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AYFS All Stars continue to raise funds

The American Youth Football of Samoa (AYFS) program, which is proudly under the direction of president Shiloh Pritchard, has been working and preparing very hard for their upcoming trip to the state of Hawaii.

The AYFS program which is in its third year of competition has managed to put together an All Star team for the first time that will travel off island to compete against three of Hawaii’s top teams in the same age group category.

According to Pritchard, as of now, they have 32 confirmed All Star players that will be going to Hawaii, “We have selected out All Star kids from all eight teams that participated in this year’s league, we have 32 kids that will be leaving American Samoa on June 5th, landing in Hawaii on the sixth, and we will be returning back to the island on the June 17th, so it’s a total of 11 days of our stay.”

Pritchard told Samoa News, that they will be going up against three of the finest football teams in Hawaii.

“We will be playing three games up there with three different All Star teams, and we’re going to be playing our first game on the 9th, which is a Saturday against the Hawaii Junior Prep Eastern All Star. Then on the 13th of June, we will be playing the Hawaii Junior Prep Western All Star, and then on the 16th of June, we will be playing the Hawaii Big Boys All Star team, which is also going to be our third and final game.”

Making this the first biggest event for the American Youth Football of Samoa, Pritchard wanted to acknowledge the help of the parents for playing a big role for the All Star team.

“We really would like to thank the parents of these players for their tremendous support, they were able to come up with their kid’s fare, so now we are trying to fundraise as much as we can to pay for our lodging and our meals as well as transportation.”

According to Pritchard, their preparation for this trip was sudden, “that’s the thing, our preparations were kind of last minute, but I thank God that we are able to get to where we are at now with such a short notice.”

He added, “right after the season in April, we got together with the parents, and then the parents made the decision to do the trip, and so we’ve been prepping from April up to today.”

Pritchard told Samoa News that in the beginning “there were 72 players that were selected, and on each team we were able to select a certain number of All Star selection, depending on their ranking, but then we left it up to the coaches of the teams to make that selection for us, because nobody knows the players better than their own coaches… so we basically made the coaches select their best players, and they brought back the results which was summed up to 72 players.”

However, he said, “out of that 72, only 32 players were able to make it. I know all these 72 kids are very talented and very outstanding not only on the field but in the classrooms, but these 32 players that we’re taking were the kids who were able to pay their own fare. I would love to see everybody go on this trip, but that’s just the way it went, whoever was able to pay for their fare, that’s who we’re going with.”

Samoa News asked Pritchard, if there will be a chance that he will be able to execute a friendly game on island to prep his team before they leave the island, and he responded, “We did get an invitation from Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Eastern Star Youth Football League, but I had to let them know that if it was a local competition, I would love to, but the parents have paid so much money for their kids to go on this trip, and I cannot afford having any of these players getting hurt or injured before going on this trip, because this all adds up to the big contributions that the parents have made to send their kids on this trip.”

Pritchard would like to send out his best regards to those who have supported their program, and to those who have contributed to the AYFS All Star.

“The biggest shoutout that I want to send out there is for the parents who are involved in the All Star as well as the league. These are the key focus group that has helped make this league possible and without them, we are not able to conduct these leagues every year.”

He concluded, “I know we also have a lot of local businesses out there who have contributed a lot to the kids’ program. I would also like to thank our staff, our AYFS Board members, our coaches, who are out there looking for money to support our kids, and also the coaches who are out there coaching our kids, and teaching our kids the game of life. I know this was not easy, but together as a family and as a compete program, anything is possible, Thank You.”