Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
Marcus Mariota Gives A Boost To Waialua Bulldogs And New Athletic Director Darnell Arceneaux

Darnell Arceneaux and Marcus Mariota are in an exclusive club — part of the fine quarterback lineage at Saint Louis School.

We’ll get into the other members of that club — an amazing list — a little later.

This story will be about how Mariota — a Las Vegas Raiders quarterback — recently helped Arceneaux — the new athletic director at Waialua High School.

Mariota donated $5,000 to the school for a beautiful refurbishing of the weight room.

Darnell Arceneaux, wearing Waialua red as the school's new athletic director, got some help from Marcus Mariota, another quarterback in the long line of stars at the position, in the form of a $5,000 donation (with a $5,000 match from the NFL) for the school's weight room. (Photo courtesy of Darnell Arceneaux).

“Marcus’ people approached me and told me he wanted to do that,” Arceneaux said by cell phone last week. “I was so thankful because this is a great time during the pandemic when athletic budgets are being cut.”

Arceneaux, who went on to star at the University of Utah after his exploits with the Crusaders, was sure to point out that when an NFL player donates money, the NFL matches. So that’s $10,000 total that will help the Waialua athletes. Other NFL players and friends are helping out as well — with donations of between $100 and $1,000.

“People kind of jumped on the bandwagon,” Arceneaux said. “We are getting close to our goal (of $15,000 to $20,000).

Hele Fitness was hired to do the work and lots of people at the school are helping out, too, including the administration and football head coach Lincoln Barit as well as many of the athletes.

“They’re going to have more respect and pride in the weight room,” Arceneaux said about the athletes. “The kids in Waialua will be thrilled to have new equipment. It well help them to get over the hump.”

The estimated completion date — with brand-new weights — is September.

“Dara Tawarahara of Hele Fitness has been super good to us,” Arceneaux said. “As soon as we called, she came on down from town, measuring everything and sat me down to show me in 3-D how it’s going to look.”

In addition, Arceneaux said the school’s football field has been redone.

Darnell Arceneaux, right, worked on the flooring of the weight room at Waialua. (Photo courtesy of Darnell Arceneaux).

A former football coach at Saint Louis and Mililani, Arceneaux is getting used to his new role as an athletic director.

“I’ve gotten a lot of help from other ADs in the OIA — Bryce Kaneshiro (formerly at Waialua and now at Aiea), Nelson Chee (Kaiser) and Reid Shigemura (Pearl City) and it’s making it a really easy transition for me,” he said. “Everyone has been nothing but generous.”

Arceneaux also had some words about his new role.

“I’m part of a new team and I’m going to do as much as I can for the student body — just another player doing his job,” he said. “It’s pretty cool to have coached for so long and now I get the opportunity to help to advance this athletic program.

“As long as what you’re trying to do is building for others and what you’re doing is for other people it’s going to work out.”

The lineage of Saint Louis quarterbacks includes some super good ones. To name a few: Tua Tagovailoa, Timmy Chang, Jason Gesser, Jayden de Laura, Chevan Cordeiro and Jeremiah Masoli.

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