Redstone Arsenal was well-represented at this year’s nationally televised Hula Bowl despite no fans in the stands at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Three Redstone employees had connections to the postseason college football all-star game played Jan. 31 and telecast on CBS. The game was played without fans in attendance because of the pandemic.
Retired Col. Jeff Finley, who works at the Army Materiel Command, wore his Army uniform as the game’s military ambassador. Rod Matthews, aviation contracts director for Army Contracting Command-Redstone, saw his son asked to be a receivers coach for the game’s NFL prospects. His son is 49ers receiver Jordan Matthews.
Patrick O’Farrell, programs officer for the Program Executive Office for Aviation, served on the Hula Bowl’s leadership team. He was inducted into this year’s Hula Bowl Hall of Fame along with Drew Brees, Tim Brown, Steve Spurrier and Jesse Sapulo.
O’Farrell was inducted for ensuring all 94 of the players on the rosters were protected during the pandemic by installing Synexis bio-defense devices in the Aloha Stadium locker rooms. The devices were also installed in the hotel where the players stayed and in the Hula Bowl headquarters.
Team Kai, coached by Rex Ryan, won 15-13 over Team Aina, coached by Mike Singletary. An offensive and defensive MVP were named for each team. For Team Kai, the most valuable players were running back CJ Marable (Coastal Carolina) and cornerback Nick McCloud (Notre Dame). For Team Aina, the MVPs were running back Mekhi Sargent (Iowa) and defensive end Carlo Kemp (Michigan).
The 94 college seniors showcased their talents in front of 32 NFL scouts from each National Football League team, one Canadian Football League scout, and one WWE wrestling entertainment scout.
“Last year over 60 players signed with the NFL,” O’Farrell said. “And this year it looks like the number will be in the 70s.”