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SAMOANA SHARKS EYEING THE PLAY-OFFS THIS YEAR

tony@samoanews.com
A look at Samoana High School’s Varsity football team. The team is now under the management of new Head Coach Silasila Samuelu. See Sports section for today’s coverage of the Sharks in Samoa News’ pre-season huddle coverage of the 2012- 13 ASHSAA football season brought to you by Coca-Cola and Powerade, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid & Co. Ltd. ‘Oloa O Leala’, Your Family of Fine Beverages. [photo: TG]

The question asked often of Samoana High School’s football team: “Where is that fire that sent the Sharks home with the ASHSAA Football Championship title two years ago?” The answer perhaps lies somewhere in the changes the Sharks are now dealing with at home.

This year, Samoana has a new principal — Elia Savali — who is also well known on island as being involved with sports for over ten years, including coaching football at Fagaitua, Samoana and Nu’uuli Voc-Tech high schools.

And, as the new principal, Savali has appointed Silasila Samuelu to be the new Head Coach for the Sharks. Samuelu has worked behind the scenes for a long time with former Shark head coaches Pepine Lauvao and Mataese Samuelu.

“For this season and this school year, everything has been very difficult for our football team and our school and as you all know, we have a new principal who came in with his different ideas of how to work things throughout this school year and this football season — and all these things took place three weeks ago,” said the new head coach.

“It was hard for us coaches to rearrange and trying to set up everything about who’s playing this position, and who’s playing that position,” Samuelu told Samoa News. “So we as coaches are working very hard to reconstruct our team on positioning and what schemes we can utilize these players in during game time.”

Samuelu noted, “Also a big plus for us is new Principal Elia Savali, who is one of the legendary coaches on island, and I am grateful for the opportunity that he has given me, and grateful that I can work with him. I know he has a lot of knowledge about this game, and [has] different schemes he can install in our new Sharks football team this year.”

If you didn’t catch it: the Sharks’ new principal is also coaching — he’s the Sharks Varsity Offensive Coach.

According to Samuelu, he hasn’t made any major changes to the team since he found out that he was head coach three weeks ago.

“It was really kind of hard for us, especially myself, when I was appointed as the new head coach, I thought to myself that it was too late to make any changes, so my plan is, whatever we started with during Spring and Summer practices, that’s what we’re going to stick with and that’s the pattern that we will continue to work with throughout this football season, because we don’t have much time to make any sudden changes to the team.”

He told Samoa News “throughout the Summer, we have had scrimmages with the Fagaitua Vikings and some of our other teams on island, and I must say, that is where I saw the big gap with a team that is well prepared from a team that still needs some work.”

Samoana High School’s goal for this year’s football season, while it is of course to make it to the championships, the new head coach says, the playoffs are their main focus right now.

“When I took over I had in mind that I have been involved in coaching Samoana for seven years, and it always crossed my mind that Samoana has been out of the play offs for two years now, and that is my main focus right now, is to take these kids up to that level again, nevertheless, we will be taking this season one step at a time.”

He concluded, “I want to thank my coaching staff for their hard efforts and time put in to the kids — of trying to cope with them during practice, I would also like to thank the parents of my players for … to tell the kids to come to practice; also a big thanks goes out to our Principal Elia Savali and Vice Principal and also former head coach Mata’ese Samuelu, for helping our team not only physically, but mentally.”

The Samoa News “Huddle” coverage of the 2012- 13 ASHSAA football season is brought to you by Coca-Cola and Powerade, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid & Co. Ltd. ‘Oloa O Leala’, Your Family of Fine Beverages.



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