If Kamehameha football coach Dan Lyons has his way, as many high school players as possible, Warriors or not, will take advantage of the “Kilauea exemption.”
The NCAA is notoriously stingy in handing out waivers, but it granted Hawaii’s football team one in acknowledging the impact of the eruption in Puna, allowing the Rainbow Warriors coaching staff to hold a free camp Friday for grades 9-12 at UH-Hilo.
“Thanks to (Hawaii football coach) Rolovich for putting this together,” Lyons said. “I think it’s good for players from the standpoint of having contact with their football coaches and learning a little more about their program.”
NCAA rules restrict Division I schools from holding football camps for high school players off of campus.
“Because UH-Hilo is a sister school, we asked if we could have it there because of the volcano,” Rolovich told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “They approved it.”
Lyons expects roughly 30 Kamehameha players to participate at the camp, which will be held at the Vulcans’ baseball complex. A big man camp will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a skills session to follow from 2-4 p.m.
“I believe it’s good to learn from other coaches who might have a different message or a different approach,” Lyons said. “I think sometimes (players) may start to drown out a voice when they hear the same one over and over again.”
The entire Warriors coaching staff will be on hand to run the sessions, according to a release.
“I’m glad the NCAA had a heart for this one,” said Rolovich, who was in Hilo last week for a booster club fundraiser. “Remember the Grinch who stole Christmas? At a certain point, his heart grew and it grew and it grew.”
Lyons said Kamehameha is supplying certain equipment for the camp to help out with logistics, and he said Hilo High coach Kaeo Drummondo helped lay down the groundwork as well. The announcement came Wednesday, but much of the details were worked out last week.
UH-Hilo athletic director Pat Guillen was more than happy to provide the space.
“With all that the people of our great island have suffered through lately, we hope that this will serve as a morale builder for our community,” Guillen said in a release. “The youth of these affected areas and their families could use a much needed distraction, and we hope that they are able to join us on Friday.”
For more information, call the UH-Hilo athletic department at 932-7168.