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Standing Rock protests mirror indigenous rights

Protests are ongoing against a controversial oil pipeline project in North Dakota and a Native American artist says the Pacific should take note to prevent similar projects from occurring elsewhere.

The $US3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will run 1870km through Iowa, Illinois, and North and South Dakota to transport domestically produced light sweet crude oil to major refining markets.

But protesters halted its construction in North Dakota with protest camps established on Sioux land at Standing Rock in April amid fears of pollution and a lack of consultation.

Thousands of people are estimated to be taking part in bitter winter conditions but Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford Kaho, who is Sioux and Tongan, was part of an initial group of protesters at the site numbering 80.

"My husband's aunty Phyllis Young, her land is just right off the reservation and she had called up my husband and was like 'nephew I need you to come up here and stand with us because the Dakota Access Pipeline is going to digging and start laying their pipeline and it's like 50 feet on my land and I need you to help us bring attention to it'."

She and her husband had just finished touring with their band Scatter Their Own but immediately drove five hours to support their family.

"They're fighting the fight for the water," she said.

"It's the Missouri river that runs just adjacent to their reservation and also my tribe is tapped into the Missouri river as well so that's where we get all our drinking water from."

"So it's a really huge issue right now with the Dakota Access pipeline, DAPL, you know the hashtag-NODAPL, it's been getting really a lot of coverage and that's great, because it's a big movement that's really dear to indigenous people."

Mrs Brown Eyes-Clifford Kaho said her band had never intended to be politically motivated but as indigenous people they could not ignore the fight for indigenous rights and she sees the same concerns from her Pacific community whom she has travelled to New Zealand to meet.

"We can see ourselves in you and you guys see us. Water is sacred to us and it's a reflection and you reflect us and so on and so forth and it's beautiful. We can feel it you know. We might not speak the same languages but just sitting here I feel you and your spirit. It's just powerful."

Footage of support from Pacific people and Maori who performed a haka for Standing Rock and Pacific people has "rekindled the fire" she said but she is urging more in the Pacific to pay attention to the cause.

"If America is willing to let a pipeline go through indigenous land, to the first people of that land, if that's able to go through and you know hurt our people, think of where else that could happen? That could happen in your own community," she said.

"Right now we are really laying the blueprint of what it's going to look like for the future. Whatever happens with this movement, we really need to make sure that we have our futures in mind, across the globe you know."

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Village Walks in American Samoa promote healthy living

The Village Walks program in American Samoa was an intervention activity that promoted healthy living set up by the Children’s Healthy Living Fund (CHL), an extension program of the University of Hawaiʻ at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The three walks included the communities of Aua, Fagaitua and Masefau as part of the CHL Reducing Childhood Obesity in American Samoa program.

“The local team in American Samoa identified that community walking, led by local leaders, was a good strategy for decreasing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity for children in the Samoan culture and community,” said Interim Dean Rachel Novotny, director of CHL.

Village walks brought together entire communities, and the participants walked for approximately one mile before engaging in about 20 minutes of aerobic activities. During the walk they had the opportunity to sample local produce and engage in nutritional demonstrations and activities, such as the Sugar Shocker display to educate the participants about how much sugar is contained in common foods and drinks.

The communities also received posters highlighting six ways to combat childhood obesity: being more active, drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, limiting sugar sweetened drinks, limiting screen time and sleeping more.

This video was produced by the American Samoa Community College.

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Authenticity key to Moana movie soundtrack

Pacific contributors to the soundtrack of Disney's latest animated film Moana say the music is an authentic reflection of the sound and culture of the South Pacific.

Moana follows the adventures of a young Polynesian princess and navigator who is accompanied by the superhero-demigod Maui, but in the run-up to the film's premiere reaction has been divided between those who have praised its cultural inclusiveness and others who feared the potential for cultural appropriation.

Australian based band Te Vaka was approached by Disney to help write the soundtrack and its bandleader Opetaia Foa'i said despite the controversy, the filmmakers spent years researching to get the film right.

Mr Foa'i said he has spent more than 20 years promoting the culture of the South Pacific through the music of Te Vaka.

"If it didn't align with what I was doing, even though it was Disney, I wouldn't be involved."

Initially the young, female and Polynesian lead character was feted for the promotion of diversity but the portrayal of Maui came under fire for reinforcing negative stereotypes about Polynesian obesity.

Mr Foa'i said it was understandable that the Maui costume, which would have been released in time for Halloween, was pulled.

