The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has announced five finalists for the 2018 Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding senior high school football player of Polynesian Ancestry.
The five finalists are: RB George Holani (St. John Bosco High School; Bellflower, California), WR Puka Nacua (Orem High School; Orem, Utah), QB Taulia Tagovailoa (Thompson High School; Alabaster, Alabama), LB Henry To’oto’o (De La Salle High School; Concord, California) and DL Faatui Tuitele (St. Louis School; Honolulu, Hawai`i). The Finalists were selected from a Watch List of nearly 50 players.
“This award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes in high school football today,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman and Co-Founder. “We congratulate to each Finalist and their families.”
High School Player Of The Year Finalists
Running Back … Samoan Ancestry … St. John Bosco Braves (Bellflower, CA) … Led the Braves to 13-1 season record and #3 overall National ranking … Rushed for 1,172 yards with 18 rushing touchdowns … averaged 8.6 yards per carry… Selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
Wide Receiver … Samoan Ancestry … Orem Tigers (Orem, UT) … Led the Tigers to a 12-2 season and the Utah state championship game … Set the Utah state record for receptions (103), receiving yards (2,336) and receiving touchdowns (26) … His 2,336 receiving yards are the fifth most all-time in a single season nationally … Ranked as the overall #2 player in Utah … Selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
Quarterback … Samoan Ancestry … Thompson Warriors (Alabaster, AL) … Led the Warriors to their first state championship game appearance … Passed for 3,728 yards with 35 passing touchdowns … Rushed for 417 yards with six rushing touchdowns … Ranked nationally as the #5 Pro-Style QB in the Class of 2019 … Selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
Linebacker … Samoan Ancestry … De La Salle Spartans (Concord, CA) … Led the Spartans to the California state championship game and #8 overall National ranking … Led De La Salle in rushing and tackles as a two-way player … Ranked nationally as the #2 OLB in the Class of 2019 … Selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
Defensive Tackle … Samoan Ancestry … St. Louis Crusaders (Honolulu, HI) … Major defensive piece in the Crusaders undefeated season and 2019 Hawai`i state championship… Ranked as the overall #1 player in Hawai`i … Had 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks … Selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
The Finalists will be recognized during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on O`ahu, Hawai`i. The Player of the Year will be announced during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner on January 18 (Sheraton Waikiki), and again at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl (Aloha Stadium) on January 19.
Crescent Valley High School (Corvallis, OR) and current University of Southern California Safety Talanoa Hufangawas selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2017.