Four Lahainaluna (Lahaina, Hawaii)
football players and three coaches will be on the field Sunday for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas as honorary coin toss captains before Kansas City takes on San Francisco.
The Maui News reported the players — Teva Loft
, Morgan Montgomery
, Kaulana Tihada
and Kuola Watson
— were called to the principal's office last week and joined a Zoom call with the NFL and Marcus Mariota, who played his prep ball at St. Louis (Honolulu, Hawaii)
The Lunas made news this fall as they returned to the football field weeks after a deadly August fire destroyed the historic town of Lahaina.
"It almost seems unreal, we never pictured it, we didn't even think about it," Watson told the Maui News
. "We all went into the meeting thinking that we were going to get talked to, we thought we were all in trouble.
"Marcus Mariota came on the phone on a Zoom call and just told us, just dropped a bomb on us pretty much. … He just told us that we're going to the Super Bowl. I'm really excited, I've never even been to an NFL game before."
The four Lahainaluna captains will be joined by coaches Dean Rickard, Bobby Watson and Garret Tihada. According to Maui News, Mariota will narrate an introductory video before the Lunas walk onto the field for the coin toss. Super Bowl LVIII airs Sunday on CBS.
Mariota was among several who helped Lahainaluna in their return to action, donating cleats to the players prior to their first game. NFL Films also produced a documentary on the team's season and the Super Bowl trip will be part of a longer piece, the Maui News reported.
"Well, who wouldn't be excited, right?" Rickard said. "I know it has something to do with the NFL Films video that was put out. They are continuing to keeping that story going and they wanted to have us as guests to the Super Bowl. When this opportunity arose, I quickly raised my hand and said, ‘Yeah, we'll go.' "