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Warriors and Lions prosper in ASHSAA Football Week No.3 – “Rivalry Weekend”

tony@samoanews.com

This past weekend, the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) hosted week 3 of football action for the 2016-17 season, “Rivalry Weekend”, where the Lions faced the Sharks for the first time this year in their ‘Clash of the Titans’ rivalry game, and the Vikings and Warriors in their ‘Battle of the Toa’s’ rivalry showdown. Both concluded in favor of both west side teams.

 

The first game of the double header showdown opened up with the Sharks and Lions varsity match up, where the Lions devoured the Sharks in a 28- 7 victory, Leone’s third win of the season so far – with Samoana still trying to collect their first victory for the season.

 

For the Battle of the Toa’s showdown, the Warriors weren’t showing too much in their match against the Vikings, as they were stuck to the wildcat formation, and stuck with the quarterback option play that helped them take a 12 - 0 comfortable lead in the beginning of the game. Vikings picked up the pace towards the second half of the game, but it wasn’t enough to win their first victory of the season, as this one concluded in favor of the Warriors 28 - 16.

 

LEONE LIONS 28 - SAMOANA SHARKS 7

 

In the first half of the game, Leone quickly moved downfield with a couple of passing receptions out to Ali’itoa Langkilde, who was double covered leaving Ta’ani wide open for the opening touchdown catch of the game with just 8:12 into the opening quarter of the game.

 

Not too long after that, Leone’s kick off to the Sharks was received and returned by Samia of the Sharks, all the way back to the end zone for a 91-yard touchdown return. Their PAT field goal conversion by Elliot Lelei was good enough to bring them back to lead the game by a point.

 

The biggest game changer was the effectiveness of underclassmen wide receiver Ali’itoa Langkilde, who is only a sophomore – but caught two touchdowns, passes that both ended in the end zone for touchdowns, leading Leone to their third victory of the season.

 

TAFUNA WARRIORS 28 - FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 16

 

The Warriors and Vikings match up started with the Warriors scoring three touchdown attempts – that were all called back for holding penalties, as Tafuna emphasized the running game with a quarterback option play when they frustrated Faga’itua in the majority of the first half of the match.

 

Then, in the second half, the Vikings adjusted to Tafuna’s unrevealing offensive set up, that stuck with the same play over and over again — with Vikings Vito Kitiona and Jeffrey Ulu bringing the Vikings back to take the lead 14- 16 in the third quarter of the game.

 

But Gilboy Papali’i and Andrew Toilolo stuck it out there to bring the Warriors back to taking the lead 22- 16.

 

A pick six by way of Niles Tuamoheloa closed the case for this one, when Tuamoheloa intercepted a pass by Kitiona, and took it all the way back to the end zone for a touchdown within the closing minutes of the game on the line, as the Warriors were comfortably up 28 - 16.

 

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Warriors and Lions prosper in ASHSAA Football Week No.3 – “Rivalry Weekend”

tony@samoanews.com

This past weekend, the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) hosted week 3 of football action for the 2016-17 season, “Rivalry Weekend”, where the Lions faced the Sharks for the first time this year in their ‘Clash of the Titans’ rivalry game, and the Vikings and Warriors in their ‘Battle of the Toa’s’ rivalry showdown. Both concluded in favor of both west side teams.

 

The first game of the double header showdown opened up with the Sharks and Lions varsity match up, where the Lions devoured the Sharks in a 28- 7 victory, Leone’s third win of the season so far – with Samoana still trying to collect their first victory for the season.

 

For the Battle of the Toa’s showdown, the Warriors weren’t showing too much in their match against the Vikings, as they were stuck to the wildcat formation, and stuck with the quarterback option play that helped them take a 12 - 0 comfortable lead in the beginning of the game. Vikings picked up the pace towards the second half of the game, but it wasn’t enough to win their first victory of the season, as this one concluded in favor of the Warriors 28 - 16.

 

LEONE LIONS 28 - SAMOANA SHARKS 7

 

In the first half of the game, Leone quickly moved downfield with a couple of passing receptions out to Ali’itoa Langkilde, who was double covered leaving Ta’ani wide open for the opening touchdown catch of the game with just 8:12 into the opening quarter of the game.

 

Not too long after that, Leone’s kick off to the Sharks was received and returned by Samia of the Sharks, all the way back to the end zone for a 91-yard touchdown return. Their PAT field goal conversion by Elliot Lelei was good enough to bring them back to lead the game by a point.

 

The biggest game changer was the effectiveness of underclassmen wide receiver Ali’itoa Langkilde, who is only a sophomore – but caught two touchdowns, passes that both ended in the end zone for touchdowns, leading Leone to their third victory of the season.

