2014- 15 high school football season about to take off — Aug 27
The most popular sport played in our high school division — “Football” — is right around the corner, and Samoa News will start off the big bang this year with our individual team promos, our Pre-huddles, which will start in tomorrow’s issue, up to the scheduled season opener — set to kick off on Aug. 27, next week Wednesday, with two high caliber matches opening this year’s American Samoa High School Athletic Association football league.
Last year’s football season is considered the continued domination of the Tafuna High School football program — with the Warriors collecting their second “Back-2-Back” Undefeated Championship title. Their offensive linemen squad also took the MVP of the Season for the second time in a row. For most teams last season, they managed to hang on all the way to full-time, with almost every Warrior victory looking at around a 50-point lead range.
For this year, Tafuna’s most threatening weapon throughout the past 3 years, Frank Mauigoa, is now at his senior level of play, and is looking to rank as the top QB in the league again, as he has for his past 3 years as an underclassman. While anything can happen, I say look to Tafuna High School once again dominating the scene — although the surprise may come from the rosters of football programs that take on players from the two high schools that are no longer fielding teams in the 2014- 15 ASHSAA football season.
The youngest squad in the league last season hailed from the East, as the Vikings re-defined their football team with new faces. This year, there is an 85 percent return of those new faces, with the majority of them taking key roles in the Varsity division for Fagaitua.
Look for the “Man-Child”, who is just going into his sophomore year to stand out and shine — which his name, Blessman Ta’ala, certainly describing his charismatic playing. Ta’ala has already been offered scholarships from Division I colleges off island through Field House 100. But in front of Ta’ala stands the stealth weapons for the Vikings, who had no choice throughout the previous years as underclassmen, but to play in the Varsity Division due to the shortage of players — Oly Ta’ase, Faga’ese Ta’ase just to name a few of this returning powerhouse.
The surprising team that turned out to challenge the Warriors last year for the Championship title, were the Samoana Sharks. They did give Tafuna a hard time, in the first half – and this year, the Sharks will be bringing out their contending squad with Logan Tago leading the reins, as this star student athlete pulled the Sharks through as an underclassmen. tThis season, he is most likely the player that most players and supporters for Samoana will lean to in terms of putting points on the board, and making big plays.
For the Leone Lions — they most likely are going to have to smallest looking team in numbers, as both the JV and Varsity programs have less than 28 players in both division. Nevertheless, they are bringing their A-Game, as the majority of the players on the squad, are returning players.
The advantage that the Lions bring to the field is that their players will have a lot more playing time, more recruiting exposure, and will be way more easier to coach and adjust than a team with a full roster. Division I scholarship recipient offensive lineman Elu Ayden is coming back as "Mufasa" or leader of the team. Now with the addition of Folasa Vili to stay in the Varsity division, Leone looks threatening for the upcoming season.
Kanana Fou High School will not have a football team this year according to Head Coach Time Tagoilelagi, but the Stallion football players who are football hungry, are now an addition to Nu'uuli Wildcats football team, including HC Tagoilelagi.
Samoa News attended one of their practices during their individual team coverage, and witnessed a threatening transformation to Nu'uuli's football program this year. This just might be their year to be a challenger in the final game of the season (championship).
Rodman Vagana who reaped havoc at linebacker position last season, is now even more dangerous on defense, having him on the line, closer to the quarterback.
Overall, this will be a season full of action, with only 5 teams this year — the Marist Crusaders has also dropped their football program, with some of their players hoping to show up in the Warriors lineup.
Overall, returning players for these two now defunct teams have split up and gone their separate ways to fill rosters for other active teams this year, which will make this year’s ASHSAA Football Season even more interesting and entertaining.
Tomorrow, Samoa News will publish its first team of its Pre-Season Huddles, with the returning Undefeated Champions, Tafuna High School.
Story and photos to look out for – behind the Warriors are the remaining teams who are to participate in the league this year. Everyday will have a team to feature.