Farrington gets homecoming on home field after all


POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

This may be the flea-flicker to end all flea-flickers.

Farrington's homecoming football game against Kahuku will be played at Roosevelt's Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium tomorrow.

So what's the big news about that?

Try this: The game changed venues—moving to Aloha Stadium—at least twice in the past few days.

“;On Monday, we heard it's at Roosevelt,”; Governors coach Randall Okimoto said before practice yesterday afternoon. “;On Tuesday, we heard it's at (Aloha) Stadium. Now it's back at Roosevelt.

“;We'll wait and see for tomorrow.”;

Yesterday, Okimoto heard the good news from Farrington principal Catherine Payne. For the previous two days, he led a battle to keep his school's homecoming game on its adopted home field at Roosevelt. Oahu Interscholastic Association football coordinator Harold Tanaka, who is also Farrington's athletic director, was right there side-by-side with Okimoto while players and fans got involved.

“;Our community called in and e-mailed both principals. I thought it was worth the fight,”; Okimoto said. “;My team captains came up to me yesterday and they were concerned. Before I even told them, they heard. I asked them, 'What are you guys going to do about it?' They said, 'We're going to voice our opinions.' “;

According to Tanaka, Roosevelt had begun to waver about hosting the game tomorrow. By Monday, however, the OIA decided to keep the game at the school's Vasconcellos Stadium, and food for the concession stand was ordered. Then the venue was changed to Aloha Stadium.

Tanaka and Okimoto, both longtime Governors, had seen their football program get shorted out of home-field position often in recent years, particularly in key games. Kahuku coach Reggie Torres was sympathetic toward the Governors.

“;This would've been the fourth year we're playing Farrington and they haven't played on their home field,”; Torres said. “;I know where they're coming from. I found out this morning how much this affects Coach Okimoto and his guys.”;

Torres also understands Roosevelt's position.

“;Roosevelt couldn't accommodate fans from both teams, and with OC 16 there, there isn't enough parking. It's lack of adequate space and lack of parking,”; he said.

No matter the site, the two unbeaten powerhouses will be ready tomorrow night.

“;Our team feels like wherever we play doesn't matter,”; Torres said. “;I'm on the (team) bus. I don't need parking. If they want to play at Roosevelt, I'm OK with that. Farrington's gotten the short end of the stick before.”;

A few years back, a playoff game against lower-seeded Mililani was moved, not to a neutral site, but to Mililani's field for TV purposes.

Tanaka was disappointed by the lack of communication that led to the original venue change to Aloha Stadium.

“;I had no input in the decision. From the OIA's standpoint, we did not want the game moved,”; Tanaka said on Tuesday. “;It's going to cost us a lot of money to play at the stadium.”;