 

TAFUNA WARRIORS 28 - FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 16

 

The Warriors and Vikings match up started with the Warriors scoring three touchdown attempts – that were all called back for holding penalties, as Tafuna emphasized the running game with a quarterback option play when they frustrated Faga’itua in the majority of the first half of the match.

 

Then, in the second half, the Vikings adjusted to Tafuna’s unrevealing offensive set up, that stuck with the same play over and over again — with Vikings Vito Kitiona and Jeffrey Ulu bringing the Vikings back to take the lead 14- 16 in the third quarter of the game.

 

But Gilboy Papali’i and Andrew Toilolo stuck it out there to bring the Warriors back to taking the lead 22- 16.

 

A pick six by way of Niles Tuamoheloa closed the case for this one, when Tuamoheloa intercepted a pass by Kitiona, and took it all the way back to the end zone for a touchdown within the closing minutes of the game on the line, as the Warriors were comfortably up 28 - 16.

 

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Warriors and Lions prosper in ASHSAA Football Week No.3 – “Rivalry Weekend”

tony@samoanews.com

This past weekend, the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) hosted week 3 of football action for the 2016-17 season, “Rivalry Weekend”, where the Lions faced the Sharks for the first time this year in their ‘Clash of the Titans’ rivalry game, and the Vikings and Warriors in their ‘Battle of the Toa’s’ rivalry showdown. Both concluded in favor of both west side teams.

 

The first game of the double header showdown opened up with the Sharks and Lions varsity match up, where the Lions devoured the Sharks in a 28- 7 victory, Leone’s third win of the season so far – with Samoana still trying to collect their first victory for the season.

 

For the Battle of the Toa’s showdown, the Warriors weren’t showing too much in their match against the Vikings, as they were stuck to the wildcat formation, and stuck with the quarterback option play that helped them take a 12 - 0 comfortable lead in the beginning of the game. Vikings picked up the pace towards the second half of the game, but it wasn’t enough to win their first victory of the season, as this one concluded in favor of the Warriors 28 - 16.

 

LEONE LIONS 28 - SAMOANA SHARKS 7

 

In the first half of the game, Leone quickly moved downfield with a couple of passing receptions out to Ali’itoa Langkilde, who was double covered leaving Ta’ani wide open for the opening touchdown catch of the game with just 8:12 into the opening quarter of the game.

 

Not too long after that, Leone’s kick off to the Sharks was received and returned by Samia of the Sharks, all the way back to the end zone for a 91-yard touchdown return. Their PAT field goal conversion by Elliot Lelei was good enough to bring them back to lead the game by a point.

 

The biggest game changer was the effectiveness of underclassmen wide receiver Ali’itoa Langkilde, who is only a sophomore – but caught two touchdowns, passes that both ended in the end zone for touchdowns, leading Leone to their third victory of the season.

 

TAFUNA WARRIORS 28 - FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 16

 

The Warriors and Vikings match up started with the Warriors scoring three touchdown attempts – that were all called back for holding penalties, as Tafuna emphasized the running game with a quarterback option play when they frustrated Faga’itua in the majority of the first half of the match.

 

Then, in the second half, the Vikings adjusted to Tafuna’s unrevealing offensive set up, that stuck with the same play over and over again — with Vikings Vito Kitiona and Jeffrey Ulu bringing the Vikings back to take the lead 14- 16 in the third quarter of the game.

 

But Gilboy Papali’i and Andrew Toilolo stuck it out there to bring the Warriors back to taking the lead 22- 16.

 

A pick six by way of Niles Tuamoheloa closed the case for this one, when Tuamoheloa intercepted a pass by Kitiona, and took it all the way back to the end zone for a touchdown within the closing minutes of the game on the line, as the Warriors were comfortably up 28 - 16.

 

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King of the jungle – Leone Lions shock the Vikings in their 1st victory

tony@samoanews.com

The king of the jungle, the mighty Leone Lions football team dominated the reigning champs from the East, Faga'itua Vikings in both divisional competitions in first game of the season a week ago Saturday.
 
American Samoa High School Athletic Association’s (ASHSAA) 2016- 17 Football Season Opener match up had the Lions written all over it, after Head Coach Okland Salave'a’s JV program slaughtered the Vikes in their 42 - 0 shutout win, and the 22 - 6 victory in the Varsity division – a defensive effort that will be reckoned by most teams this year.
 
