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Polynesian Football Classic will feature Kahuku (and its crazy) fans

Liberty players do their traditional haka dance following a sound defeat of Basic high school in the Sunrise regional high school football championship game on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

The Kahuku Red Raiders of Hawaii are coming back to Las Vegas. This time, there'll be plenty of seats available to watch the popular high school football team.

Kahuku will play at 8 p.m. Sept. 9 in the inaugural Polynesian Football Classic at Sam Boyd Stadium against Bingham of Utah. Earlier in the day, Southern Nevada power Liberty — a program with many Polyensian players — will play Alta of Utah.

The event is billed as a celebration of football, music and culture. Fiji, a Grammy-nominated musician, will perform before the games.

“It is an honor that they invited us to be the headline team out of Las Vegas,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “Obviously we have a lot of Polynesian players in our program. Our community loves football. They will be excited about being in the event.”

It will be the second straight season Kahuku has played in Las Vegas. Last year, when the Hawaii state runners-up lost at Bishop Gorman, its supporters throughout the region quickly bought the school’s allotment of tickets and created a wild game-day atmosphere.

The atmosphere was uncommon for a high school game with Kahuku fans, decked out in all red, chanting from start to finish. In the days leading up to the game, its supporters repeatedly called Gorman’s athletic office looking for tickets.

At Sam Boyd Stadium, which seats more than 30,000, that won’t be a problem. Tickets go on sale June 1 at Classic officials haven’t indicated prices.

“The Polynesian Football Classic will be an outstanding platform to celebrate culture and provide additional exposure for our student-athletes,” Kahuku coach Makoa Freitas said in a statement.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or Follow Ray on Twitter at

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#MakoaFreitas #KahukuFootball

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