By Thomas Gutierrez
Oceanside CA— He finds himself in his usual position behind a wall of Pirates. With the illuminated scoreboard clock off and the night waning away in their fourth overtime possession, Kavika Tua took the hand off as he usually does. Suddenly as if it was a gift from the Pirate Football Gods, the superstar darted left before committing right and soaring down the sideline 25 yards for one of the most memorable touchdowns in Oceanside’s illustrious history, to earn a 19-13 overtime victory over the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (2-3,1-1).
For some prep players the season may be just starting to heat up, but for the 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior, the season began in earnest back in January alongside the former Pirate running back legend Fale Poumele. “I did a lot of training with Coach Fale and Coach Tofi Paopao,” explained Tua. “They are really like family though, but they really upped my game. A shout out to the entire Seven60 family ! They have really got me where I needed to be this season.”
And to say that his off-season training program under the guidance of the Seven60 team paid off, is an understatement. The three year varsity running back has produced incredible credentials so far in the 2019 season with a staggering 651 yards rushing ( 9.7 YDs per carry) 7 TDs, combined with 132 receiving yards and 1 TD in only four games.
Blessed with both mental and physical strength, the passionate and poised running back started developing his field vision and his backfield skill-set at the age of five while competing in the competitive Oceanside Pop-Warner organization.
Tua, who played his youth football in Oceanside; however, attended school in Bonsall. And unlike the legion of several former and current players, Tua did not grow up in a Pirate family inspired by the Legacy. “ All my family went to El Camino High,” said Tua. “ I’m the only one who decided that I wanted to go to Oceanside. I even still have family now that go to El Camino High School, so when I came to Oceanside I knew nobody at all.”
Essentially an outsider, Tua’s authentic approach to life and the game of football erased any doubt among the Pirate faithful. He adapted to his new surroundings, and once on the gridiron Tua found success easy and often on the freshman team. His success led him straight to the Varsity squad during his inaugural season as a Pirate.
Kavika did not hesitate to impress when he first stepped under the Friday night lights as a freshman. In his four games (including 3-game playoff run) on the Varsity team, the 14 year old phenom amassed an astounding 551 rushing yards (137.8 per game & 9.3 YDs per carry) with 8 touchdowns.
As the current season is in the thralls of the rugged Avocado League, the savvy Tua understands the importance of having and executing a distinctive plan for a successful 2019 season. “My individual goals this season is to get my first scholarship and to be the rushing stat leader is San Diego. I also want to win my first CIF game or at least play in it,” remarked Tua. “ And my team goals this season is for everyone to have an injury free season and get my seniors a CIF ring before they graduate.”
With the resurgence of Pirate Football and with only one blemish on their record (3-1,2-0), fifth year head coach, David Rodriguez, recognizes the value of Tua as the stakes continue to rise week after week in the treacherous and unforgiving Avocado League: “Kavika is a special game changing player. He practices as hard as he plays. He truly is his most comfortable when the stakes are highest. He is so much fun to be around because he always feels he can give more.”
You can see Kavika and the hard hitting Pirates as they travel to Chula Vista Sept 27 to face a non-league game against the Olympian Eagles.