POWERADE FOOTBALL: MARIST CRUSADERS NEW OUTLOOK, READY TO DO BATTLE
The Fa’asao Marist High School 2013 Football Team “Crusaders” is coming iin with a whole different look to the 2013 ASHSAA Football Season, with a young but competitive squad this year who have experience from the previous years.
As Samoa News witnessed, the majority of the Crusaders’ team this year are underclassmen, but they all have over four years experience with the sport of football, with their talents carried over to high school from the AYF program as well as their Junior Varsity squad.
Due to the low enrollment at FMHS this year, the school will not have a Junior Varsity program, which will bring a greater threat to this year's league, with the number of star players from their recent JV program, now in the Varsity squad, that will compete in this year's football season.
The Crusaders team, which has been under the management of Head Coach Filoiali’i Langkilde, will be running under his wing again this year since his bestowment of the HC position last year. Marist —who have been known to upset some of the major teams on island in the previous ASHSAA football seasons— looking to come back and post a greater threat to the sport like never before.
According to Head Coach Langkilde, “Our team has been in training for the past three to four months. We have a 40 man roster this year on our Varsity squad. We don’t have a JV this year since we didn’t meet ASHSAA’s 500 student enrollment in our school, but we definitely have a pretty good looking squad this year”.
He added, “Hopefully we will compete against this years teams. We definitely have a lot of retuning players from last years team, as a matter of fact, three quarters of our football team are all returning players from last years squad. There is a lot of experience in this years team and this is our actual JV team who competed two years ago in the championship game against Tafuna, so we definitely like our chances this year, and hopefully, God willing, we will put on a good showing this year”.
According to Langkilde, his coaching staff are all new, and they have been working together to keep the momentum going for the Crusaders.
“We have about five members on our coaching staff for this years Varsity team, we have first year Defensive Coordinator but his second year coaching, Uluao Letuli Sr., who will be taking the helm on the defense this year. We also have my son who is a graduate of Tafuna High School— this might be the first father and son tandem that I’ve ever heard in coaching, Filoisamoa Langkilde, will be taking the helm on our offense this year as our team’s Offensive Coordinator and I will be there to assist him.”
He added, “We also have a couple of assistant coaches, one who is a graduate of Samoana High School, Taulima Fa’apita, he is also a previous student of Fa’asao Marist, and Sonny Iosefa who is also a former Crusaders D-lineman two years ago.”
When asked if the Crusaders football program has been affected by DOE and ASHSAA’s criteria for a 2.0 GPA student athlete eligibility, Langkilde responded, “Due to the fact that we are a college preparatory school, we have very strict enforcement rules according to our academics, all across the board with that department and as a former athletics director for the school, if you do not meet the 2.0 criteria you do not play.”
He added, “If there is anyway the GPA could not be attained during the season, they start off inactive on the roster, and they sit out every game until they become eligible. We did have an individual last year who was academically ineligible, and he had to sit out four games until he brought he grades up. We try to encourage our kids and motivate them that without the academic part, you can’t play at the next level, and that’s a fact. You may be the best football player on the field, but if the college coaches or recruiters come looking, and if you don’t have the grades, then definitely you're not going anywhere.”
As to the changes to the Crusaders team this year, Langkilde explained, “We definitely have some changes this year, we did lose our former Offensive Coordinator Etuale Tuileta who is now the new OC at Leone High School, then we put in my son, so now we are running a very strict offense, and we definitely have a lot of speed compared to the previous years.”
He added, “We have a lot of talent and a lot of athleticism in our offense this year. We are anchored by our returning linemen with four out of the five guys who are Seniors and are already prospects at the college level, mainly anchored by the two Manila brothers. We also have our returning Junior running back Uluao Letuli Jr., he is also our backup quarterback and has been a big help to our team for the past two years. He played varsity during his sophomore year last year, so we are definitely looking to big things happening with him with the help of our linemen.”
As to Fa’asao Marist’s goal for this years football season, Langkilde isn’t aiming for the gold, but to take it one step at a time, “Realistically we all talk about wanting to win the championship. This is going to be my seventh year coaching for Marist, and as long as I’ve been here we always talk about winning the championship. But we have to take the baby steps in order to become a successful program, I feel every year we make those steps and this year we are going to make another step.”
"Our goal this year is to make the play-offs and go deep into the play-offs, and hopefully make it to the championship game. Realistically, we are aiming to make the play-offs and go deep into the play-offs and then we’ll see where the chips roll.”
In conclusion, Langkilde wanted to thank all of those who have supported the 2013 Crusaders football team with their preparation throughout the summer for this years football season. “We definitely want to thank our principal Joseph Victor Langkide for all his support, he’s been our main supporter through thick and thin, we would also like to thank our outgoing Bishop Quinn Weitzel for his guidance and his spiritual leadership, we are definitely going to miss him.”
He concluded, “I would also like to thank the parents that have been out here, especially Mrs. Vicky Manila and Mrs. Heavenly Letuli. They have been here for us financially, and presently here with us during practice every single day. I would also like to thank in general one of our main sponsors Chris Bonze and his family and the Accords company for taking his time out and for his generosity to creating the new paint job on the Crusaders football helmets for a new look this year.”
“Finally I want to thank some of the collegiate players who helped out this summer with our kids, former Warrior football players Zachary Langkilde and Epa Moananu who helped out big time this summer all the way up to the Polamalu Camp until they returned.
Last but not least, to the Alumni of Fa’asao Marist—come out and see the practices, come out to the games, and come out and support our team. I know we’re a small school, but we’ll definitely need your support throughout this year. Thank You.”
The Marist Crusaders Football Team faced the Samoana Sharks this Saturday, as the last game of the day for our 2013-14 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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