Football coach resigns after confrontation

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KAILUA-KONA — An incident during a Kealakehe High School football game last week led to the resignation of one of the team’s coaches, officials confirmed Wednesday.

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KAILUA-KONA — An incident during a Kealakehe High School football game last week led to the resignation of one of the team’s coaches, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Kealakehe’s Athletic Director Alan Vogt said he accepted the resignation of offensive coordinator Haloa Paakonia on Tuesday.

Paakonia resigned over an incident that occurred at a football game against Kamehameha on Friday. The Warriors defeated the Waveriders 15-13.

“There was an inappropriate comment made by Haloa to one of the football players,” Vogt said.

To his credit, Vogt said, Paakonia accepted responsibility. An assistant coach will move into Paakonia’s position.

“We’re trying to handle it the best we can and minimize the distraction to the team,” Vogt said.

Paakonia has been let go from the football coaching staff in the past. Vogt said the incident happened a couple years ago. It had to do with Paakonia using inappropriate language at practice.

Paakonia publicly apologized for his actions on Facebook. He wrote:

“Are you human? Do you make mistakes? Yup I am, and I made a mistake, I let a parent get the best of me last night at halftime and I took it out on my football players, and I’m manning up and apologizing to my players for my actions, with that I’m resigning as OC, just wanted to thank the players, parents, coaches and admin for giving me the opportunity to do what I love, to work with kids, and good luck on the rest of the season.”

In the same Facebook post, Paakonia addressed the handful of parents who complained about him and those who took to the field Friday night.

“I urge you to messenger me so we can meet up, let’s not make this a distraction for the kids, let’s handle this like men and meet up and I’m willing to answer any questions or concerns or anything you guys want to do man to man!!!” Paakonia wrote in the post.

Hawaii Police officers were called to Kealakehe on Friday night. Lt. William Souther said about eight officers responded to the game because of an exchange of words that had occurred between adults.

“We were called there to standby if needed,” Souther said.

No one was arrested, however, police wanted to be prepared if things got out of control.

“With a big crowd like that we wanted to be safer rather than sorry,” Souther said.

Shortly after the game ended and Kealakehe had broken its postgame huddle, a commotion started on the field. The crowd that remained in the stadium audibly reacted to a confrontation that had started near the south goal line, with a parent making his way out of the stands and onto the field.

Almost immediately, police cars drove through the stadium gates to break up the escalating situation, which featured players, coaches and the parent in a verbal altercation.

A crowd remained on the field for more than 30 minutes, and some stuck around until the stadium lights shut off.

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The Waveriders’ next game is in Keaau on Saturday.

West Hawaii Today’s sports reporter J.R. De Groote contributed to this report.

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