Following the opening ceremony of this year’s season was the Junior Varsity battle between Leone and Faga'itua, where the Lions dominated the Vikings from all corners of the game. In fact, the Lions defensive core were so consistent and hungry, they managed to keep majority of possession – inside Vikings territory, for about 70% of the game.
 
The Vikings sideline on the other hand, didn't seem too much concerned about their loss; neither did they take any of their mistakes too seriously. Head Coach Suaese “Pooch” Ta'ase and his staff seemed more concerned about getting their young and new players, to break out of their shells, knowing that this was only the first game of the season.
 
As Ta'ase emphasized during their team pre-season promo coverage, Faga'itua's goal for the season is to get better as the season goes on – and that it's not how you start, its how you finish.
 
The main event of the day – the Varsity divisional match up that had people thinking the Vikings would avenge their JV loss, unfortunately ended up in the hands of Salave'a and his Lions, as they came out to play – and they definitely sounded out their roar.
 
LEONE LIONS 22 – FAGA'ITUA VIKINGS 6 (VARSITY)
 
The Varsity divisional competition that everyone has been waiting for finally went down last Saturday. It had the Lions take the opening offensive series of the game. Leone's offensive unit led by quarterback Ronnie Ma'ae unfortunately took a four and out after a harsh defensive stop by Faga'itua's defense led by Leroy Fesili.
 
Leone's defensive unit led by Juliano Falaniko and Api So'oalo managed to stop Faga'itua's Raemos Fano and his offensive squad, short of their first offensive series — not too long after that, late in the opening quarter of the game, and the game changer came from an interception from Lions Aroni Taua'a, who intercepted a pass by Ma'ase intended for his receiver, bringing the Vikings offensive drive to start at midfield.
 
From there, Faga'itua brought a havoc running game, a no huddle unstoppable Leroy Fesili and Advent Migi, set up a fortunate opportunity for the Vikings inside Leone's redone. 1:01 remaining in the first quarter, and Faga'itua scored the first touchdown of the game on an inside hand off from Fano to Maurice Lotovale for a 3- yard touchdown.
 
Their two-point conversion was short after a fumbled toss that was recovered deep in the backfield.
 
When everyone thought that Leone couldn't answer back — Ma’ae and his offensive unit proved them wrong, after a vicious running game that was led by Leone's returning star running back, Luteru Ah Loe.
 
The Lions who kept a consistent ground game with Ah Loe and Tavita Tima – 5:56 remaining in the half, and Ma'ae handed off another running play to Ah Loe, an outside counter play that separated Ah Loe from the Vikings defense, as he stormed down the sidelines to score Leone's first touchdown of the game.
 
Following Ah Loe's 76-yard touchdown run was the Lions two point conversion – a sweep play that brought the Lions back to lead after Tavita Tima crossed the goal line.
 
And then disaster struck for the Vikings when Faga'itua back on offense after receiving the kick off, saw a helpless Fano being devoured in the backfield by Leone's defensive line – which forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by d-lineman Jared Liu Kuey, for the Lions second touchdown of the game.
 
A wide receiver option play to Ali'itoa Langkilde was good enough to extend their lead 16 - 6 heading into half time.
 
Still in the first half of the game — the Vikings once again saw disaster hit in the same place, when their quarterback Fano, took a big hit on a quarterback keep – a hit that took him out for the rest of the game, and his return for this season is questionable.
 
With Fano out for the game, Ta'ase and the Vikings brought in back up quarterback, Vito Kitiona – their starting JV quarter back from last season.
 
Kitiona led a consistent option running attack – until he optioned for his first pass that was picked off by Leone’s defense his first interception of the season.
 
The second half of the game remained in the hands of Leone, as their defensive squad led by Aden Mao became even more vicious and their strength intensified majority of the second half – shutting out the Vikings completely.
 
At the same time, Ma'ae and the Lions offensive unit continued to punish their opponents with an honest running game.
 
In the fourth quarter of the game with the crowd going rowdy, Ma'ae hooked up with Juliano Falaniko in the end zone on a play action pass play, that added six more points to the Lions side of the scoreboard.
 
The clock wound down, and Leone's side of the field celebrated their first win of the season – with a new Leone Lions football program that showed up to roar.
 
Samoa News Player of the Game is Leone High School’s Senior at Running Back: Luteru Ah Loe (#5).

YouTube 
See video
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King of the jungle – Leone Lions shock the Vikings in their 1st victory

tony@samoanews.com

The king of the jungle, the mighty Leone Lions football team dominated the reigning champs from the East, Faga'itua Vikings in both divisional competitions in first game of the season a week ago Saturday.
 