"I'm just sorry they stopped it before I bought one," he joked.

"They sent me a letter before they pulled it for me to voice my opinion on it. I totally understand why they had to pull it."

But he said the investment in some contemporary Polynesian storytellers indicated Disney is working hard to allay fears of cultural appropriation.

Mr Foa'i worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights) and Mark Mancina (The Lion King, Tarzan) on the movie soundtrack and he highlights the inclusion of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson who gives voice to the character of Maui, along with New Zealand's Rachel House and Temuera Morrison who bring Gramma Tala and Chief Tui to life.

Moana is played by Hawaiian newcomer Auli'i Cravalho and Taika Waititi wrote the initial script.

Mr Foa'i, whose parents are from Tokelau and Tuvalu, grew up in Samoa and Aotearoa New Zealand and said along with Pacific talent, Disney had invested time in the project.

"I have to say that after spending three years with them, they're absolutely amazing people. They have the utmost respect for the culture of the South Pacific."

Mr Foa'i's wife Julie Foa'i is the band's manager and said Disney had learned from projects like Pocahontas.

"The producer, and the directors and various other people, had toured around the islands for a couple of years before we were on board. They've done a lot of development and investigation and all the things that they do to make what you're going to see shortly."

Julie Foa'i said the production is headed up by the team behind The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog, the "legendary producers of Disney" John Musker and Ron Clements.

"That's who we're working with, they're amazing."

Mr Foa'i said it took the Disney moguls time to immerse themselves in and understand what the traditional South Pacific was all about.

"You've got to realise that this is a completely different culture to what they're used to."

He said the Te Vaka contribution to Moana began back in 2013 when he and Julie were flown to Los Angeles where Disney toured them around the studios and revealed what they had in mind.

"I really had my eyes opened and I was very impressed."

The idea for a story about the culture of the South Pacific immediately piqued his interest and he felt it meshed with his own musical work harking back to Polynesia's voyaging ancestors.

"The pioneers of the South Pacific who were the best navigators in the world."

He said after more than 20 years of musical commitment to South Pacific culture he would only have been able to commit to the movie if it aligned with his values.

"I'm very passionate about this work."

Mr Foa'i said that passion was also apparent from Disney who gave him free reign musically.

Disney would send him a scene and he would put music to it that came to him naturally, whether it was "a bit dark" or something that worked from a more traditional Disney point of view.

"I did not go and compromise and try and 'Disnefy' anything."

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13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Sophie McMoore crowned the new Miss Flowers

Theme: Exotic Flowers — The Brush of Heaven
tony@samoanews.com

The Flowers Organization hosted their 13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017 that saw Ms. Sophie McMoore crowned, after a hotly contested pageant, which saw 7 contestants vie for the title.
 
During the opening of the event, President Josie Afu Muasau said, “As you can see all the beautiful floral arrangements, these were all locally made from women here in American Samoa.”
 
Proceeds from the pageant, according to the Miss Flowers president, will go to charities such as various sporting organizations, the Rotary Club- Swimming Pool Project, Floral Arrangement competitions, contestant prizes, and the organization’s goals and objectives.
 
“This is our charity to give back to them – helping them out financially and to acknowledge their craft and effort put into something they love doing.”
 
Muasau said, “Thank God for strength and health, and if you were looking for a great evening to end the weekend, you’ve come to the right place,” adding “tonight, we have the professional designers, the most beautiful Pageant Coordinator, Shiki Leaupepe, and seven beautiful pageant contestants that will vie for the Miss Flower title.”
 
Following the opening number led by reigning Miss Flowers Ms. Aruni Talaifaga, the event went straight into the categories of the evening – opening with the Black Couture category, into the Floral Ova Ova Wear, into the remaining four categories of the evening — interview, talent, evening gown and swimsuit.
 
The event was flawless in its execution of costumes and makeup that indeed made the contestants Exotic Flowers, each illustrating the awesome beauty of a brush of Heaven. Laughter and a well-entertained crowd from the talent and ‘catwalks’ of beauty made the pageant a memorable evening.
 
