Even though the growingly popular Polynesian Bowl all-star game is played in Hawaii and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is in Honolulu, California leads the way with 14 players who have been placed on a watch list for the 2018 Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award.
Population is obviously a factor for that, but so is California’s long tradition of having outstanding high school football players of Polynesian descent.
“This Award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes.” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee. “Football for Polynesians is a way of life and an opportunity to advance their educational pursuits through a college scholarship.”
Five finalists will be unveiled on December 6, 2018. The winner will be announced on January 18, 2019 during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner (Sheraton Waikiki) and will also be recognized at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl at Aloha Stadium.
It should be expected that national powerhouse St. John Bosco of Bellflower would have the most players on the list and it does with four. But another California school that landed more than one was Menlo-Atherton. The full list of Californians on the list is below:
Ralen Goforth LB (St. John Bosco) Samoan
Daniel Heimuli LB (Menlo-Atherton) Tongan
George Holani RB (St. John Bosco) Tongan
Laiatu Latu LB/DE (Carmichael Jesuit) Tongan
Sataoa Laumea OL (Rialto Eisenhower) Samoan
Noa Ngalu DL (Menlo-Atherton) Tongan
Josh Pakola DL/TE (Mountain View Saint Francis) Samoan/Tongan
Suaava Poti DL (St. John Bosco) Samoan
Marist Talavou OL (St. John Bosco) Samoan
Jonah Tauanu’u OL (Harbor City Narbonne) Samoan
Stanley Taufoou LB (Simi Valley Grace Brethren) Tongan
Henry To’oto’o LB/RB (Concord De La Salle) Samoan
Sione Vaki WR (Brentwood Liberty) Tongan
Max Williams DB (Gardena Serra) Hawaiian