American Samoa High School Athletic Association’s (ASHSAA) 2016- 17 Football Season Opener match up had the Lions written all over it, after Head Coach Okland Salave'a’s JV program slaughtered the Vikes in their 42 - 0 shutout win, and the 22 - 6 victory in the Varsity division – a defensive effort that will be reckoned by most teams this year.
 
Following the opening ceremony of this year’s season was the Junior Varsity battle between Leone and Faga'itua, where the Lions dominated the Vikings from all corners of the game. In fact, the Lions defensive core were so consistent and hungry, they managed to keep majority of possession – inside Vikings territory, for about 70% of the game.
 
The Vikings sideline on the other hand, didn't seem too much concerned about their loss; neither did they take any of their mistakes too seriously. Head Coach Suaese “Pooch” Ta'ase and his staff seemed more concerned about getting their young and new players, to break out of their shells, knowing that this was only the first game of the season.
 
As Ta'ase emphasized during their team pre-season promo coverage, Faga'itua's goal for the season is to get better as the season goes on – and that it's not how you start, its how you finish.
 
The main event of the day – the Varsity divisional match up that had people thinking the Vikings would avenge their JV loss, unfortunately ended up in the hands of Salave'a and his Lions, as they came out to play – and they definitely sounded out their roar.
 
LEONE LIONS 22 – FAGA'ITUA VIKINGS 6 (VARSITY)
 
The Varsity divisional competition that everyone has been waiting for finally went down last Saturday. It had the Lions take the opening offensive series of the game. Leone's offensive unit led by quarterback Ronnie Ma'ae unfortunately took a four and out after a harsh defensive stop by Faga'itua's defense led by Leroy Fesili.
 
Leone's defensive unit led by Juliano Falaniko and Api So'oalo managed to stop Faga'itua's Raemos Fano and his offensive squad, short of their first offensive series — not too long after that, late in the opening quarter of the game, and the game changer came from an interception from Lions Aroni Taua'a, who intercepted a pass by Ma'ase intended for his receiver, bringing the Vikings offensive drive to start at midfield.
 
From there, Faga'itua brought a havoc running game, a no huddle unstoppable Leroy Fesili and Advent Migi, set up a fortunate opportunity for the Vikings inside Leone's redone. 1:01 remaining in the first quarter, and Faga'itua scored the first touchdown of the game on an inside hand off from Fano to Maurice Lotovale for a 3- yard touchdown.
 
Their two-point conversion was short after a fumbled toss that was recovered deep in the backfield.
 
When everyone thought that Leone couldn't answer back — Ma’ae and his offensive unit proved them wrong, after a vicious running game that was led by Leone's returning star running back, Luteru Ah Loe.
 
The Lions who kept a consistent ground game with Ah Loe and Tavita Tima – 5:56 remaining in the half, and Ma'ae handed off another running play to Ah Loe, an outside counter play that separated Ah Loe from the Vikings defense, as he stormed down the sidelines to score Leone's first touchdown of the game.
 
Following Ah Loe's 76-yard touchdown run was the Lions two point conversion – a sweep play that brought the Lions back to lead after Tavita Tima crossed the goal line.
 
And then disaster struck for the Vikings when Faga'itua back on offense after receiving the kick off, saw a helpless Fano being devoured in the backfield by Leone's defensive line – which forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by d-lineman Jared Liu Kuey, for the Lions second touchdown of the game.
 
A wide receiver option play to Ali'itoa Langkilde was good enough to extend their lead 16 - 6 heading into half time.
 
Still in the first half of the game — the Vikings once again saw disaster hit in the same place, when their quarterback Fano, took a big hit on a quarterback keep – a hit that took him out for the rest of the game, and his return for this season is questionable.
 
With Fano out for the game, Ta'ase and the Vikings brought in back up quarterback, Vito Kitiona – their starting JV quarter back from last season.
 
Kitiona led a consistent option running attack – until he optioned for his first pass that was picked off by Leone’s defense his first interception of the season.
 
The second half of the game remained in the hands of Leone, as their defensive squad led by Aden Mao became even more vicious and their strength intensified majority of the second half – shutting out the Vikings completely.
 
At the same time, Ma'ae and the Lions offensive unit continued to punish their opponents with an honest running game.
 
In the fourth quarter of the game with the crowd going rowdy, Ma'ae hooked up with Juliano Falaniko in the end zone on a play action pass play, that added six more points to the Lions side of the scoreboard.
 
The clock wound down, and Leone's side of the field celebrated their first win of the season – with a new Leone Lions football program that showed up to roar.
 
Samoa News Player of the Game is Leone High School’s Senior at Running Back: Luteru Ah Loe (#5).

