POWERADE FOOTBALL: SAMOANA SHARKS ARE READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL
Samoana High School’s “Sharks” Football Team” is not only eager, but ready to get this year’s football season rolling. The Sharks, who picked up their last Championship title back in 2009 against the Warriors, are definitely looking to claiming the title this year which rumors say, belongs to the Sharks.
In his second year of leading Samoana’s Football Program, Silasila Samuelu, head coach of the Sharks is looking to make big things happen in this year’s 2013 American Samoa High School Athletic Association’s (ASHSAA) Football League. Last year, Samoana finished 5th place, after losing to the Wildcats in the qualifying match to make the playoffs, and it was the same story the year before that.
This year, Samuelu is bringing a much more challenging squad to the field, to compete in this year’s season. “There is a big difference in our program this year compared to last year’s team, and I believe every year should have changes for the betterment of the program. Not only for the benefit of the players, but for the benefit of our coaching staff, to improve as a team.”
He added, “as to questions about the Sharks — if we’re ready— I have already discussed with the parents of my players and our booster club that our Samoana football program this year, is more than ready to open up this year’s football season, and compete.”
According to the Shark’s Head Coach, their preparations for this school year started earlier this year. “We started our first practice for this year’s season since February of this year, and we started out with weight lifting and running for the kids. As some of you know, our weightlifting room was robbed sometime this year, and we were very unfortunate to lose our weightlifting equipment.”
He added, “but this is a blessed opportunity for me to acknowledge and give thanks to those who donated some weightlifting equipment for our team and our school after we lost all our equipment to whomever broke in and took them. I would like to acknowledge TJ’s Gym in Tafuna, as well as our former coach Keiki Misipeka, who had left island, for donating weightlifting equipment to help out with our football program… so thank you guys very much for this generous donation.”
According to Samuelu, “This year, I have 55 players on our Varsity squad alone, and we have 33 players on our Junior Varsity roster; that’s not including our injured players who are in recovery for the season, so I’d say we have about 90 plus players in our program this year.”
He added, “as to our coaching staff, we have a total of seven coaches helping out with both of our divisional squads this year. Coache Meauta Mageo is taking the reins of offensive coordinator this year, Faraimo Siuele is our defensive coordinator, Cyrus Paopao is our JV’s offensive coordinator, and I am helping out at the defensive coordinator position for our JV program since we still haven’t found anyone to take over. We also have assistant coaches who help us out a lot like coaches Sa Suluai and Galo Tuiolosega as well as Keith Uta, so that’s an overall look at our football program for this year.”
When asked if Samoana’s football program was affected in any way this year with the DOE and ASHSAA’s 2.0 GPA criteria for the eligibility of student athletes, he responded, “I will testify to the world right now that Samoana’s football program is the only program that is honest and righteously on point with this 2.0 GPA system.”
He added, “We have players who are not eligible to play due to their GPA, but we still have them running with the football team. They have already been informed that they are not going to play in any of this year’s season games, and they have understood the point that we have been preaching to them for a long time — that education comes first. We are trying to seek out a tutorial program for these players to bring their grades up, but until then, they are to sit out the whole season if there is still no improvement in their educational effort, and I have made sure that they understood that.”
He added, “I have turned in all our players’ names to our new principal, Mataese Samuelu, and he has given me the names of the players who can’t play, and the players who are eligible to be on the field this year. As to this GPA system for student athletes, I myself support this effort a hundred and ten percent because it’s a system that challenges the minds of our student athletes to not only compete outside of the classroom, but inside as well because these things go hand in hand with the outcome of their athletic career as to whichever road they choose to go when they leave Samoana High.”
Coach Samuelu mentioned to Samoa News that Samoana has been getting a lot of help through the football summer camps that were held on island, and they are planning for something far more than on-island camps for the upcoming year.
“I am so thankful to these football camps that were held this summer, because these are the same things that are being taught at the summer camps off island, that some of the football teams down here take advantage of, with trips going to Oregon and so forth. Teams like Tafuna, Fagaitua and Leone, but not Samoana, I think the last time Samoana ever went on a football camp trip off- island was back in 1998.”
He said, “That’s why we, as a coaching staff along with principal Samuelu, have planned to take the team on an off island trip after this season. It has been in the planning process for the past two years now, and now that Mataese is our principal, we are going to make it happen because he was also one of our coaches who brought this matter up in the past. So we would like to reach out to all the Samoana High School alumni’s out there, to help out our school program in this effort. If you see our football team having fundraisers after the season such as car washes and so forth, it’s for that reason.”
As to Samoana’s goal for this year’s ASHSAA 2013 Football Season, Head Coach Samuelu has a very simple quest, and a noble one too that will hopefully lead to the success of their program this year: “In my heart and the mindset that I have right now for our team, all I want for them is to be humble. Win, lose, or tie, all I want for our program is to be humble and to have high spirits of who they are, what they’re fighting for, and who they’re fighting for, as well as who they represent on and off the field, it’s quite that simple.”
Samuelu wants to thank all of those who have helped throughout their preparations for this upcoming season.
“I would like to first thank my coaches especially their families, for being patient, understanding, and very supportive of what we have to accomplish this year as not only a team, but as a family. I know all of us have work, families to tend to, and religious callings to tend to but they have given their time and effort to be here with these kids, to give them the knowledge that they have of the sport of football, and to hope that the kids will take it in as a guideline for them throughout their lives.”
He concluded, “I also want to thank our principal and our school for being supportive of our effort towards our season this year. I would especially like to thank my players — especially their parents for allowing them to play for our team this year, and for supporting us throughout the summer. I would like to ask all of the parents and alumni out there as well as our school, to come out and support our team this Saturday for our first game of the season.”
Samoana High School’s Varsity football team will face the Marist Crusaders this Saturday as the last game of the day for our 2013 ASHSAA Football 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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