BLUESKY BRINGS YOU AMERICAN SAMOA RUGBY ON THE WAY TO HONG KONG 7s
Today, Bluesky features Fe’ite Okesene, a 27-year old player who plays rugby for the Moli ole Ava club from his village of Lauli’i.
Okesene is a very happy man. “I can’t explain how great I feel at this moment. Everything has happened at the right time, as I’m about to leave for Hong Kong with the Talavalu team. I’m full of joy and I thank God for the gift of life,” the Lauli’i player shouts with joy.
God has blessed Okesene and his wife, Simeaola Asa Okesene with a new born baby they have named, Okesene Solofa Okesene. He was born on March 8 around midnight at LBJ’s maternity ward. His arrival however was not expected until May.
“When our team dispersed from camp to spend the weekend with families on Saturday March 8th, my wife and I were about to go to sleep when she suddenly experienced severe pain in her stomach. We didn’t expect her to go into labor so soon as our baby was due in May, but we didn’t take any chances as her mom and I rushed her to the hospital that night. Near midnight, our son was born and we prayed and thanked the Lord that the mom and baby were fine. There were no complications in delivering our son, and my wife went through the experience with pain and joy,” Okesene explains.
Son, Okesene was born prematurely and weighed 3 pounds and one ounce. He is still under the care and observation of the maternity ward, while the mom is recovering at home.
“It’s a beautiful thing to go to the hospital every morning and evening, and with my wife to breast feed our son. I look forward to it every day. It’s a nice feeling to see and enjoy my son before we depart for Hong Kong. He serves as an inspiration to me,” Okesene says.
He and his wife have an interesting story on how they hooked up. They crossed paths on cyber space. “We met on Facebook,” Okesene says. The Lauli’i player was in California last year vacationing in San Hose with Isaac Sopo’aga, the NFL star and one day he was searching the Internet when he came across his future wife’s profile on Facebook and started communicating.
“I asked her for her phone number and other stuff and was surprised that we shared common interests and knew many of the same people. So we started calling each other and when I returned from San Jose, after the two weeks of spring break spent with Sopo’aga, we started dating.”
On Valentine’s Day, February 14 this year, Fe’ite and Simeaola Asa Okesene were married. Just 10 days ago, the new couple had a baby son.
Okesene was born in Moamoa, Samoa but was brought to American Samoa when he was three years old. He was legally adopted by the Okesene family in Lauli’i. He attended the Lauli’i Elementary School and spent four years at Fagaitua High where he graduated in 2004. He was one of Fagaitua HIgh School’s Head Coach Sua'ese “Pooch” Taase’s bright and hard working football players. During his playing days as a Viking, he was named as ASHAA’s football MVP of the week four times.
“I give credit to coach Ta’ase for his excellent coaching and sharing of his knowledge to us while we were at Faga’itua. He was a dedicated and disciplined leader and what I’ve learned from him, I now use those many good qualities to lead our Talavalu team,” Okesene comments.
The Talavalu coach and management named Okesene as captain of the American Samoa squad at the beginning of this year and the Lauli’i star is taking his responsibilities very seriously.
“It’s hard to bring different personalities together and try to make them think and communicate with one voice. But we’re learning from each other’s ways of doing things and making good progress as we go along.”
Okesene says his Talavalu squad is ready to tackle Hong Kong. “The team is fit and I’m comfortable with our ball skills, handling and tackling.”
The team captain was selected to the Talavalu team in 2011 and has represented American Samoa in tournaments held in Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia, and Australia.
His adopted parents have all passed away. His dad, Okesene died in 2004 and his mom, Lita in 2011. Okesene had to stay behind when American Samoa played in the Oceania competition in Apia to attend his mom’s funeral that year. He has five brothers and three sisters. Some of his brothers hold important leadership roles with his church at Kanana Fou.
Okesene works at the Samoa Tuna Processor in Tafuna. According to him, his supervisor, Joko understands the demanding life of a rugby player. “Joko used to represent American Samoa in 15 as well as 7’s rugby teams in the past. So he realizes the hard work we go through in training and he gives us breaks from work.”
Okesene is grateful for the opportunity to lead American Samoa to international tournaments and wishes to thank his boss Joko, their crew and his employers for their support, and presents given.
He also wants to thank his family, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts for their support. He wants to show his gratitude to his Rev. Seumalo Iakopo, his wife and the Lauli’i EFAS, his village, and rugby club for their prayers and support.
“I would like to thank coach “Pooch” Ta’ase and my Faga’itua High School for your support and tutorship. My special prayers go out to my wife, Simeaola, son, Okesene and our whole family for your endless support throughout this campaign. To my wife and son, we have gone through many difficult times together but our love and the grace of God pulled us through. I will miss you Simeaola and our lovely son, Okesene dearly.
“God bless the people of American Samoa for the support that you have shown in so many ways to all of us who will represent you and the territory in Hong Kong. Thank You so much,” Okesene concludes.