Masters of Ceremonies William Thompson and Uaika Savusa announced the final results that everyone eagerly anticipated after an extravagant evening of extraordinary costumes and talent:
 
*           Miss Photogenic was awarded to contestant No.1 — Alanah Gore.
*           Miss Personality was awarded to contestant No.5 — Isabella Valentino.
*           Best Couture was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Fairy & Floral Wear was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Best Swim Suit was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Interview was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Talent was awarded to contestant No. 2 — Arykah Contess
*           Best Evening Gown was awarded to contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
 
The Official Results of Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017:
 
*           3rd Runner Up was contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
*           2nd Runner Up was contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Miss Flowers Winner contestant No. 3 — Sophie McMoore

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13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Sophie McMoore crowned the new Miss Flowers

Theme: Exotic Flowers — The Brush of Heaven
tony@samoanews.com

The Flowers Organization hosted their 13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017 that saw Ms. Sophie McMoore crowned, after a hotly contested pageant, which saw 7 contestants vie for the title.
 
During the opening of the event, President Josie Afu Muasau said, “As you can see all the beautiful floral arrangements, these were all locally made from women here in American Samoa.”
 
Proceeds from the pageant, according to the Miss Flowers president, will go to charities such as various sporting organizations, the Rotary Club- Swimming Pool Project, Floral Arrangement competitions, contestant prizes, and the organization’s goals and objectives.
 
“This is our charity to give back to them – helping them out financially and to acknowledge their craft and effort put into something they love doing.”
 
Muasau said, “Thank God for strength and health, and if you were looking for a great evening to end the weekend, you’ve come to the right place,” adding “tonight, we have the professional designers, the most beautiful Pageant Coordinator, Shiki Leaupepe, and seven beautiful pageant contestants that will vie for the Miss Flower title.”
 
Following the opening number led by reigning Miss Flowers Ms. Aruni Talaifaga, the event went straight into the categories of the evening – opening with the Black Couture category, into the Floral Ova Ova Wear, into the remaining four categories of the evening — interview, talent, evening gown and swimsuit.
 
The event was flawless in its execution of costumes and makeup that indeed made the contestants Exotic Flowers, each illustrating the awesome beauty of a brush of Heaven. Laughter and a well-entertained crowd from the talent and ‘catwalks’ of beauty made the pageant a memorable evening.
 
Masters of Ceremonies William Thompson and Uaika Savusa announced the final results that everyone eagerly anticipated after an extravagant evening of extraordinary costumes and talent:
 
*           Miss Photogenic was awarded to contestant No.1 — Alanah Gore.
*           Miss Personality was awarded to contestant No.5 — Isabella Valentino.
*           Best Couture was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Fairy & Floral Wear was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Best Swim Suit was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Interview was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Talent was awarded to contestant No. 2 — Arykah Contess
*           Best Evening Gown was awarded to contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
 
The Official Results of Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017:
 
*           3rd Runner Up was contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
*           2nd Runner Up was contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Miss Flowers Winner contestant No. 3 — Sophie McMoore

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13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Sophie McMoore crowned the new Miss Flowers

Theme: Exotic Flowers — The Brush of Heaven
tony@samoanews.com

The Flowers Organization hosted their 13th Annual Beauty Pageant – Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017 that saw Ms. Sophie McMoore crowned, after a hotly contested pageant, which saw 7 contestants vie for the title.
 
During the opening of the event, President Josie Afu Muasau said, “As you can see all the beautiful floral arrangements, these were all locally made from women here in American Samoa.”
 
Proceeds from the pageant, according to the Miss Flowers president, will go to charities such as various sporting organizations, the Rotary Club- Swimming Pool Project, Floral Arrangement competitions, contestant prizes, and the organization’s goals and objectives.
 
“This is our charity to give back to them – helping them out financially and to acknowledge their craft and effort put into something they love doing.”
 
Muasau said, “Thank God for strength and health, and if you were looking for a great evening to end the weekend, you’ve come to the right place,” adding “tonight, we have the professional designers, the most beautiful Pageant Coordinator, Shiki Leaupepe, and seven beautiful pageant contestants that will vie for the Miss Flower title.”
 
Following the opening number led by reigning Miss Flowers Ms. Aruni Talaifaga, the event went straight into the categories of the evening – opening with the Black Couture category, into the Floral Ova Ova Wear, into the remaining four categories of the evening — interview, talent, evening gown and swimsuit.
 
The event was flawless in its execution of costumes and makeup that indeed made the contestants Exotic Flowers, each illustrating the awesome beauty of a brush of Heaven. Laughter and a well-entertained crowd from the talent and ‘catwalks’ of beauty made the pageant a memorable evening.
 
