KAHULUI --- The first Maui Football Combine was born out of discussions during the 2009 Maui Interscholastic League football season.
Combine director Rodney Yap and Bobby Watson, the co-head coach for Lahainaluna High School and head coach of the combine, started talk-ing about Saturday's event during the fall.
On Saturday, the free event will arrive at Maui High field with Cleveland Browns linebacker Kaluka Maiava and former college coach and player Ulima Afoa as guest speakers, plus more than 100 players, 54 MIL coaches and 16 other volunteers.
''Most definitely, a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, brainstorming with the coaches, trying to get the coaches to come together on this,'' Yap said Thursday. ''That has all been part of it --- we have 54 MIL coaches and all the schools are represented. We are excited, for sure, but the important thing is that the kids come out and get a feel what the tests are all about. The freshmen get to practice and get more comfortable with all of it. This is free and this is the coaches' way of giving back to the sport.''
The event will include testing in the 40-yard dash, bench press, L-shuttle, short shuttle and vertical leap, and is open to all MIL players who are not seniors. Players can sign up on the day of the event --- registration starts at 8 a.m.
The results will be posted on a website with a goal of helping the players' college searches and recruitment.
Maiava, a Baldwin graduate, will speak at about 8:30 and will join the players for their warm-up at about 9:30.
Afoa is slated to speak to the group around noon. He is a former Kamehameha Big Island head coach, Saint Louis School athletic director, player at San Diego State and assistant coach at SDSU and Hawaii.
Yap said that next year Under Armor has committed to sponsor the event and that could mean that two of the athletic wear company's clients, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing --- Maiava's linebacker teammates at Southern California and current NFL players themselves --- could be at the event.
''It makes sense that the three linebackers would reunite,'' Yap said. ''On Saturday, Kaluka will put on his cleats and get out there with the guys. I am pumped up. When we started to do this, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but when the kids see the stuff online, when we take the first team picture, it will mean something because it is the first one and I think this is going to be big. If you are passionate about football you will be out there Saturday.''
Friends of Lahainaluna Football, the school's football booster club, will provide sports drinks and water. Lahainaluna athletic trainer John Conrad is coordinating the treatment station.