THS senior dominates Hawaiian fear factor, competes in Honolulu’s Pigskin Classic
If Cameron Adcox had come across the dish of poi any other time, he likely wouldn't have ever eaten it.
However, the Tonganoxie High senior football player was taking part in a "Fear Factor" contest June 6 in Honolulu as part of the Hawaiian Olympics. He was representing Tonganoxie and the Great Plains region.
As it's known in Hawaii, poi is a Polynesian staple food that mashes cooked corm -- the base of a kalo plant -- with a sticky liquid. Adcox didn't find it too appealing.
"It's like a liquid, like pudding, but it's grey and has pulpish-looking stuff in there," Adcox said. "It's probably the worst liquid I've ever tasted."
Adcox was essentially the sole reason the Great Plains team won the contest. He also downed a jar of Hawaiian Spam before eating the poi.
"That was my MVP moment of the Hawaiian Olympics," Adcox said. "We ended up winning by quite a bit -- two or three dishes."
The real reason Adcox traveled to Hawaii wasn't to take part in precarious eating contests, though. The defensive tackle was chosen to play in the June 10 King Kamehameha Pigskin Classic in Honolulu.
Adcox competed on the Great Plains team, which included five players from Kansas, and a handful of others from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Iowa and Montana. Tonganoxie High running back D.J. Gray was also selected but couldn't make the trip.
Before Adcox took the west-bound flight, he raised $1,700 from local businesses. His father, Billy, also traveled to Honolulu. They stayed June 4-12.
The Kansas summer humidity helped Adcox's stamina.
"They went 12-minute halves to help with conditioning because not all those guys were in the best of shape," Adcox said. "I wasn't too bad, actually. (In Kansas), it's all humid and hot out here, but out there, it's just pure sunlight. No humidity. Beautiful weather."
The classic started with four teams. The winners of each game played in the finals in a separate game.
Adcox's Great Plains team defeated Ohio-Indiana, 18-0. The team advanced to the finals against Kentucky-Georgia and lost in triple overtime, 20-18, on the last play of the game.
"It was one of the best games I've ever played in," Adcox said. "I've played in quite a few games with Tongie, but none of the teams we matched up against were as dead even as we were."
The game was so close that neither team scored in regulation.
In the first overtime, the Great Plains and Kentucky-Georgia scored a touchdown but missed the extra point, forcing another overtime.
Both teams scored on their first offensive plays of the second overtime. Both teams fittingly made their extra points.
Both teams had to go for the two-point conversion in the third overtime since college rules applied. Kentucky-Georgia scored on its first possession of overtime, then converted the two-point try. The Great Plains followed up with a touchdown of its own, but missed the two-point conversion to end the game.
Off the field, Adcox and his father spent much of their time on the Waikiki and North Shore beaches. They took part in a submarine ride, where they went down 120 feet under water and saw sea turtles and various kinds of fish. They also visited Pearl Harbor.
Billy Adcox had never been to Hawaii. He said he'd been on many vacations -- Orlando, Las Vegas, Arizona, Mount Rushmore -- but this ranked as one of his top trips.
"I already miss the beach," Billy Adcox said. "It was fun every day to watch the sunrise and sunset. I would recommend that any kid who gets the opportunity to take it."