Masters of Ceremonies William Thompson and Uaika Savusa announced the final results that everyone eagerly anticipated after an extravagant evening of extraordinary costumes and talent:
 
*           Miss Photogenic was awarded to contestant No.1 — Alanah Gore.
*           Miss Personality was awarded to contestant No.5 — Isabella Valentino.
*           Best Couture was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Fairy & Floral Wear was awarded to contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Best Swim Suit was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Interview was awarded to contestant No.3 — Sophie McMoore
*           Best Talent was awarded to contestant No. 2 — Arykah Contess
*           Best Evening Gown was awarded to contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
 
The Official Results of Miss Flowers 2016 – 2017:
 
*           3rd Runner Up was contestant No. 6 — Petra Travis
*           2nd Runner Up was contestant No.7 — Kelly Westwood
*           Miss Flowers Winner contestant No. 3 — Sophie McMoore

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Millions of Americans can't vote for president because of where they live

Four million. That's how many Americans the US Census Bureau estimates live on five island territories of the United States.

Millions of them are of voting age. Many are veterans or active military. But they cannot vote to elect their commander in chief.

People born in Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico are all Americans. They vote in US congressional elections and presidential primaries. This year, voting rights advocate and lawyer Neil Weare says they were "even heavily courted by both parties ... they went to the [Democratic and Republican] conventions."

But Americans born in these territories can't vote for president. Not unless they move to the mainland.

This is in spite of the fact that they're all US citizens (except for American Samoans, who are only US nationals. More on that in a moment.)

So, why is this — why can't all US citizens vote in general elections? The short answer: Because the Electoral College says so. Bryan Whitener, spokesperson for the Election Assistance Commission, a government agency, quoted the National Archives on the matter:

"No, the Electoral College system does not provide for residents of U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands) to vote for President. Unless citizens in U.S. Territories have official residency (domicile) in a U.S. State or the District of Columbia (and vote by absentee ballot or travel to their State to vote), they cannot vote in the presidential election. Note that prior to the adoption of the 23rd Amendment, DC residents could not vote in the Presidential election. The political parties may authorize voters in primary elections in Territories to select delegates to represent them at the political party conventions. But that process does not affect the Electoral College system."

These rules are why pollsters and news outlets have been carefully watching a mass movement of Puerto Ricans to the US mainland in recent years. Once they establish residency in a state, these US citizens can vote in the presidential election — and potentially affect the outcome.

Weare, who heads the We The People advocacy group, doesn't think US citizens should have to relocate in order to vote for their president. His DC-based group is involved in lawsuits to grant voting rights to Americans in territories — to do for them what the 23rd Amendment did for natives of Washington DC in 1961.

"The US has had territories since day one," he says, "but they've always gone on to become states. It's only with the acquisition [of] the overseas territories that we can keep these places but never really have them be part of the political community."

Weare thinks the current voting laws are especially unfair in Guam and American Samoa, given their high military enrollment. In 2014, the Army said American Samoa was the United States' No. 1 military recruitment post.

"Someone who's denied full participation in American democracy," Weare says, "for these people who've served to defend the American Constitution, it's a real insult to them as Americans."

John Oliver made the same point last year on his weekly HBO show, "Last Week Tonight":

Among permanently inhabited US territories, the general election rules are weirdest for American Samoa.

Like other territory residents, American Samoans can vote in US primaries but not for presidents. But they can't do what millions of Puerto Ricans have been doing: relocate to the mainland permanently like one would move from state to state. That's because American Samoans, unlike other territory residents, are not citizens.

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Varsity: Wildcats pull off the biggest upset of the ASHSAA football season

While Sharks stun the Vikings in two-point win
tony@samoanews.com

This past weekend’s American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) football league concluded regular season play – and playoffs are scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, as the Samoana Sharks face the Tafuna Warriors, and the Leone Lions coming back from a bye week will face the Faga’itua Vikings to determine this year’s ASHSAA Football Varsity championship game teams, after this past weekend’s action packed showdowns — which saw upsets in both Varsity games.

 

The No.1 seed Tafuna Warriors were stunned by the Nu’uuli Wildcats defense in their Senior Game, as they recorded the Warriors second loss of the season, a history making stat for the Wildcats in ASHSAA’s record books.

 

While not making the playoffs, Nu’uuli celebrated their first victory of the season,  a mighty win, and the biggest upset of the season, defeating the Warriors 28 - 20.

