Bringing Back The Kaua‘i Cowboys

Kauai’s Dayson Nanbu breaks away in a recent game vs. Oahu at Kapa‘a Stadium

Al Ah Loo is to the Kaua’i Cowboys as a heart is to a body. The reincarnated semi-pro football team would not be steadily pumping, if not for this fierce competitor, who is not only the coach, but the manager as well.

“It’s a process, bringing it back,” Ah Loo says. “Seems to be a little harder this time around – no supporting cast, mostly new guys and only a couple guys from the past.”

That past spans nearly 20 years, when Kapa’a’s Wilfred Kaui came up with the idea and drove it into fruition. But following a lack of interest and funding, the Cowboys were lassoed away from the arena in 2004.

Ah Loo, who once played for the Cowboys, hopes the group of 30 or so, mostly made up of younger individuals, will reinvigorate the sport on the island.

“We’re looking for a fresh start,” he says. “We wanted to do stuff for the kids. It was all of our sons, our kids who wanted to do it. We wanted to call it ‘The Sons of Kaua’i Cowboys.’

But instead they stuck with the old name and even competed in a January scrimmage with some players from Oahu.

“This game was more like the old Cowboys versus the new Cowboys,” Ah Loo adds. And the old boys won at Kapa’a Stadium, 14-12, when a two-point conversion late in the game failed.

In that historical event, new Cowboys quarterback Chris Mundon threw for 200 yards and two touch-downs, despite never even playing a down of organized football in his life.

“We just want to keep everything in the name of fun,” Ah Loo says. “Right now, winning and losing don’t matter. We just want to build a team.”

The squad practices at least twice a week and hopes to play a home-and-home series against a team from Houston.

These games were supposed to be played in February, but because of scheduling conflicts and weather issues, the contests were put on hold, at least for now.

“We’re still trying to bring the team together,” Ah Loo says. “Football is my passion, and I know there are lots of others out there who feel the same way.”

The Cowboys are scheduled to compete in another game March 26 on Oahu.

“The last game was to get our feet dirty, this is the true test.”

For more information on the Kaua’i Cowboys, call Ah Loo at 634-2922.

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