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Faga'itua's Steven Fiso receives full scholarship to UH

Steven Fiso returning a punt
Instead of signing on National Signing Day in February, he will sign in December

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Pride of the Eastern Star – Home of the Vikings — has received news that one of its student athletes from the Class of 2019, Steven Fiso, has received an official offer letter from the University of Hawai’i’s head football coach Nick Rolovich, according to Faga'itua High School principal and head football coach Suaese Pooch Taase, and the Viking has given UH its commitment.

He will join a former Viking, Blessman Ta’ala, who currently plays for the UH.

Fiso, a senior out of Aua, is an impact player who plays at a host of positions — wide receiver, free safety, strong safety, kick-off returner, and punt returner — for the Big Red Machine this year.

Samoa News spoke to Ta’ase who reflected on what type of student athlete Fiso is, both on and off the field.

“Yes, I understand that Steven Fiso is not a perfect student, but through football, the support of his family and teachers, it has helped him get this far. We would like to thank our teachers and counselors and staff at Faga’itua High School for helping mold and shape Steven Fiso,” Taase said.

“Steven scored 1000 on his SAT in his junior year which helped him land this scholarship opportunity. He still has a long way to go, but it is a good start and hopefully with an injury-free season," Taase continued, adding that  Fiso’s signing day will not be on National Signing Day next February, but instead, Fiso will sign his a bit early, in December.

 “As we understand, the usual signing date is in February; however, there is an early signing date in December which many colleges are now aiming at getting players to ink early. We would also like to recognize the help of LJ Solo with video highlights, which came through for him in their junior year.”

Ta’ase told Samoa News that the collegiate level’s recruitment process is going at a fast pace, and it’s an opportunity not to be missed. “The recruitment process is moving at a fast pace, and we need to adapt to it and get our players out. We have other players we are working with now, partnering with parents to assist with the recruiting process.”

Taase continued, “The University of Hawaii will now have another player from Aua on their team, alongside Blessman Ta’ala, who is also from Aua and has already proved himself on the field for UH.”

He said the full ride scholarship for Fiso is a very big deal, “It is huge because to get colleges to commit on a student from American Samoa early, is big. We want to say thank you to all who have helped Steven get to where he is today. His Bishop McFarland and the village of Aua should be proud of two of their very own attending college through football."

Ta’ase thanked the FHS English Department, Dr. Salote Fanene, and SPA for assisting with the SAT tutoring. "We will just hope for the best and that Steven makes the best out of this opportunity, which is why many students play football.”

Below is the text of the Official Offer Letter to Fiso from UH:

            Talofa Steven,

            Congratulations on your achievements up to this point in your career. Through careful evaluation of your athletic and academic success, as well as an evaluation of your individual character, our staff has identified you as an elite prospective student athlete for the 2019 class. It is with great pride and pleasure that I offer you a full scholarship to the University of Hawaii.

            This scholarship consists of everything allowed by the NCAA, including room, board, books, tuition and fees. This offer is contingent upon you meeting all NCAA eligibility requirements, and the University of Hawaii’s academic criteria. Its availability is also based on the number of scholarships left at your position, and you must continue to represent your family, your school and yourself in a first class manner. This means that you must continue to be an outstanding citizen.

            As you start thinking about what college you will attend, I hope that the University of Hawaii is at the top of your list. While we’re in a great location, that’s not all we’re about. Being a nationally ranked Tier 1 University, and home to the Shidler College of Business, one of the top 15 international business programs in the country, the degree you receive will allow you to achieve success after your college days are through.

            Know that coming to the University of Hawaii, you will have an opportunity to create something special, and get a chance to play in one of the most unique places in college football. I look forward to developing a close relationship with you and your family. If you ever have any questions concerning the University of Hawaii or our football program, please give me a call.


            Nick Rolovich,

            Head Football Coach