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Former UH football standout returns home to help the next generation on the gridiron

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Former University of Hawaii standout and Canadian Football League quarterback Bryant Moniz is still involved in football, but not as a player.

He now runs a youth organization that’s right in his wheelhouse as a father and family man.

“I wanted to be around my kids as much as possible,” he said. “Through my creativity and my passion in football and what I love to do, I created the Hawaii Football Academy.”

Moniz opened the doors on his football academy in 2019. With the help of former players, fellow coaches, and parent volunteers, he teaches the fundamentals of the game to boys and girls, starting with flag football.

“One thing I think that we do great at is we keep the game fun for the kids,” he said.

As academy participants get older, Moniz’s system helps them build on their skills until they’re ready for HFA’s helmets and pads tackle football that prepares them for high school football.

“It’s super evident now, not just with the kids that I work with, but in general. The kids are so much better at such a young age,” he said.

The Hawaii Football Academy is one of a number of sports organizations dedicated to mentoring and developing Hawaii’s youth to be better football players and better human beings.

“There’s all kinds of guys that are out there giving back and sharing their knowledge with the next generation,” Moniz said.

HFA plays against teams from other football organizations, and the academy isn’t just for kids who are gifted on the gridiron.

“There’s a lot of teams that are very good, then are also teams where these kids can’t really fit in or find a place to play,” he said. “One thing that we’ve always done at my football academy is we take them all and we teach them all.

Hawaii Football Academy works with about 100 youth ages 4 to 13, and it’s year-round. Moniz said the best way to find our if his academy is a good fit, is to check out practices that are held at the district park in his home town of Wahiawa.

“If anybody’s out there looking for a place to learn the game of football, whether your kids is a first-time player or a seasoned players who’s been playing all his life, our place takes all ages and all talent ranges,” he said.

Moniz played his high school football at Leilehua High School before going on to star at UH. That’s another reason he runs his academy. He wants to encourage youth who want to pursue football into college to stay in Hawaii like he did, and play for the home team.

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