YouTube 
See video
See video
See video


King of the jungle – Leone Lions shock the Vikings in their 1st victory

tony@samoanews.com

The king of the jungle, the mighty Leone Lions football team dominated the reigning champs from the East, Faga'itua Vikings in both divisional competitions in first game of the season a week ago Saturday.
 
American Samoa High School Athletic Association’s (ASHSAA) 2016- 17 Football Season Opener match up had the Lions written all over it, after Head Coach Okland Salave'a’s JV program slaughtered the Vikes in their 42 - 0 shutout win, and the 22 - 6 victory in the Varsity division – a defensive effort that will be reckoned by most teams this year.
 
Following the opening ceremony of this year’s season was the Junior Varsity battle between Leone and Faga'itua, where the Lions dominated the Vikings from all corners of the game. In fact, the Lions defensive core were so consistent and hungry, they managed to keep majority of possession – inside Vikings territory, for about 70% of the game.
 
The Vikings sideline on the other hand, didn't seem too much concerned about their loss; neither did they take any of their mistakes too seriously. Head Coach Suaese “Pooch” Ta'ase and his staff seemed more concerned about getting their young and new players, to break out of their shells, knowing that this was only the first game of the season.
 
As Ta'ase emphasized during their team pre-season promo coverage, Faga'itua's goal for the season is to get better as the season goes on – and that it's not how you start, its how you finish.
 
The main event of the day – the Varsity divisional match up that had people thinking the Vikings would avenge their JV loss, unfortunately ended up in the hands of Salave'a and his Lions, as they came out to play – and they definitely sounded out their roar.
 
LEONE LIONS 22 – FAGA'ITUA VIKINGS 6 (VARSITY)
 
The Varsity divisional competition that everyone has been waiting for finally went down last Saturday. It had the Lions take the opening offensive series of the game. Leone's offensive unit led by quarterback Ronnie Ma'ae unfortunately took a four and out after a harsh defensive stop by Faga'itua's defense led by Leroy Fesili.
 
Leone's defensive unit led by Juliano Falaniko and Api So'oalo managed to stop Faga'itua's Raemos Fano and his offensive squad, short of their first offensive series — not too long after that, late in the opening quarter of the game, and the game changer came from an interception from Lions Aroni Taua'a, who intercepted a pass by Ma'ase intended for his receiver, bringing the Vikings offensive drive to start at midfield.
 
From there, Faga'itua brought a havoc running game, a no huddle unstoppable Leroy Fesili and Advent Migi, set up a fortunate opportunity for the Vikings inside Leone's redone. 1:01 remaining in the first quarter, and Faga'itua scored the first touchdown of the game on an inside hand off from Fano to Maurice Lotovale for a 3- yard touchdown.
 
Their two-point conversion was short after a fumbled toss that was recovered deep in the backfield.
 
When everyone thought that Leone couldn't answer back — Ma’ae and his offensive unit proved them wrong, after a vicious running game that was led by Leone's returning star running back, Luteru Ah Loe.
 
The Lions who kept a consistent ground game with Ah Loe and Tavita Tima – 5:56 remaining in the half, and Ma'ae handed off another running play to Ah Loe, an outside counter play that separated Ah Loe from the Vikings defense, as he stormed down the sidelines to score Leone's first touchdown of the game.
 
Following Ah Loe's 76-yard touchdown run was the Lions two point conversion – a sweep play that brought the Lions back to lead after Tavita Tima crossed the goal line.
 
And then disaster struck for the Vikings when Faga'itua back on offense after receiving the kick off, saw a helpless Fano being devoured in the backfield by Leone's defensive line – which forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by d-lineman Jared Liu Kuey, for the Lions second touchdown of the game.
 
A wide receiver option play to Ali'itoa Langkilde was good enough to extend their lead 16 - 6 heading into half time.
 
Still in the first half of the game — the Vikings once again saw disaster hit in the same place, when their quarterback Fano, took a big hit on a quarterback keep – a hit that took him out for the rest of the game, and his return for this season is questionable.
 
With Fano out for the game, Ta'ase and the Vikings brought in back up quarterback, Vito Kitiona – their starting JV quarter back from last season.
 
Kitiona led a consistent option running attack – until he optioned for his first pass that was picked off by Leone’s defense his first interception of the season.
 
The second half of the game remained in the hands of Leone, as their defensive squad led by Aden Mao became even more vicious and their strength intensified majority of the second half – shutting out the Vikings completely.
 
At the same time, Ma'ae and the Lions offensive unit continued to punish their opponents with an honest running game.
 
