Renewal Of A Rivalry; A Hawaiian Cowboy


Renewal of a Rivalry That Dates Back Four Decades, Battle for the Paniolo Trophy

      Wyoming and Hawai’i will renew a rivalry that dates back to 1978.  Since the 1979 season, the two schools have played for the Paniolo Trophy.  Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for Cowboy.


      In the second year of the series, a group of Hawaiian residents, with roots in Wyoming, donated a statuette of a Cowboy preparing to toss a lariat.  At the time the traveling trophy was introduced to the rivalry both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference, as Hawai’i joined the WAC in 1979.  Wyoming leads the Paniolo Trophy series with 13 wins to Hawai’i’s eight victories.  The overall series is led by Wyoming 13-9, when including Hawai’i’s win in the inaugural 1978 game.

      For the next 19 years, from 1979 to 1997, the two teams competed for the Paniolo Trophy.  After Wyoming’s 35-6 win in the 1997 meeting in Honolulu, the series between the two schools ended.  Due to the rotating schedule of the then 16-team WAC, Wyoming and Hawai’i weren’t scheduled to play in 1998.  In 1999, Wyoming joined the Mountain West Conference.  The series was interrupted for 15 years.

      The series was renewed in 2013, when Hawai’i joined the Mountain West as a football playing member.  Wyoming recorded a 59-56 overtime victory in Laramie in 2013.  Hawai’i won in 2014 in Honolulu by a score of 38-28.

      When Hawai’i was invited to join the Mountain West Conference, the two schools began discussion of a renewal of the Paniolo Trophy competition.  But over the 15-year timespan that the series was interrupted the Paniolo Trophy was lost, which became a story in itself.  Each school searched for it, but it was not to be found.

      Enter a new group of Hawai’i fans to continue the tradition.  The Paniolo Preservation Society, a 12-year old group dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s rich Cowboy heritage proposed a new trophy.  Led by the Society’s President, Mrs. Patricia C. Bergin, a bronze maquette, featuring Hawaiian native Ikua Purdy roping a wild stag bull, was donated to the two schools in 2013 to mark renewal of the series.  Purdy became the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.  The bronze is a reproduction of a larger work by noted western sculptor Fred Fellows.  The reproduction measures approximately 20” long and 12” high.

Hawaiian Cowboy

      Cowboy senior Tim Kamana is the lone Wyoming Cowboy from the state of Hawai’i.  Kamana played his high school football at Punahou High School in Honolulu.  He attended the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point in the fall of 2012 following his graduation from high school, and transferred to the University of Wyoming in January 2013 as a mid-year signee.  Kamana has been a valuable contributor for the Cowboy defense, and enters this week with 84 career tackles, two career interceptions and six career pass breakups.  The only other times that Wyoming has played Hawai’i during Kamana’s career was in 2013, when Kamana was redshirting, and in 2014 when Kamana started that game at strong safety and recorded five tackles including four solo tackles.