Former Warriors Still Inspiring Fans

Brenda Jose of the Anti-Drug Office engages youth participants during an alcohol
awareness presentation

It’s been more than five years since University of Hawaii football fans witnessed the spectacle of “Mighty Mouse.”

Standing at a mere 5-foot-7, Chad Owens made a name for himself by using his lightning-quick speed to make would-be tacklers look like fools as they fell by the wayside, watching him score touchdowns.

The Roosevelt High School grad ended his illustrious career at UH as its all-time career yardage leader with 5,461 all-purpose yards. It’s a record that still stands today.

Speaking of today, Owens is now a standout special teams performer for the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. After a short stint in the NFL, Owens is quickly making a name for himself in the CFL, earning the 2010 Special Teams Player of the Year Award.

Despite all the success he’s garnered over the years, Owens always finds time to give back to the community that has given so much to him.

Nearly 250 Kaua’i youths got to experience that helpfulness Saturday, May 14, during the second annual Chad Owens All-Star Football Camp at Vidinha Stadium.

Sponsored by former UH football and Miami Dolphins star receiver Davone Bess and his Bess Route Foundation, the event offered a one-day opportunity for participants ages 7 to 17 to be coached by professional athletes.

The coaching squad included Darnell Arceneaux, Chris Brown, Michael Carter, Laanui Correa, Nate Ilaoa, Jeremy Inferrera, Nate Jackson, Eddie Klaneski, David Maeva, Vince Manuwai, Maa Tanuvasa, Gerald Welch and Owens.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., a former UH and NFL player himself, also was in attendance.

(Front, from left) Pam Arroyo, Rena Owens, Chad Owens Jr., Chad Owens, Alida
Lazaro, Brenda Jose, (back) Teddy Arroyo, Jacky Buder, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Bryan Aiwohi and Al Albao. Photos courtesy Tina Albao

“You can learn valuable lessons in life by listening to your family members and your mentors, such as coaches and community supporters,” he said to the youths. “These are the people that will encourage and support you throughout your life.”

In addition to the football knowledge gained at the clinic, the student-athletes also were told about the importance of staying away from alcohol and drugs. Representatives from the county’s Anti-Drug Office provided a presentation on alcohol prevention.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to provide outreach to our community on a very important subject,” Anti-Drug Office representative Brenda Jose says. “I ran into a few of the kids over the weekend and quizzed them on what they learned. Thankfully, they remembered the important information from the presentation.”

County Anti-Drug coordinator Theresa Koki says she and her staff were grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this event.

“A special mahalo goes out to the Bess Route Foundation and the many volunteers who helped to coordinate this special day for their children,” Koki says. “It was such a positive experience for everyone involved.”

Owens agrees, and showed praise through his Twitter account: @ChadOwens2.

“The Bess Route Foundation’s Chad Owens All-Star Football Camp was a complete success,” he wrote. “The Kaua’i kids just loved it. We had a great turnout.”

For Owens and the other former UH stars, it’s a chance to still inspire, even if their days of rockin’ Aloha Stadium are done.

The County of Kaua’i also would like to recognize event organizers Pam and Teddy Arroyo, along with their committee: Liliane and Raphael Corpuz, Ryan and Akala Awohi, Nero and Alida Lazaro, and Tina and Al Albao.

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