In the fourth quarter of the game with the crowd going rowdy, Ma'ae hooked up with Juliano Falaniko in the end zone on a play action pass play, that added six more points to the Lions side of the scoreboard.
 
The clock wound down, and Leone's side of the field celebrated their first win of the season – with a new Leone Lions football program that showed up to roar.
 
Samoa News Player of the Game is Leone High School’s Senior at Running Back: Luteru Ah Loe (#5).

YouTube 
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ASHSAA FOOTBALL SEASON OPENING CEREMONY EMPHASIZES ACADEMICS

“Football isn’t just about one thing,” says governor

The American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) opened their 2016-17 Football Season with an official ceremony that took place at the Veterans Memorial Stadium last Saturday morning. Master of ceremonies, ASHSAA President Tupa'i Rod Atafua welcomed the teams, players, coaches, and guests in attendance.
 
Co-Acting director Philo Jennings offered opening remarks, in which he emphasized academics to the players — that, “they need to work as good in the classroom, as they do on the field.”
 
Welcoming “all the players, coaches, teachers, and everyone present here today in support of this new school year,” Jennings said, “Let's make this season a good season — although it might be physical, but physical in a clean sense of the word.
 
He said, “In reality, if your grades are good, you’re more vulnerable to being a selection for the collegiate level – but if your not as good as you are on the field in the classroom, you'll have a hard time getting into college to play football.
 
“Your academics and your athleticism go hand in hand – that's what you call a student athlete. Focus on school first before football, and focus on your future, and what lies ahead for you within the sport.”
 
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his special remarks echoed Jennings, saying, “Football isn't just about one thing. We have come a long way to where we are today — the days of using muscle and strength [only] in football are over.
 
“Today, in order for you to win, you need to be smart, skilled, strong, and courageous to be a complete football player, especially with where the level of the sport is today.
 
“So football, is about your total person — you can't be a complete player if you don't have these — that's the challenge that you should all take with you to make it through this system.”
 
The governor told the players that the requirements to being a complete student athlete is already within them, "a blessing that God has given you already – your teacher’s job is to bring it out of you. But the success of it all, depends solely on you, the student athlete.”
 
He further reminded the players and coaches, "Football requires a teamwork effort, it isn't an individual sport. That's the life we live in this world today — you need teamwork in order for you survive and succeed in life.
 
“Life is just like the game, everyone has a part to do, just like football — everyone has their own assignments to do.”
 
Speaking of the violence that seems to always be a part of every year’s season, Lolo said, "I remember about 4 or 5 years ago … every season would always have fights."
 
He said, "The year before and last year we've seen that there is a change – like the Bible preaches, ‘E sili atu le toa e pulea lona loto na'i le'o le e a'ea olo ma mauga maualuluga’ — this means that winning isn't important. Winning is only something that you can focus on to improve as a competitor.”
 
The governor told the players, “Importantly, is what you gain out of the game – to make peace with your enemy, to have respect for your opponents and have honor amongst each other and to love one another because in reality, you are all related one way or another."
 
Lolo concluded, "Our hopes and our wishes for you is that may all of these experiences help improve you as a person in your young lives. Your teachers and coaches can provide you with future opportunities, but your success within depends on you."

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ASHSAA FOOTBALL SEASON OPENING CEREMONY EMPHASIZES ACADEMICS

“Football isn’t just about one thing,” says governor

The American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) opened their 2016-17 Football Season with an official ceremony that took place at the Veterans Memorial Stadium last Saturday morning. Master of ceremonies, ASHSAA President Tupa'i Rod Atafua welcomed the teams, players, coaches, and guests in attendance.
 
Co-Acting director Philo Jennings offered opening remarks, in which he emphasized academics to the players — that, “they need to work as good in the classroom, as they do on the field.”
 
Welcoming “all the players, coaches, teachers, and everyone present here today in support of this new school year,” Jennings said, “Let's make this season a good season — although it might be physical, but physical in a clean sense of the word.
 
He said, “In reality, if your grades are good, you’re more vulnerable to being a selection for the collegiate level – but if your not as good as you are on the field in the classroom, you'll have a hard time getting into college to play football.
 
“Your academics and your athleticism go hand in hand – that's what you call a student athlete. Focus on school first before football, and focus on your future, and what lies ahead for you within the sport.”
 
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his special remarks echoed Jennings, saying, “Football isn't just about one thing. We have come a long way to where we are today — the days of using muscle and strength [only] in football are over.
 
“Today, in order for you to win, you need to be smart, skilled, strong, and courageous to be a complete football player, especially with where the level of the sport is today.
 
“So football, is about your total person — you can't be a complete player if you don't have these — that's the challenge that you should all take with you to make it through this system.”
 
