32 honored during “Student-Athlete Ceremony of Recognition”
This past Saturday’s “Student-Athlete Ceremony of Recognition” honored some of the most explosive graduating senior athletes who will be leaving soon for college on mostly football scholarships — two are on baseball scholarships. Hosting the event was Field House 100 American Samoa and its director, Brandon Smart; Pastor Brian Smart, and Happy Valley Baptist Church Pastor Elise Tafeo.
Numerous parents, friends, and family members showed up for the gathering to witness student athletes from all over the island officially sign onto the schools of their choice.
Lt. Governor Faoa I. Sunia, accompanied by Mrs.ElisapetaSunia, provided the address to the young athletes (some of whom were unable to attend). “These young men represent not only the brightest our island has to offer, but also the toughest and most hard-working. I look forward to following them as they leave the island and represent our culture,” he said.
Opening remarks by Pastor Smart was a testimony to how hard work paid off making this day possible. “So many people on the island have worked hard to get these students to where they are today. It has taken teachers, principals, parents, coaches, and relatives to work together to make this day happen. I want to also mention the guidance counselors who work so hard behind the scenes to make sure these student-athletes are ready for college.”
According to Executive Director of Field House 100 Brandon Smart, this program is dedicated to helping student athletes on island. “Field House 100 has been helping student athletes earn college scholarships in football, baseball, women’s soccer, and softball over the last three years in American Samoa. Working closely with the schools, we have helped over 65 students earn over two million dollars in scholarships,” he said,
He also recognized and acknowledged those who have helped the student athletes prepare and go on to college. “We are very grateful to the amazing principals, teachers, coaches and guidance counselors who work tirelessly to support students behind the scenes at all schools in American Samoa. Without the deep convictions of these individuals, we could not be hosting today’s ceremony. We would also like to thank Sandra King Young of PiCED, and Mel Purcell and Peter Gurr of the Samoa Bowl for what they do for the athletes on the island.”
The one hour program closed with recognition of each scholar athlete.
Closing thoughts were from Pastor Elise Tafao who urged people to continue to pray for these young men of American Samoa as they begin the next chapter in their lives. “I ask God to watch over them and stress the importance of these athletes staying connected with Christ through reading the bible daily,” he said.
2012 Student Athletes
Student High School College
1. Destiny Vaeao- Tafuna Washington State University
2. Robert Barber- Fagaitua Washington State University
3. Noke Tago- Leone Oregon State University
4. Rommel Mageo- Samoana Oregon State University
5. Alex Steffany- Leone New Mexico Military Institute
6. Jeremiah Fuiava- Tafuna New Mexico Military Institute
7. Samoa Carlson Samoa- Fa’asao Marist New Mexico Military Institute
8. O.J. Mau- Fagaitua Gardner-Webb University
9. John Ioane- Tafuna Eastern New Mexico University
10. Elliot Peters- Fa’asao Marist Eastern New Mexico University
11. Ioane Ioane- Kanana Fou Savannah St. University
12. Epafara Moananu- Tafuna Savannah St. University
13. Filoisamoa Langkilde- Tafuna University of Hawaii
14. Scotland Elisara- Leone Grossmont College
15. Kevin Feliuai- Samoana Grossmont College
16. Vincent Ta’ala University of St. Mary
17. Jason Casem- Samoana University of St. Mary
18. Le-Anthony Grey- Fa’asao Marist Chabot College
19. Gabe Collins- Fa’asao Marist Chabot College
20. Daniel Etuale- Nuuuli Voc. Tech. Chabot College
21. Iosefa Su'a- Nuuuli Voc.Tech Chabot College
22. Aloese Su'a- Nuuuli Voc. Tech Chabot College
23. Lolani Fa'aloua- Nuuuli Voc. Tech Chabot College
24. Nathaniel Tuamoheloa- Nuuuli Voc. Tech Chabot College
25. Thomas Ma'o- Fagaitua Chabot College
26. Shalom Luani- Fagaitua Chabot College
27. John Aetui- Leone Chabot College
28. Michael Schuster- Fa’asao Marist Chabot College
29. Alexander Elenio- Tafuna San Bernardino College
30. Philip Fata- Samoana Golden West College
31. Leuma Fualefau Bacone College (Baseball)
32. Sailiolelagi (Jason) Laolagi Bacone College (Baseball)
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