POWERADE FOOTBALL: TAFUNA WARRIORS READY TO DEFEND CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES
There are a couple of Warrior mottos very popular during the ASHSAA Football season: “Warrior Football is not for Everyone”, and “In Warrior Football, there are no winners or losers, only survivors”. The hype the players have grown to experience is displayed through their spiritual “Siva Tau” war dance or haka since its debut in 2007, and has changed the hype tradition from “Game Day” to “Time for War”.
For the past six years Tafuna has captured the American Samoa High School Football League and its competitors in the Junior Varsity Division, with six Championship titles in a row; while the Varsity was collecting them one bit at a time.
Tafuna’s Oakland Salave’a, who is sitting at the Head Coach position for the Warriors Varsity squad, has not once completed a season without an Undefeated Championship title, since his appearance as the JV Head Coach four years ago.
His perfected methods of winning championship titles came with him to the Varsity level, as he coached the same squad he taught at the JV level. He was selected as the Varsity Head Coach last year, replacing former Head Coach Bishop Jason Magalei.
According to Salave’a, nothing has really changed, “We approach this season the same way. The only difference is we try to find new ways to better ourselves from the year before. But our preparations have always been the same, we follow the same ideas that we have used the years before.”
Salave’a told Samoa News the Tafuna Warriors Varsity squad this year, is running with 45 student athletes who will work to defend their title this season.
When asked if any of the football camps held this summer helped Tafuna in any way, he responded, “We picked up a few techniques, and some new ideas from the University of Oregon and their coaching staff. There was also a chance for us coaches to align what we’re doing with our kids here, with what the coaches are doing off island.”
He mentioned some of the changes made to their team this year, but never went into detail, according to Salave’a those are some of the things they can never reveal. “There are just a few things that we twisted here and there, but we’re not going to get into that, because it’s one of those things that we think as staff gives us the upper hand with a lot of our competitors here on island.”
Samoa News asked Head Coach Salave’a, about DOE and ASHSAA’s criteria for a 2.0 GPA for the eligibility of players, if it affected his team in anyway.
He responded, “The system has been there, even when I was in school here, it’s just now that it seems like it’s a new thing because it has been talked about more,” adding, “We preach the fact that you have to be a good student, in order for you to become a good football player, and it has always been a two-way street.”
According to Salave’a their ultimate goal this year is to have a chance, “to play the last game of the season, the championship game, and that has been our goal ever since we started training for this upcoming season.”
The THS head coach and Junior Varsity Head Coach Kolose Ili would like to express their sincerest thank you to all of those who have been major supporters throughout their preparations for the 2013- 14 football season. “That’s the unique thing about football compared to the other sports here on island, is that football, the whole community gets involved.”
He added thank yous to, “the student body, the faculty, the principal the vice principal, to the parents and also to the community. This also goes far back to all the Warrior Alumni, the former students that graduated here at Tafuna High School. Somehow they still have pride in their school and it means a lot to us to see the support from them.”
Salave’a noted, “I want to thank everyone, I don’t want to mention any names just in case I’d miss somebody, then it’ll come back and hurt our program, but I would like to thank everybody who has been donating and helping out our program here at Tafuna High School.”
He concluded, “I would also like to wish all the coaches and their programs good luck, for the upcoming season.”
This Saturday, Tafuna will face the same opponent from last year’s Championship Game— the Leone Lions— at the Veterans Memorial Stadium at 8:00 A.M. as the first match of the day, our Season Opener.
Coverage of this year’s ASHSAA football season is brought to you by Powerade, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid & Co. Ltd. — Family of fine beverages — “Oloa o Leala”
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