Intramural football keeps students connected with others

Justin Paz juked out a few defenders during a game – Leighland Tagawa

The intramural sports season has begun at WCC.

This semester, students have the opportunity to play flag football. Games are played in a 7-on-7 format and take place at Leeward Community College and Moanalua Middle School over the two-month season.

“I heard about intramural flag football and just thought that it was something that I needed to do,” said Justin Paz, who played football, swam and ran cross-country and track for Castle High School. “There is a lot less contact than regular football but the competitiveness is still there.”

This year, 24 students came out for flag football, including former Castle, Kahuku, Kalaheo and private school players.

Kaahu Alo, WCC student life coordinator and counselor, said the program has grown over the years.

“We’ve always had good teams,” Alo said. “In my first year, in the finals, there was only about five or six people who played in that game … so it’s grown a lot. It’s catching wind here at WCC.”

With the increased roster, WCC had to split players into two teams.

“Last year, I had to play both ways because we only had like seven guys,” said Devin Acoba, who played football at Kahuku High School. “The players wanted one team, but a roster can only have a max of 14 players.”

Acoba is in his second year with the flag football team and is the defensive coordinator for both teams.

“When we first started, I sent out an email to say, ʻHey, let’s run routes and do some team bonding,ʻ” he said. “It turned into a full-blown practice. I had offensive and defensive plays drawn up. It was just for the fun of it.”

All of the football players help each other with school work and talk strategy in the student activities room in ‘Ākoakoa 232. Being with his teammates is something that Acoba said he really enjoys.

“Honestly, I don’t like just going home after school,” he said. “In my first year here, I wanted to make friends, and I saw intramurals as an opportunity to do that. From then, I still hangout with those guys to this day.”

The two teams play in the IM (Intramural) League, which is comprised of all the community colleges in the UH system and UH West O‘ahu. There are eight teams in the IM League this year, with one WCC team in each bracket. Last year, WCC made it to the semifinals. Two years ago, it made it to the finals.

Alo is involved with the IM League and both teams. He goes to all the games and supports the students from the sidelines.

“It’s cool watching them all come together,” he said. “The great thing about sports like this is that it brought a lot of random people together. Older people, younger people, you got people from Kahuku, Castle, and Kalaheo that are all coming together. A lot of the students didn’t know each other, but they just met on the football field.”

After the flag football season ends, intramural volleyball starts.

“We sent out a volleyball registration,” Alo said. “We are looking forward to having a few teams to play volleyball. Next semester, we will do basketball and probably do soccer. All the sports are coed.”

“I would definitely recommend playing intramural sports,” Acoba said. “It helps me stay active. I got a lot of my friends to sign up so we can bond more and keep us together. If students are looking for something to do or just want to have some fun, we’re right here.”

For more information about intramurals at WCC, email


by Leighland Tagawa, Ka ‘Ohana Editor in Chief