 

For the opening match up of ASHSAA Football Week No. 10, the Samoana Sharks shocked the Fagaitua Vikings in a stunning defense — and while nearly claiming victory again in the final half of a game, the Vikings missed their game winning field goal in the final quarter, sending the Sharks home with their third win of the season.

 

Sharks are in the playoffs and can certainly turn this victory against the Vikings as the power behind the ‘bite’ that can take the Warriors down in next week’s playoff game, and lead them to the Championship game.

 

NU’UULI WILDCATS 28 — TAFUNA WARRIORS 20

 

The Home of the Wildcats celebrated a great finish to their season, after showcasing a defensive performance that rocked the Warrior Nation and their Senior Game last Saturday as the second game of the scheduled triple header. Even though this was their last game this year, the Wildcats left it all on the field, after a defensive effort that had the Warriors trailing into halftime.

 

Nu’uuli led through majority of the match, and it all started from a Fa’asau Mareko touchdown in the opening quarter of the game, sparked fire for Nu’uuli that build up even more into the match – 8:22 and Nu’uuli again converts for six after Meredith guided Hans Misa pass the goal line from a full house formation, Nu’uuli led 12 - 0 into the second quarter of play.

 

Late in the opening half of the game, and Tafuna finally answers to Nu’uuli’s two possession lead after Andrew Toilolo crossed the goal line with a 5-yard inside hand off from Sufia to record their first touchdown of the game.

 

In the third quarter of play, the Warriors came back and tied things off after Sufia aired a 42-yard touchdown pass to Puletu Fono who marched into the end zone for Tafuna’s second touchdown of the game. When the Warriors thought the Wildcats were out of gas – they were shocked to see Nu’uuli cross the plain to take the lead for the second time in the game.

 

Nu’uuli’s 3rd and 1 on Tafuna’s 8-yard line, Daniel Fano sends Mareko again up the middle to record his second touchdown of the game. Mareko who was unstoppable managed to come back and run in the two-point conversion to extend their lead.

 

In the closing half of the game, Sufia led the Warriors back to tie Nu’uuli again 20 - 20.

 

43 seconds remaining in the ball game and Nu’uuli was clearly ahead after Fano muscled in a 2-yard quarterback keep for six. Fano hustled his troops and dominated in the final play of the game – with Fano crossing the goal line again for two points, sealing the deal in this match as they ended their season on a high note, with a 28 - 20 victory.

 

SAMOAN SHARKS 24 — FAGAITUA VIKINGS 22

 

Head Coach Pati Pati and his Samoana Sharks are looking stronger heading into play-offs, the perfect time for them to be at the hype level they’re at, coming back from two straight victories, and capitalizing in their win against the Vikings last Friday evening, as the opening game of ASHSAA Football Week No. 10.

 

This one started with a defensive effort by the Vikings Blessman Ta’ala and his pick-six – Samoana’s second down inside their own territory, a pass intended for Taufa’asau was picked off by Ta’ala at the line of scrimmage, and immediately booked it to the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game, a few minutes into the opening quarter of the match.

 

Samoana strikes back with a whiplash running game that pulled them into Vikings red zone – a second down conversion hand off to Moe Faleali’i scored the Sharks first touchdown of the game. Their field goal conversion was no good as Lelei’s kick hit the goal post, they trailed the Vikings by two.

 

Deuteronomy Tafaovale opened up the second half with the pick that started the Vikings threatening no-huddle attack, an attempt that carried that Vikings pass the goal line in the hands of John Muliaga – the extra point conversion in the hands of Vito Kitiona secured the lead for the Vikings.

 

Moe Faleali’i brought the Sharks back to life with two more touchdown runs to record three for the day – carrying the Sharks to ‘the’ two-point lead 24 - 22. Lelei’s field goal conversion for the extra point was denied by Ta’ala and the Vikings defense – ‘blocked’.

 

The clock wasn’t in favor of the Vikes near the closing of this one, and the Sharks will face the No.1 seed in the Varsity Division, Tafuna Warriors this Saturday after sending the Vike’s home with a two point loss.

 

Vikings still make the playoffs and will challenge the Lions for a championship game berth this Saturday too.

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ASHSAA Week 9: Warriors getting stronger – Vikings do “2nd half team” win

Tafuna High School sitting comfortably as No.1 seed in the Varsity Division
tony@samoanews.com

There are only two more weeks left of the regular season for the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) ongoing football season – and Tafuna’s Head Coach Kolose Ili and his Warrior Nation who started this season with a questionable doubt of play calls, have proved the critics wrong as they are now sitting comfortably at the No.1 spot of the division, as of this past weekend.
 
