HomeNewsSouth Side’s Massey enjoys experience in Tiki Bowl

South Side’s Massey enjoys experience in Tiki Bowl

Caleb Massey got to have a different kind of Christmas break as the South Side football senior lineman took a trip to Hawaii to play in the Tiki Bowl all-star game.

“We had three teams there that played two games each, and my team went 1-1 and finished second,” Massey said. “It was a good day to play two games in one day in this beautiful stadium on the side of a volcano in Hawaii overlooking the city (Honolulu).”

The teams were divided evenly among three teams with players from all over the country on each team. Massey did have two teammates from West Tennessee with a pair of Haywood Tomcats on his team.

“There were five total players from Tennessee – the three of us, another guy from Chattanooga who roomed with us and another player,” Massey said. “Each team had these names that were long Hawaiian names that even the coaches had a hard time pronouncing, so they just numbered the teams and we were Team 3.”

Massey did say his team’s official name was Hanohano, which is interpreted as “honorable.”

He admitted he didn’t do well in the team’s first game.

“None of us really did because we had three days of practice, and because it rained all three days, we were practicing indoors in a ballroom at our team hotel,” Massey said. “So we were hitting, but without pads.

“It was more of a high-speed walk-through as went over a game plan with us. But we didn’t put pads on until we got out there for the game. And I think that might’ve affected us some because I know for me, it was the first time in over a month I’d put pads on. We played better in the second game we won, and I think a lot of that was we’d gotten used to playing in full pads again.”

Massey and his father, who’d made the trip with him, did get to see some sites in Hawaii, including riding a pair of rented mopeds to a historical cemetery on the volcano on the main island of Hawaii.

“There were a few historical sites we went to and got to learn some about the area,” Massey said. “Like at the cemetery we visited, there were certain trees planted there on purpose by the government that were important because they provided camouflage for soldiers who were set up there during World War II.”

Massey said he’s not sure yet if playing in the Tiki Bowl will be the final game of his football career. He’s got a couple of offers to play including one from Carson-Newman in East Tennessee.

“Playing college football is something that I think I’d enjoy doing, but I’ve also been planning to be a diesel mechanic,” said Massey, who’s working now at Black & Decker as part of Jackson-Madison County Schools’ LOOP Program. “I’ve got opportunities to work in different places around here with what I already know making $20/hour and get any college education or trade school training I decide to get paid for.

“So I’ve got to make a decision about what I want to do.”

If he does decide he’s done playing football, Massey said he’s OK with playing his final game in Hawaii.

“That’s a great place to be able to say I played a football game, and not many people have done it,” Massey said. “It was a fun experience that I was glad to be able to do.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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