From a Ugandan Orphanage to a KC High School Football Field

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Football fields all across the Kansas City area are filled with drama: strategy, competition, victory and defeat. But two Staley High School football players have known some real life drama

Kahluna and Faizol are ready for any challenge on the football field. They enjoy working hard and showing off their talent. But five years ago they'd never touched a football. They were in an orphanage in Uganda, Africa.

"Just the eating was bad," Kahluna says, "we had only two meals a day, maybe one."

Head Coach Fred Bouchard says he appreciates everything the boys bring to the field.

"They're continuing to grow and get better. The good Lord blessed them with some nice talent too," he says.

He's especially proud because he's not just their coach. He's their dad.

"They're great young men. They make me proud every day," Bouchard said. "Some days they aggravate me because I'm a dad, but I will tell you they're awesome young men."

Bouchard and his wife Michelle adopted Kahluna and Faizol after some of his students went to Africa.

"They went on a mission trip and came back on a different mission," Michelle said. "The second mission being, 'Let's get some of these kids out of here.'"

Bouchard and his wife already adopted three kids six years ago, but were open to the idea of drafting some new family members.

"We said, 'Who is the nicest kid, regardless, in the whole orphanage?' and they came up with a boy named Kahluna," says Fred.

Kahluna says he's glad he was adopted with his brother. Since they're the coach's kids, there's plenty of time to go over play books. And maybe dad is a little hard on them.

"Sometimes when I mess up on the plays he taps me on the head says, 'You can do better than that,'" says Faizol.

And sometimes they need that little push. Last weekend, going up against a tough team televised on ESPN, Staley High struggled.

"Yeah, we don't always win on the field and last Saturday didn't work out the way we wanted," Bouchard said, "but we're a work in progress. I'm a work in progress as a parent, I guarantee you that, and our team is a work in progress as a team."

But all of them are giving it their all. And for Kahluna and Faizol, and the whole family, their life is a big win.



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