Warriors HC Ili and his Junior Varsity team are also confirmed to be the No.1 seed in their Division – confirmation of the Tafuna Warriors as this year’s JV divisional champions will be done tomorrow during an ASHSAA Board meeting. Nevertheless, the Warriors Nation did celebrate a back-2-back JV championship title this past weekend, after they slayed the Lions in their 36 - 0 shut out victory. (See tomorrow’s Samoa News Issue on the Junior Varsity Division competition.)
 
Unlike the first round of competition where they were unbeatable, the Lions are not looking too good right now as they’ve had a hectic second round performance compared to how they started off in the season – starting round two of play action with a losing streak, however Leone started to change things up last Saturday, coming out with a new starting quarterback, Ui’ese – sitting out Ronnie Ma’ae as they tested the option game with Ui’ese at the helm.
 
The final game of last Saturday’s triple-header featured the Faga’itua Vikings and the Nu’uuli Wildcats – a match that proved that Nu’uuli can and will upset one of the top teams in their division, leading into playoffs. Unlike the first round where the Vikings contained and kept Nu’uuli scoreless – this time, the Wildcats gave the Vike’s a run for their win, as they led by two points all the way until the final quarter of the game.
 
Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Faga’itua Vikings Football Program have been known throughout the years in ASHSAA Football as the ‘2nd half team’ in the league – popular for their comeback victories, the Vikes came back and stunned the Wildcats with a 28 - 14 victory, a win that still proved that the reigning Champs of the division are getting a lot more competitive, going into the playoffs.
 
TAFUNA WARRIORS 20 – LEONE LIONS 6
 
The Warriors have been seen to be the team to have ‘the’ most injuries in the current season, however their injuries do not seem to be slowing them down from getting stronger leading into the most important games of their divisional competition —the playoffs.
 
Samoa News recalls some of the Warriors key players like Penei Pavihi, Pene Fa’avae and Baldwin Wilson to name a few – leave the game from old injuries coming back to effect them; but later on in the game, they would still field and then play a major role in the game. Certainly — Tafuna has continued their winning streak.
 
Compared to the first round of competition where Tafuna experienced their first loss of the season against Leone – they managed to flip the script last Saturday morning, and proved themselves worthy of being the No.1 seed in the division, after slaying Leone in a 20 - 6 win.
 
The Warriors were giving hints to Leone’s offensive unit that they were going to shut down their passing game, after Venci Peric intercepted a pass early in the opening quarter of the match to give Tafuna a warm start to their second meeting of the season; and with the help of Alex Ieremia, the Warriors led by 8 points with just 8:52 into the first quarter of play.
 
Leone’s major hurting factor were penalties, as they not only were shooting themselves in the foot, but were allowing Tafuna more opportunities on offense to extend their lead – Leone recorded 6 personal foul penalties, all in the first half of the game, and each personal foul penalty is a 15-yard loss.
 
After giving up 90 yards worth of personal foul penalties to Tafuna in the opening half, it helped out the Warriors tremendously as they continued to punish Leone’s running game with Pavihi, Letuli and Wilson leading the Warriors defense.
 
Leone’s defensive reeked havoc inside the neutral zone, with Api So’oalo and Ayden Mao bringing the heat – but dead ball foul penalties started to take a toll on their rushing game, as Tala Sufia of Tafuna continued to lure the Lions to jump off-sides with the hard count, and the passing game.
 
A major factor to Tafuna’s lethal offensive attacks was the appearance of Nathaniel Tuamoheloa to the running back position, an adjustment made two weeks ago, that is now still the key component to catching their opponents off guard during the option game.
 
Tuamoheloa with a pair of touchdown’s managed to lure Leone towards him as quarterback Sufia pulled the ball back and kept it as he muscled his way into the end zone to seal the deal in the 4th quarter as they won 20- 6.
 
NU’UULI WILDCATS 14 - FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 28
 
The final game of last Saturday’s triple header, was determined between the Nu’uuli Wildcats and the Faga’itua Vikings – but before this one started, everyone was excited to go home already after a long day in last Saturday’s irritating weather, thinking the Vikings would take a huge lead in the opening half, and hopefully have the mercy rule in effect so everyone could go home early.
 