The governor told the players that the requirements to being a complete student athlete is already within them, "a blessing that God has given you already – your teacher’s job is to bring it out of you. But the success of it all, depends solely on you, the student athlete.”
 
He further reminded the players and coaches, "Football requires a teamwork effort, it isn't an individual sport. That's the life we live in this world today — you need teamwork in order for you survive and succeed in life.
 
“Life is just like the game, everyone has a part to do, just like football — everyone has their own assignments to do.”
 
Speaking of the violence that seems to always be a part of every year’s season, Lolo said, "I remember about 4 or 5 years ago … every season would always have fights."
 
He said, "The year before and last year we've seen that there is a change – like the Bible preaches, ‘E sili atu le toa e pulea lona loto na'i le'o le e a'ea olo ma mauga maualuluga’ — this means that winning isn't important. Winning is only something that you can focus on to improve as a competitor.”
 
The governor told the players, “Importantly, is what you gain out of the game – to make peace with your enemy, to have respect for your opponents and have honor amongst each other and to love one another because in reality, you are all related one way or another."
 
Lolo concluded, "Our hopes and our wishes for you is that may all of these experiences help improve you as a person in your young lives. Your teachers and coaches can provide you with future opportunities, but your success within depends on you."

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LEONE LIONS FOCUS ON COMPETITION UNDER NEW HEAD COACH SALAVE'A

tony@samoanews.com

The 'Home of the Lions' – Leone High School's football program is now under the management of Head Coach, Okland Salave'a – the former Tafuna Warriors Head Football Coach, who carried the Warriors program to the top for numerous years in American Samoa High School Athletics Association football.
 
During his reign as head coach for Tafuna, Salave'a made history in their football program as the first head coach to carry the Warriors through their first championship streak — from 2011 to 2013 — a 3-peat feat.
 
But that’s history.
 
Without a doubt, Salave'a made it clear to Samoa News that he's dedicated to the Lions program and he's going to try his best to revive the programs history back to its glory days – Leone Lions still remain at the top of ASHSAA Football Championship Records with the most Championships won (15) in American Samoa.
 
Salave'a told Samoa News that his transition from Tafuna High School to the Home of the Lions, “was a bit hard at first — not knowing the kids and their abilities to play football. As well as adjusting from the different ways they use to have football here at Leone.”
 
The Lions who were under the management of former head coach Arona Samoa throughout the past years, are being introduced to the Salave'a College Prep Football Training System that he had going for Tafuna, but the head coach himself is also being ‘introduced’ to Leone’s football program.
 
Salave'a said, “So even up to now, I'm still trying to feel my way through – especially having a brand new coaching staff, so we're trying to ‘gel’ and we're trying to think of ways to bring the kids and the team together.”
 
According to the head coach, the Lions Football Program started ‘melding’ about a month ago, but he is still trying to make an impact on his players — trying to get them to understand the reality of coming out to practice consistently. “Most of the kids are just now coming to practice — it’s like you go forward one day, then you go backwards the next, due to the fact that the kids don't really come out to practice.”
 
The mighty Lions team in this year is comprised of 36 players for the Varsity division and 28 players for the Junior Varsity (JV) division, according to Salave'a.
 
He spoke of his training process to Samoa News, saying, “One thing that I'm a strong believer in is the weight lifting program — so we got that to start with our kids here at Leone High School. It's just the fact of practicing the habit of showing up for practice everyday.”
 
The head coach said, “We continue to instill in the kids that it's not easy — and that's what makes football different, from all the other sports that they've played. It is time consuming because it is the time that you have to spend — to be a competitor or be a good player.”
 
Salave'a told Samoa News, “Our focus and our goal this year is to be competitive a lot more than usual, and I'm hoping that the kids will respond in a positive way where we can stay with Faga'itua when we play them in our first game.”
 
Leone is set to face the Vikings this Saturday, as ASHSAA's season opener match up.
 
Salave'a acknowledged and sent out his appreciation to those who've supported them throughout their preparations leading up to this year’s season. "I would like to thank all the parents of these kids that are on the team, for supporting our football program and for allowing their kids to come out to practice. I know they are obligated to family activities, and church as well.
 
“My sincerest thank you goes out to all of my coaching staff that has been out here for long hours to try and make sure that our kids are ready for the first game, and then to our principal and his staff for being there every single day to see if we needed anything. Special thank you to my coaches families, especially their wives.
 
“I have to thank them because if your wife is not supportive of what you’re doing, it makes it very hard to be an effective coach.
 
“Lastly I would like to thank Siliga Floyd Scanlan and some of the strong alumni of Leone High School that are there for us," he said.
 
