Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • September 23, 2021
In Opening Loss, PAC-5’s Grit And Determination Personified By Joshua Arcayena And Neivyn Kahoopii

The PAC-5 football team came into its season opener as an underdog, and as expected, the Wolfpack lost 46-7 to ‘Iolani on Friday.

The Division II Wolfpack were walking into the house of a perennial D-I power in the Raiders with a new head coach in Kena Heffernan and the knowledge that one of the program’s feeder schools, Mid-Pacific, is in the process of pulling out and won’t be affiliated long-term.

Eh, but those Wolfpack players on Friday were all eager to show they’re not going to give up, despite the difficult changes. They showed dedication and sportsmanship throughout, despite not being able to find much room to move the ball.

Joshua Arcayena and Neivyn Kahoopii were among the standouts for PAC-5 in its season-opening loss Friday.
Image credit: Nick Abramo /

Two of PAC-5’s two-way players were among those who personified the needed determination to get the Wolfpack program on a sustained future growth pattern — Joshua Arcayena and Neivyn Kahoopii.

Arcayena rushed for 32 yards on 14 carries on offense and added two tackles for loss on defense. Kahoopii’s 36-yard run, which was the longest play from scrimmage for the Wolfpack in the game, set up the team’s only TD — quarterback Ezekiel Rodrigues’ 1-yard run.

“Overall, we’re still moving together as a team,” Kahoopii said after the loss. “We’re slowly working on the plays on offense and defense. This was the first game and we’ve got a lot to look forward to.”

About his run around right end, he said, “That one felt good. It was a good drive and we got a touchdown on that one.”

Asked for words about Arcayena, Kahoopii’s response was “He’s the hardest working guy on the team. He brings the heat every play, doesn’t hold back.”

Heffernan, the new coach who took over for Kip Botelho earlier in 2021, said that about 80 percent of the team’s players had never played a football game before.

>> PAC-5 Football Program Faces Arduous Dogfight To Stay Intact
>> PAC-5 Football Coaching Change: Kena Heffernan In, Kip Botelho Out
>> Allison Chang Is On The Leading Edge Of A New Wave Of ‘Iolani Female Kickers
>> Sharp ‘Iolani Football Team Improves To 2-0 By Steamrolling PAC-5, 46-7


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