Samoa Bowl IX: Live the experience through the Samoa Bowl!
(BASED ON PRESS RELEASE) — In preparation for the upcoming Samoa Bowl IX, the organizing committee offers a brief history of the Samoa Bowl, including a summary of the teams and coaches that will be a part of this year’s event.
The American Samoa Department of Education has been a cornerstone supporter of the Samoa Bowl each year and the event strives to showcase the sporting talent of our young athletes at the same time perpetuating sportsmanship, leadership and self pride in our youth.
Samoa Bowl is one of Gov. Togiola Tulafono’s key programs that provide mentoring of student athletes and the youth participating in sports to stay “Drug and Alcohol Free”. The youth and high school Coaches, Principals, Counselors and Parent Teacher Associations play a very important part in this initiative.
Through the diligent support of the American Samoa Department of Commerce, the Governor’s Drug Free Initiative, the First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono’s Tai’ita’itama Program and the local community (businesses and individuals), funding has been made available to support Samoa Bowl over the years.
Today, Samoa Bowl has become a successful event that merges culture, provides unforgettable experiences, instills competitive sportsmanship and strengthens athletic bonds among athletes. Live the experience through the Samoa Bowl!
Since 2000, the American Samoa Department of Education through its school athletic program was the host of the East & West High School All-Star Football Game held at the field in Gagamoe, located in the village of Pago Pago.
During the summer of 2002, Governor Togiola met with Coach Livai Siuaki from Kahuku High School on Oahu, Hawaii who was on his way to Tonga with a group of athletes to play the first ever Tongan exhibition football game for the King of Tonga, His Majesty Taufa’ahau Tupou IV on his birthday.
On his return from Tonga, Togiola invited Coach Livai Siuaki to discuss a possible game with Samoan players from Hawaii and American Samoa. This was then a golden opportunity to see how well our local athletes would match up against the likes of American Samoan athletes born in Hawaii or who left at a very young age due to family migration seeking a better life in Hawaii and on the mainland USA. This was also an opportunity at benchmarking our local athlete’s skills against another team of much higher caliber.
He also saw this as an opportunity to have Samoan athletes from Hawaii return back to their roots and experience the culture their parents had left behind. To move the vision forward, the Governor selected a group of individuals from the government, private sector and the community to form a committee that would plan the first “Samoa Bowl.”
In 2003, the first Samoa Bowl High School All-Star Football Game was played between Hawaii and American Samoa and the event has continued to this day, marking the ninth year.
In 2008, realizing the need to showcase our female athlete’s talents, girl’s volleyball was introduced into the Samoa Bowl program. Beginning with competition from Hawaii for the first two years, 2010 saw the addition of a team from California for the first time.
2010 also opened the door to an international game between American Samoa and Gridiron Australia.
This game was so well received that in February 2012, the All-Star Football team from American Samoa has been invited to Brisbane, Australia to compete with the All-Star Australian team in the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Oceania Championships Under 19 competition where the winning team will qualify to represent the World Team in the upcoming IFAF World Games in Ohio set for June 2012.
In addition, local Coach Pooch Ta’ase, head coach for Fagaitua High School has been named for a second year to the IFAF coaching staff as Linebacker Coach.
SAMOA BOWL IX — 2011 DEVELOPMENTS
This year, men’s volleyball has been added and teams from combined clubs in California, Las Vegas, Oregon and Utah will be joining Samoa Bowl in both men and women’s competitions.
In 2011, Samoa Bowl took advantage of another opportunity to partner with the American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC), AS Baseball and AS Softball Associations which has attracted the expertise of stateside coaches and athletes.
Murphy Su’a, Head Baseball Coach from Cal State Dominguez Hills will be bringing a team of 20 players and coaches to conduct workshops and play exhibition games with our local baseball high school players. Samoa has also asked to attend with their own team of 20 participants.
In addition, the Ricketts sisters, well known in the world of Softball (see Samoa News article of Dec. 16th), Samantha (Asst. Softball Coach @ Witchita State, KS-2 time All American first base player), Stephanie (Senior pitcher @ UH Manoa) and Keilani (Junior pitcher @ Oklahoma Univ-winning pitcher for Team USA Gold Medal Game in Pan American Games); will be hosting coaching and pitching clinics during the week for local high school girls and interested adults