Salave'a concluded, “I would like to wish good luck to all the teams out there, and may the best team win.” 

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ASDOE General Assembly for teachers kicks off 2016-17 school year

“Be Faithful in Small Deeds”
tony@samoanews.com

The American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) hosted their General Assembly yesterday morning at the Tafuna High School gymnasium – a standing room only event that welcomed all public school teachers, faculty, and support staff to the new school year.
 
Leading the ceremony was Co-Acting DOE Director Fa'aui Vaitautolu who welcomed all to their general assembly to kick off school year 2016 - 2017. During her welcoming remarks, Vaitautolu said "on behalf of the Department Of Education I would extend a warm welcome to all teachers, returning and new ones to our family of educators — cooks, custodians, librarians and everyone, especially our World Teach teachers program as we begin this new school year 2016 - 2017."
 
Co-Acting Director for the Department Of Educations Philo Jennings who was the keynote speaker for the assembly, reflected on all the accomplishments that DOE has done under the reign of Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, saying, "Our first mission during the first year … under Gov. Lolo was the focus to improve our roads around the island, which have played a huge role in the damaging of numerous school buses that we've had at DOE."
 
Jennings continued, "Secondly one of the most important milestones that we've accomplished – was the raising of pay for our teachers from $17,000.00 to $23,000.00 – for teachers who accomplished or have a Bachelors Degree. I honestly believe that if it wasn't for Gov. Lolo's movement to raise our teachers pays — we would still be struggling with the same pay system."
 
He said, “As years go by for days to come – we will always remember Gov. Lolo for his monumental change within our education system, and how he eased the burden for most teachers within the system who have fought for countless years to achieve the knowledge that they have today, which they now pass onto our future generation within the classrooms."
 
The co-acting director said, "Our focus and goal for this school year, is the same focus that we started out with in the first place. There is no turning back from this point — we'll only look back to make sure that our mistakes of yesterday, will better our education system of today and for days to come."
 
Stressing teamwork, Jennings said during his remarks that some teachers aren't team players. "The reality of what happens is that some of you don't want to work — all you want are the blessings, but you don't think to yourselves where the blessings come from. Lets work and let’s all work together.”
 
Jennings introduced the heads of all the DOE departments at the conclusion of his opening remarks – and noted if anyone has any questions, problems, or advice about certain DOE departments, these head of departments are the ones to contact:
 
Assistant Directors for Elementary Schools: Puna Tanielu; Secondary Assistant Director: Dr. Asaeli Amisone; Assistant Director for ECE: Milineta Tinitali; Assistant Director Curriculum Instruction: Netini Sene; Assistant Director of Divisional Education: Heidi Uele; Testing Office: Sam Uhrle; Librarian: Jesse Manase; Office of Teacher Quality: Diana Ameperosa; Warehouse: Laborday Atinoa; Transportation: Vanu Moe; Athletic Department: Liatama Amisone; J.R.O.T.C.: Mapu Jamias; Special Education: Paulo Salave'a; and, School Lunch Program: Christina Fuala'au
 
“May God bless our teachers and our students for this school year, and may we have a joyous and blessed upcoming school year. Go with God in everything you do in and out of the classroom, and may you all have a blessed school year, thank you,” Jennings concluded.
 
Guest speaker for the assembly was Governor Lolo, who said during his remarks that "like you always hear from all educators, it takes a whole town and a whole village to educate a child, and that's exactly what education requires from all of us. It's nice to hear your director list all the accomplishments that we've accomplished so far – the more he read out the list, the more we realize that education is an everyday challenge."
 
The governor said, “There are so many problems within our education system that we need to address and that's where we call on everybody to please, help our education system move forward… the theme that you've chosen for your assembly today is very important because that is the heart of this profession. ‘Be faithful with small things’ – little details of learning can paint a big picture for everybody…"
 
He said, "Be honest with small things and there will be no question that you'll be honest with big things. That's the teachings of the Bible that you have quoted to be your theme today – a teacher works hard for a full commitment and a total devotion of your time and your life to educate our children – because the future of our country and leaders of tomorrow depends on the work that you are doing.”
 
Lolo pointed out that "your job is to mold and shape the lives of our young people — the face of our people is built with your hands, with the work you do today. Leave the past behind because there's no turning back, but the work you do today will shape and mold the future of our people tomorrow."
 
He thanked the teachers for all the work they do “every year and everyday” they teach the children — our future. “God willing we will have a blessed start to our school year, and may you all have a safe and joyous school year for days to come. Thank you 'ma ia manuia'.”

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