Cactus’ ‘Ohana’ Amplifies Historic Culture and Tradition

From Cactus High School’s opening in 1978, the school has built itself on tradition and culture. Part of its foundation is the football program, which has only suffered two losing records in 34 seasons of play. But it was only a few years ago that the campus adopted the popular Hawaiian phrase of “Ohana,” popularized to the younger generations by Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch.” The football program also took this phrase to heart to remind their family that no one gets left behind. 

After going undefeated in the regular season for the first time in 16 years, the Cobra’s playoffs came to an early conclusion in the first round of the Open Division Playoffs with a 41-21 loss to Saguaro. Cactus was ranked as the fourth-best team in the state of Arizona by the AIA’s algorithm and played in the Open Division after nearly winning the 4A Conference title one season ago.

Even though the program hoped for a championship ring in 2021 and only got to play a single postseason contest, its coaches and players rallied around their Ohana for a season that none of them will ever forget.