KHON2 presents Cover2: Hawaii Football Past, Present, and Future.
In this 30-minute special, Rob DeMello and Sam Spangler check in on four faces of island football, and get an inside look at how they continue to inspire and open doors for Hawaii’s next generation of athletes.
Watch a special replay on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10:30 p.m. on Hawaii’s CW.
Retired six-time Pro Bowler Olin Kreutz
The Saint Louis graduate was an All-American at the University of Washington before becoming a two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl player with the Chicago Bears. Last September, he was among 94 players and coaches nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Back in the weight room of his alma mater, Kreutz said growing up, “I love football. I’ve always loved it, I loved playing it, but no, I wasn’t thinking that big. I was thinking about the prep bowl and winning the job, and just trying to win a job on a great Saint Louis team. That’s what I was thinking about, so to think that I’d be in the NFL and I’d have that kind of career and to even be considered for the Hall of Fame, no, that would have been a pipe dream.”
Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett
Married to a local girl, Michael Bennett has been one of the most active professional athletes in Hawaii in recent memory. Through his Bennett Foundation, the Texas native has donated thousands of dollars and countless hours to island keiki. It’s no coincidence his meteoric rise in the NFL coincided with his relocation to Hawaii in 2013.
“When I’m here, I get a chance to really open up and be a part of the community, and I love that people trust me and I trust the people,” he said. “That’s my number-one thing to do, is to make sure that I leave a legacy of passion and leave a legacy of social change in general.
“What if I win three, four MVPs and I haven’t done anything in the community that really changed. I’m not talking about regular things, where people come out and do small things. I’m talking about sustainability, things like that. Things where people give back in the community that keeps giving, and keeps giving back.”
Saints linebacker Hauoli Kikaha
Since being selected in the second round of the NFL draft by New Orleans in 2015, Hauoli Kikaha has become a fan favorite in the Big Easy.
When he began playing football for Kahuku back in 2005, team rules required playing two sports. Then-head-coach Reggie Torres recommended Kikaha study judo under Sensei Ray Imada to help with his flexibility.
As Sam Spangler explains, the lessons Kikaha learned in the dojo translated to his skills on the field, and his approach in life.
Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa led the Saint Louis Crusaders to a state championship before his early enrollment at the University of Alabama.
The 2016 Cover2 Marcus Mariota Award winner admitted, “I wouldn’t know how to say I would feel. Maybe sad, I don’t know, sometimes happy. Mostly because, you know, I’ve got to leave behind my family so quick and enter into something new.”
Forgoing the second half of his senior year wasn’t easy, but Tagovailoa said it was necessary. “Just like any other family, you know, you come from struggle. We’ve been kind of struggling for a while and if I could finish and get to college as fast as I can, you know, I may be able to get that opportunity to get us out of struggle that much quicker too.”