But that wasn’t the case – Head Coach Tupa’i Rod Atafua and his Wildcats proved that their varsity program is not a joke, after they led the Vikes by two points, with a hammering performance by Nu’uuli’s defensive unit, led by Junior Linebacker Branson Pualau.
 
The Vikings opened up with their passing game early into the match – a strategy that moved them into Wildcats red zone after a long conversion by Vito Kitiona. 7:15 into the opening quarter of the game, Faga’itua’s first down on Nu’uli’s 1-yard line, and Raemos Fano sent Leroy Fesili up the middle with the opening touchdown of the game.
 
Another hand off to Fesili for two points was denied by Pualau and the Wildcats defense, with Faga’itua taking only 6 to lead in the opening quarter of the game.
 
Then, in the second quarter of play, Nu’uuli’s offense led by Hans Misa, started marching downfield in the give and take option game, as Misa executed his part of performance tremendously to carry the Wildcats into Vikings territory, and more.
 
Nu’uuli 2nd down on Faga’itua’s 1-yard line, and Misa sent Aukusitino Fonoti up the gut to score their first six points of the game – tying the game 6- 6.
 
7:20 into the second quarter of the match, and Nu’uuli stunned the Vike’s on a fourth down conversion – Nu’uuli in punt formation, thought it was a broken play, when their punter couldn’t gain control of the ball after the long snap – but when he did, he worked his way up field, and took this one to the house for another Wildcats touchdown. Their two-point conversion was good as they led 6 - 14 into halftime.
 
Then, coming back into the second half, Raemos Fano and his offensive unit only needed a couple of minutes to comeback and redeem themselves – and indeed they did. Late in the third, Fano sent Fesili up the middle on a delay hand off play for another Vikings touchdown.
 
In the final quarter of play, Fano hooked up with Jefferey Ulu on a quick pass for another Vikings six points – their final appearance in the end zone had them ahead 26 - 14, and after John Muliaga muscled his way pass the goal line for two more points, Faga’itua sailed back to the East side with another victorious weekend — for a 28 - 14 win.

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ASHSAA Week 9: Warriors getting stronger – Vikings do “2nd half team” win

Tafuna High School sitting comfortably as No.1 seed in the Varsity Division
tony@samoanews.com

There are only two more weeks left of the regular season for the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) ongoing football season – and Tafuna’s Head Coach Kolose Ili and his Warrior Nation who started this season with a questionable doubt of play calls, have proved the critics wrong as they are now sitting comfortably at the No.1 spot of the division, as of this past weekend.
 
Warriors HC Ili and his Junior Varsity team are also confirmed to be the No.1 seed in their Division – confirmation of the Tafuna Warriors as this year’s JV divisional champions will be done tomorrow during an ASHSAA Board meeting. Nevertheless, the Warriors Nation did celebrate a back-2-back JV championship title this past weekend, after they slayed the Lions in their 36 - 0 shut out victory. (See tomorrow’s Samoa News Issue on the Junior Varsity Division competition.)
 
Unlike the first round of competition where they were unbeatable, the Lions are not looking too good right now as they’ve had a hectic second round performance compared to how they started off in the season – starting round two of play action with a losing streak, however Leone started to change things up last Saturday, coming out with a new starting quarterback, Ui’ese – sitting out Ronnie Ma’ae as they tested the option game with Ui’ese at the helm.
 
The final game of last Saturday’s triple-header featured the Faga’itua Vikings and the Nu’uuli Wildcats – a match that proved that Nu’uuli can and will upset one of the top teams in their division, leading into playoffs. Unlike the first round where the Vikings contained and kept Nu’uuli scoreless – this time, the Wildcats gave the Vike’s a run for their win, as they led by two points all the way until the final quarter of the game.
 
Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Faga’itua Vikings Football Program have been known throughout the years in ASHSAA Football as the ‘2nd half team’ in the league – popular for their comeback victories, the Vikes came back and stunned the Wildcats with a 28 - 14 victory, a win that still proved that the reigning Champs of the division are getting a lot more competitive, going into the playoffs.
 
TAFUNA WARRIORS 20 – LEONE LIONS 6
 
The Warriors have been seen to be the team to have ‘the’ most injuries in the current season, however their injuries do not seem to be slowing them down from getting stronger leading into the most important games of their divisional competition —the playoffs.
 
