeping an eye on a younger son playing for the Hurricanes.

“For me, I kinda look at it as, you know, I gotta do what I gotta do to watch both my sons play,” she said.

The OIA announced that fans would be allowed at sporting events, but those rules don’t take effect until next week Wednesday.

Families also can’t bring in kids 11 years of age and under because they aren’t eligible for the COVID vaccine.

“They can go into restaurants, anywhere else, but outdoors, socially distanced among others, is not allowed for a 10-month-old,” said Justin Correa as he held his baby daughter, whose older brother is on the Kapolei Junior Varsity team.

For him, this setup in the lot just outside the end zone may be repeated next week.

“You know, we do what we can to watch our kids play to support them,” said Correa. “Right now, the best we can do is back fence.”

Tickets are being sold only online for next week’s games at spicket.events/oahu.

All spectators must be vaccinated, but schools did not say how they will verify vaccinations.

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