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Finally! Savelio is off to college and baseball

Local baseball star and American Samoa National Baseball Team member, Ieti Julian Savelio recently realized his dream. Savelio is the recipient of a full scholarship to attend Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah to play baseball.

“Now that I am twenty one years old —and after years of waiting— I finally have an opportunity to take my baseball skills to the next level and also move on to a higher level of education.” Savelio told Samoa News.

He added, “I would not have been able to make it on my own.”

The head baseball coach of Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, Scott Madsen offered the scholarship to Savelio, with the assistance of Dixie State University Baseball Assistant Coach Brent Haring and the American Samoa Baseball Association (ASBA).

 Savelio was born in Samoa but has lived most of his life here in American Samoa, where he graduated from Tafuna High School in 2009. He played baseball all four years at Tafuna, where he was part of a winning tradition as the Warriors took the American Samoa High School Athletic Association baseball championship all four years he attended.

He has been diligently pursuing his dream to go to college, despite the odds being stacked against him to receive a scholarship, due to the fact he was born in Samoa.

Since graduating high school, Savelio has been working and waiting for an opportunity to pursue a college education and a chance to play college baseball.

“First of all, I would like to thank my Heavenly Father for this opportunity. I want to also thank my brothers Richard Leite and Ignatius Mackenzie for introducing me to the game of baseball... and also to the man who has taught me all there is to know about the game, my uncle, the late Arthur Leite and the rest of the Leite and Mackenzie families,” said Savelio.

Savelio also wished to thank and acknowledge all of his other coaches who have helped along the way, for helping him becoming the athlete he is today.

“Most importantly, I want to thank the Savelios and the Schwenkes for all of their support and encouragement, patience and love, in keeping me strong to reach this critical point of my life,” he said.

Savelio has most recently been working alongside the ASBA, teaching baseball to the youth of the territory.  The head of the ASBA Victor Langkilde, on behalf of the entire organization would like to wish Savelio all of the best in the pursuit of his dreams—furthering his education and playing baseball.