One Calhoun Sandcrab Football player will have the opportunity for college coaches to observe his talent in Hawaii this December.

Sandcrabs Defensive and Offensive Lineman Damian Chavez will be representing Calhoun in the Hawaii Tiki Bowl.

According to the official website, the Tiki Bowl is an organization that offers high school seniors and college coaches the opportunity to travel to Honolulu and participate in the game they love.

“The management team of the Hawaii Tiki Bowl has a combined 34 years experience in the international sports and recruiting industry.” From the official Tiki Bowl website, “They have traveled with thousands of athletes just like you to Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, and course Hawaii.”

Chavez talked about when he received the news he was going to the Tiki Bowl.

Chavez said he got a call from an out-of-state number and almost didn’t answer it, but he did and was told he was nominated to go to the Tiki Bowl.

“I didn’t know too much about it, so I looked deep into it, and I looked it them up,” Chavez said. “It was a legit organization, so I was really stoked. I told my mom about it. We’re all pretty excited.”

Chavez’s football journey began in Refugio when he was four or five years old, he said.

Chavez talked about his love for the sport he plays and said he has no words to describe it.

“Football is my passion. That is what I want to do. It is what I can do, so I am trying to make the most of it while I can,” Chavez said.

Chavez is looking forward to the Tiki Bowl, and he said he wants to show that Calhoun has “phenomenal players”, and they can compete with anybody.

“We’re some of the strongest, fastest people you can put on the field,” Chavez said.

Calhoun head coach Richard Whitaker and Calhoun Offensive Lineman Coach Roger Saenz talked about Chavez heading to the Tiki Bowl in December.

“We’re so proud for him, our kids, and I talk about his all the time, I don’t think anybody works harder than our kids,” Whitaker said. “And Damian is one those kids, he is a true leader for us, especially this year he is taking over the leadership role.”

Whitaker praised Chavez’s work ethic, and he said he was having a great offseason before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and with workouts are resuming, he added, Chavez has been in that leadership role and in the weight room “busting his tail.”

“Hard work pays off, and we say that all the time for kids who put in the work and they have burning desire to get something accomplished, and they can do that, and he is one of those kids,” Whitaker said.

In the past, Whitaker had players go to special bowl games, but he said this is the first time that one of his players will be going to Hawaii for a bowl game.

“I am just very proud of him, and he’ll represent [Calhoun] very well, and it is an exciting opportunity for him,” Whitaker said.

Chavez’s O-Line Coach, Saenz, said it’s amazing for one of his players on the offensive line to be headed to the Tiki Bowl.

Saenz said Chavez sent him a message telling him he was heading to the Tiki Bowl, and he added it was outstanding for Calhoun and the community, and especially for Chavez, that he’ll represent Calhoun on a big stage.

Saenz said he’s extremely proud of Chavez, and he added he works really hard.

“This is just a testament to show that your hard work creates luck,” Saenz said. “And when your hard work is created, you’re able to project as high as you want to go, and it is amazing for him.”

Chavez talked about the opportunity to show off his skills to college coaches in Hawaii.

“It is exciting because they actually got my profile, like my name, stats, and all that stuff from a college watch list,” Chavez said.

Chavez won’t be heading to Hawaii alone; he’ll be bringing his parents, Sona and Thomas Chavez.

Chavez talked about how his parents impacted his life and having them watch him play football for many years.

“They are a major influence, and there is a reason why I played for a long time because I used to not enjoy it as much,” Chavez said.

Chavez added he sat down with his dad, and he told him that football can be an outlet for his anger and frustration.

“He told me this could be my outlet. I’m allowed to hit people here, and I can’t get in trouble for it,” Chavez said. “The more I hit, the harder I hit, and the better it is. The more people enjoy watching that, the more you get from colleges.”

Chavez added he tried to quit foot at six years old, but he said his mom wouldn’t let him.

“She’s the reason I kept playing,” Chavez said. “And I am really glad she didn’t let me quit,” he added.

Chavez’s parents are very proud of him, they said, and “It is an amazing chance for him” and for the Calhoun football program to put in the national spotlight.”

Chavez is asking for the community for help to send him and his parents to Hawaii to the Tiki Bowl.

“My tuition is costly, and so I’m asking that our community help send a fellow Sandcrab to Hawaii and get our town on a much larger map,” Chavez said. “I have set up an IBC bank account just for this opportunity.”