Samoa News recalls some of the Warriors key players like Penei Pavihi, Pene Fa’avae and Baldwin Wilson to name a few – leave the game from old injuries coming back to effect them; but later on in the game, they would still field and then play a major role in the game. Certainly — Tafuna has continued their winning streak.
 
Compared to the first round of competition where Tafuna experienced their first loss of the season against Leone – they managed to flip the script last Saturday morning, and proved themselves worthy of being the No.1 seed in the division, after slaying Leone in a 20 - 6 win.
 
The Warriors were giving hints to Leone’s offensive unit that they were going to shut down their passing game, after Venci Peric intercepted a pass early in the opening quarter of the match to give Tafuna a warm start to their second meeting of the season; and with the help of Alex Ieremia, the Warriors led by 8 points with just 8:52 into the first quarter of play.
 
Leone’s major hurting factor were penalties, as they not only were shooting themselves in the foot, but were allowing Tafuna more opportunities on offense to extend their lead – Leone recorded 6 personal foul penalties, all in the first half of the game, and each personal foul penalty is a 15-yard loss.
 
After giving up 90 yards worth of personal foul penalties to Tafuna in the opening half, it helped out the Warriors tremendously as they continued to punish Leone’s running game with Pavihi, Letuli and Wilson leading the Warriors defense.
 
Leone’s defensive reeked havoc inside the neutral zone, with Api So’oalo and Ayden Mao bringing the heat – but dead ball foul penalties started to take a toll on their rushing game, as Tala Sufia of Tafuna continued to lure the Lions to jump off-sides with the hard count, and the passing game.
 
A major factor to Tafuna’s lethal offensive attacks was the appearance of Nathaniel Tuamoheloa to the running back position, an adjustment made two weeks ago, that is now still the key component to catching their opponents off guard during the option game.
 
Tuamoheloa with a pair of touchdown’s managed to lure Leone towards him as quarterback Sufia pulled the ball back and kept it as he muscled his way into the end zone to seal the deal in the 4th quarter as they won 20- 6.
 
NU’UULI WILDCATS 14 - FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 28
 
The final game of last Saturday’s triple header, was determined between the Nu’uuli Wildcats and the Faga’itua Vikings – but before this one started, everyone was excited to go home already after a long day in last Saturday’s irritating weather, thinking the Vikings would take a huge lead in the opening half, and hopefully have the mercy rule in effect so everyone could go home early.
 
But that wasn’t the case – Head Coach Tupa’i Rod Atafua and his Wildcats proved that their varsity program is not a joke, after they led the Vikes by two points, with a hammering performance by Nu’uuli’s defensive unit, led by Junior Linebacker Branson Pualau.
 
The Vikings opened up with their passing game early into the match – a strategy that moved them into Wildcats red zone after a long conversion by Vito Kitiona. 7:15 into the opening quarter of the game, Faga’itua’s first down on Nu’uli’s 1-yard line, and Raemos Fano sent Leroy Fesili up the middle with the opening touchdown of the game.
 
Another hand off to Fesili for two points was denied by Pualau and the Wildcats defense, with Faga’itua taking only 6 to lead in the opening quarter of the game.
 
Then, in the second quarter of play, Nu’uuli’s offense led by Hans Misa, started marching downfield in the give and take option game, as Misa executed his part of performance tremendously to carry the Wildcats into Vikings territory, and more.
 
Nu’uuli 2nd down on Faga’itua’s 1-yard line, and Misa sent Aukusitino Fonoti up the gut to score their first six points of the game – tying the game 6- 6.
 
7:20 into the second quarter of the match, and Nu’uuli stunned the Vike’s on a fourth down conversion – Nu’uuli in punt formation, thought it was a broken play, when their punter couldn’t gain control of the ball after the long snap – but when he did, he worked his way up field, and took this one to the house for another Wildcats touchdown. Their two-point conversion was good as they led 6 - 14 into halftime.
 
Then, coming back into the second half, Raemos Fano and his offensive unit only needed a couple of minutes to comeback and redeem themselves – and indeed they did. Late in the third, Fano sent Fesili up the middle on a delay hand off play for another Vikings touchdown.
 
In the final quarter of play, Fano hooked up with Jefferey Ulu on a quick pass for another Vikings six points – their final appearance in the end zone had them ahead 26 - 14, and after John Muliaga muscled his way pass the goal line for two more points, Faga’itua sailed back to the East side with another victorious weekend — for a 28 - 14 win.

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