Togiola congratulates Coach Pooch Ta’ase on selection as Coach of the Tournament
AUSTIN Texas — Governor Togiola Tulafono praised and congratulated American Samoa Under 19 Head Football Coach Sua’ese ‘Pooch’ Ta’ase for being selected as Coach of the Tournament of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) 2012 World Championships.
American Samoa head coach Sua’ese ‘Pooch’ Ta’ase was named Coach of the Tournament having taken his team from their eighth seed ranking to a final fifth placing, according to the IFAF.
Before departing for Atlanta, the governor expressed his congratulations to Coach Ta’ase being honored with the very prestige accolade for American Samoa.
Togiola said, “This is indeed a very special honor for all of American Samoa and especially for Coach Pooch Ta’ase. To be selected by your coaching peers, tournament coordinators and IFAF officials as Coach of the Tournament is truly special of an honor for our coach because of his commitment to our young people across the Territory.
“I wish to congratulate Coach Pooch in saying this selection is more than an honor for someone that has displayed for many years that he genuinely loves and enjoys what he does in life in promoting in our youth to continue to aim for the highest goal possible and never let anyone say that you cannot reach for the stars.
“This isn’t just a trophy for Coach Pooch, it is a validation of his hard work and dedication to a lifetime commitment of being a part of the lives of our youngsters to lead positive and productive lives as Samoans with a plan to return and carry the torch in lending a hand to our future generation.
“Congratulations, Coach. Thank you for your love, passion and respect for the game that you truly care for. You love living your life. You have the passion for your work, and you respect what can be attained for young American Samoans in the classroom and on the field.
“Also, special congratulations on the selection of two of our players to the All-Tournament team. Congratulations to Ietitaia Manu and Justus Fa’ai’u on their selection. We are very proud of this honor that you have received on being on this special team. This is a wonderful recognition for the two of you and for American Samoa. Congratulations. Fa’afetai ma Fa’amalo.”
Canada defensive back Kevin McGee took the tournament MVP award on a night when his two interceptions helped to shut down the United States as Canada won the Gold Medal.
“I didn't think I’d even be a game MVP let alone the tournament MVP,” said McGee. “It's unexpected. They’ll be really happy and really proud of me back home (at Champlain College in Sherbrooke, Quebec). I’m pretty happy.
“Everybody expected the Americans to win and we shocked the world. Hopefully everybody realizes we're not just a hockey nation, we're a football nation.”
McGee led the tournament with 4 passes defended and had 2 interceptions and recorded 12 tackles.
In continuing news from the IFAF, the organization, on Saturday, announced its 2012 IFAF Under-19 World Championship of American Football All-Tournament Team selection, for the 2012 IFAF Under-19 World Championship played at Burger Stadium in Austin from June 30 to July 7.
The first-time entrants on the international stage became the first team to score a touchdown in four U-19 tournament games against the United States in a first round 27-6 loss, then bounced back to defeat Panama 51-0 and France 27-14 to finish fifth overall.
Suaese, after the game noted,“I am kind of surprised… I assumed Canada's coach would win. I thank our assistants and all of our players. Their effort made this happen. It's also special with our governor being here tonight.
“Our experience here means a lot because the community back home went through a lot of effort to finance the trip to make it possible for us to be here. The players had to work through a lot to be here. They had to work hard.
“We're getting ready for 2014 and we're already getting emails from people interested in playing for us. American Samoa players are scattered everywhere and they want to participate in 2014 so it’s going to get better.”
The all-tournament team featured 24 players in total with 9 from the United States, 8 from Canada, 2 from American Samoa and Japan and one each from Austria, France and Sweden.
Canadian quarterback Will Finch, who completed 19 of 29 pass attempts for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns, was joined by his favorite receiver Doug Corby, who had 12 receptions for a tournament-high 290 yards and 2 touchdowns.
American running back Tarean Folston who had 26 carries for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns and a third score receiving, was joined by USA teammate Demarcus Ayres, who had 12 receptions for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. Durham Smythe from USA, who caught 7 passes for 55 yards won the vote at the tight end position.
American Samoa running back Ietitaia Manu completed the all-tournament backfield in recognition of his tournament-best 27 carries for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns.
USA had Hunter Bivin and Logan Tuley-Tillman selected for offensive line honors alongside Louis-Gabriel Beaudet from Canada, Daniel Feichter of Austria and Japan's Kenzo Shimano.
On the defensive side of the ball, Canadian defensive linemen Edward Godin-Gosselin and Charles Remi-Sarrazin were joined by Dakota Jackson of the USA and DL/LB Justus Fa’ai’u from American Samoa. Fa’ai’u led the tournament with 3 sacks and was second with 4.5 tackles for a loss.
Eric Beisel and Reggie Chevis from USA were joined by Canada's John Rush as the linebackers honored. Rush was the tournament's third-leading tackler with 14.5 and was Canada's MVP in the semifinal win over Japan, while Beisel posted 3.5 tackles for a loss and Chevis 3 among their stats.
Four different nations were represented in the defensive backfield. Tournament MVP Kevin McGee from Canada had 4 pass break ups, closely followed by Cameron Walker from USA with 3 and Yuta Shimozuru from Japan and Carl Tembo from France who each recorded 2.
Two players were honored as specialists. Canada kicker Louis-Phillipe Simoneau made 4 of 5 field goals with a long of 37 yards, 8 of 10 extra points and punted 8 times for 309 yards and a 38.6-yard average.
Swedish running back Oscar Nevermann scored a tournament-record five touchdowns in his team's seventh-place win over Panama and led the tournament in points scored with 30. He also led the all-purpose yardage with 445 total yards.
Country No. Pos. Name
CAN 12 QB Will Finch
USA 10 RB Tarean Folston
AMS 12 RB Ietitaia Manu
USA 16 WR Demarcus Ayres
CAN 23 WR Doug Corby
USA 88 TE Durham Smythe
USA 70 OL Hunter Bivin
USA 72 OL Logan Tuley-Tillman
AUT 62 OL Daniel Feichter
JAP 75 OL Kenzo Shimano
CAN 69 OL Louis-Gabriel Beaudet
Country No. Pos. Name
CAN 55 DL Edward Godin-Gosselin
CAN 97 DL Charles Remy-Sarrazin
USA 44 DL Dakota Jackson
AMS 42 DL/LB Justus Fa’ai’u
CAN 25 LB John Rush
USA 28 LB Eric Beisel
USA 13 LB Reggie Chevis
USA 3 DB Cameron Walker
JAP 11 DB Yuta Shimozuru
CAN 21 DB Kevin McGee
FRA 3 DB Carl Tembo
Country No. Pos. Name
CAN 14 K Louis-Phillipe Simoneau
SWE 4 All-Purpose Oscar Neverman
(Sources: americansamoa.gov and www.ifaf.org)