Nineteen players from California, many representing some of the highest-ranked teams for the preseason, have been selected for the first-ever Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Watch List. The award will be presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian senior high school football player in the nation.
“There are several thousand Polynesians that play high school football today,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee. “Football for these young men is way of life, it’s family, it’s culture and an opportunity to further their education through a college scholarship.”
Sapolu, the former four-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers, is from Hawaii but his son, Roman, was a Cal-Hi Sports all-state lineman at Edison (Huntington Beach) in 2009.
Five finalists will be unveiled on December 7. The winner of the inaugural Polynesian High School Player of the Year Award will be announced on January 19, 2018 during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner (Sheraton Waikiki) and also recognized at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl.
Congratulations to these California players for being on the watch list:
E.J. Ane (Silver Valley, Yermo) DL/FB
Drew Faoliu (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) DL
Chris Fatilua (Madison, San Diego) LB
Tuni Fifita (Milpitas) WR/DB
Kekaniokoa Gonzales (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) OL
Donovan Laie (Oceanside) OL
Tuli Letuligasenoa (De La Salle, Concord) DT
Josh Madison (Newbury Park) RB/DB
Tyler Manoa (St. Francis, Mountain View) DL
Malone Mataele (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) DB/KR
Patrick Nunn (Serra, San Mateo) WR
Merlin Robinson (Serra, Gardena) LB
Raymond Scott (Narbonne, Harbor City) LB
Khalil Shakir (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) WR
Matthew Tago (Quartz Hill) LB/DB
Toa Taua (Lompoc) RB/LB
Isaak Togia (Pacifica, Garden Grove) LB
Solomon Tuliaupupu (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) LB
Solo Vaipulu (Centennial, Corona) OL