VIDEO ADDED! LOCALS PLEDGE TO COLLEGES ON NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
This past Wednesday was a big event for all high school Senior student-athletes around the world — it was the U.S. “National Signing Day” — used by by college or university recruiters to get players to attend their particular schools, usually with the enticement of scholarships to achieve athletic and academic excellence.
National Signing Day has been a big event in American Samoa for the past couple of years, especially with the enormous support of Field House 100 (FH100), a non-profit organization located in American Samoa and Tennessee. This organization has helped local student athletes for the past 4 years to identify their college of interest, apply to the school of their choice, gain acceptance to the next level, and choose where to earn their college diploma, and their assistance in the process continues to this day.
As of 2014 National Signing Day (3rd year for American Samoa), FH100 helped 19 Samoan student-athletes to sign their Letters of Intent to play college sports. 16 were present with their parents at the signing ceremony to officially make their mark on the college contract of their choice. These 16 athletes, included 14 male football scholars, and 2 female volleyball scholars. One local athlete didn’t make it to the signing ceremony, and the other two signed their letters off-island, as they are both Junior College transfers.
American Samoa is known to the United States as “Football Island”, and colleges off-island turn to our territory, more often than not, for “lineman” players. It’s believed many college coaches rely on Polynesian linemen to anchor any team with their characteristic strong calf and thigh muscles hold a steady and strong offense or defense line on the field.
Volleyball has been a newcomer on the block for the territory’s female players, with recent college recruitments only happening over the last few years, in comparison to football.
Field House 100’s Keiki Misipeka was the coordinator of the signing day in American Samoa this year, and his guidance of the signing process made the transition possible this year for our student athletes and their families.
“On behalf of Field House 100, today is National Signing Day, and we are the last place on Earth to sign our letters of intent. We were able to secure 19 kids today, with two female athletes who have volleyball scholarships, and the rest are all male football scholars,” said Misipeka.
He added, “I would like to thank the parents for being very cooperative. I would also like to thank the coaches, counselors, mentors, and everyone who has been behind the scenes of making this process work for our local kids here in American Samoa.
“Acknowledgements go out to our new FH100 board member, Academic Coordinator Rachel Jennings, and to Aumua Amata, Brandon and Brian Smart for making this day possible— and just the whole community for coming together and making this day special for our kids. That’s what we’re all about, helping the kids and building the future generation of American Samoa.”
STUDENT-ATHLETE SCHOLARS FOR 2014
Elizabeth Muliaga (LHS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Volleyball
Titiula Manuma (THS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Volleyball
Chaun Maiava (THS) - North Park University: Football
Fritz Helg (SHS) - North Park University: Football
Don Jennings (FMHS) - North Park University: Football
Filo Langkilde (ASCC/JC Transfer) - North Park University: Football
Mike Schuster (JC Transfer) - North Park University: Football (off-island)
Ricardo Gonzales (JC Transfer) - North Park University: Football (off-island)
Frank Luvu (THS) - Washington State University: Football
Abraham Maiava (THS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Anetone Anetone (THS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Christopher Manila (FMHS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Edward Taufa’asau (SHS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Frank Seiuli (SHS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Jared Tuifalasa’i (THS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Lando Grey (FMHS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Tauivi Ho Ching (THS) - New Mexico Military Institute: Football
Pelekina PJ Fuimaono (SHS) - Arizona Western College: Football
Dwayne Mauga (KFOU) - Arizona Western College : Football (Did not make the signing)