PRE SEASON HUDDLE: NVTHS Wildcats are ready to unleash the beast
The Wildcats of Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School are ready to play football and this year, new head coach Andrew Bille Ena will be leading the pack when the 2017-18 American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) football season kicks off next Saturday.
Samoa News coverage of the 'Pre-Season Huddles' is proudly brought to you by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
The Wildcats' roster this year features over 60 players and according to Ena, 30 will be playing for the varsity squad, 30 for the JV team, and the mix comprises students from NVTHS, Kanana Fou, and Faasao Marist.
Ena is not new to the football scene. Prior to being named head coach, he served as an assistant head coach for the Wildcats.
“Our preparations began during Spring Ball that took place towards the end of last school year," Ena told Samoa News. "Our Summer practices started up around June 19th and we’ve been coordinating them up to the present time.”
Ena revealed that this year, "We have a few new coaches so that brought a new spirit to our practices. We have been working hard on making sure that we are finishing every play and competing in every play.”
When asked about their goal for the 2017-18 ASHSAA football season, Ena said, “Our goal is to build off of last season’s momentum and to take our team further to a winning season and ultimately a championship”.
Last season, the Wildcats went out with a bang when they defeated Tafuna High School for the first time ever, in the varsity division.
Samoa News asked Ena what he would like to see from ASHSAA football this year and he responded, “A safe environment for all our players and spectators to gather and enjoy the games. And for recruiting purposes, it would be really good to see all the games filmed.”
Ena is grateful to everyone who has helped him shape the Nu’uuli Wildcats football program, including school principal Batta Siatuu-Leatualevao and vice principal Valasi LamYuen "for entrusting me to lead our team. We appreciate their endless support of our student athletes."
Ena also acknowledged the coaching staff: Crim Sele, Rob Ili, Will Lobendan, Pualau Pualau, Sene Isileli, Eliu Tuata, Rob McCourt and Lupelele Lefiti "for the time that they sacrifice away from their families to come out and share their knowledge with our players.”
He added, “A big fa’afetai tele to Equalizer Sports Apparel, Carlson Colts head coach Arnold Ale, JM Finance, GHC Reid, Victor Avalos, and Phil Love of Carl’s Jr. for their donation to our team.
“None of this would be possible without our players. I’d like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication shown throughout these past few months.
“Last but not the least, none of this would be possible without the support of our parents, families, faculty, student body, and alumni of NVTHS, ” he said.
Ena concluded, “Best of luck to all the other teams out there! Look out for the Wildcats because we’re coming!”