Kapolei Starter Looks Forward To Helping Rebuild UH Team

Micah Kapoi. Photo from the Kapoi family.

Despite the program’s relatively short history, the list of Kapolei football players to move on to Division I colleges is lengthy. Micah Kapoi is happy to be the latest on that list. A 6-3, 285-pound tackle, he recently committed to play for the University of Hawaii, beginning in the fall of 2014.

“It’s a relief,” said Kapoi. “Now I know I’m going and I have everything set, but I still have to perform in my senior year. I can’t take a break.”

A key component in his decision, he said, was the opportunity to return Hawaii to the high-rent district. “I wanted to become part of the rebuilding process,” Kapoi said. “It’s the second year for all the coaches. I’m going there to hopefully try to make a difference.”

Kapoi is entering his third season with the Kapolei varsity after spending his freshman year on JV. He’ll bring a string of 19 consecutive starts into Kapolei’s season-opener next month. While his skills have multiplied over the past two years, he remembers when things were not so easy.

He was in eighth grade when he began playing football for the Kapolei “Big Boys Team.” “That’s for all the big boys who can’t make weight for Pop Warner (youth football),” he said. “When I first started playing football, I wasn’t good at all. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know where (position-wise) I would play. My coach (Troy Foi) put me on the offensive line, and that’s where I’ve stayed.”

Kapoi will likely play guard at Hawaii, but he will stay at tackle this fall. Kapoi’s stock rose quickly in between his freshman and sophomore seasons. “After our spring game my sophomore year was when I found out I’d be moving up to the varsity instead of playing on the JV (for one more season),” he said. “Coach (Darren Hernandez) told me then that I had the size and potential to play college football. That was the turning point.”

The Hurricanes are coming off a 6-4 season (3-3 in the OIA Red West) last fall “At the beginning of the year, we beat Waianae (17-2), which we had not beaten for two years,” he recalled. “I thought we were going to be rolling. The next game we lost to Waipahu. In the middle we didn’t do as well, and then we finished the season strong with wins against Campbell (35-34) and Aiea (34-20).”

As a three-year starter, Kapoi will be among the leaders this fall. “The core of our team was pulled up (to varsity) as sophomores two years ago,” he said. “I think there’s about 10 of us, and that’s the base of the team right now.”