14 Hawaii high school alums make Polynesian award watch list

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had surgery on his hip on Monday. Associated Press photo.

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced its 2019 Watch List for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award today.

Fourteen of the 63 players named to the list are alums of high schools in Hawaii.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (Saint Louis) leads a list of players that includes Utah’s Bradlee Anae (Kahuku) and Mika Tafua (Kamehameha), LSU’s Breiden Fehoko (Farrington), Hawaii’s Dayton Furuta (Mililani), Kaimana Padello (Mililani) and Solomon Matautia (Campbell), Notre Dame’s Alohi Gilman (Kahuku), Southern California’s Jordan Iosefa (Saint Louis) and Vavae Malepeai (Mililani), Boise State’s Kekaula Kaniho (Kahuku), Fresno State’s Netane Muti (Leilehua), Nebraska’s Kanawai Noa (Punahou) and Kansas’ Andru Tovi (Mililani).

The inaugural award was handed out to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, a Saint Louis alumnus, in 2014.

Washington State’s Hercules Mata’afa (Lahainaluna) won it in 2017 and Tagovailoa won it last year.

The winner of the 2019 award will be announced Dec. 17 and five finalists will be released on Dec. 5.

The presentation of the award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner on Jan. 17 and they will be recognized at halftime of the 2020 Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 18 at Aloha Stadium.


  1. Matt Motter August 6, 2019 8:20 pm

    Can’t believe Mililani is dominating this list

  2. Home Grown August 7, 2019 5:06 am

    M&M pump your brakes. The 4 players from Mililani have little chance of being named “Player of the Year” but its nice that they are mentioned. The bigger issue is that STL, Kahuku and Mililani continue to produce the most talented players. This says a bit about the R word (recruiting) but more about the commitment of these 3 programs to help their players play at the next level. Many schools including the other top programs in the OIA and ILH don’t or won’t assist their players with college opportunities. Ask around to verify, you’ll be surprised and disappointed at some of “legendary coaches”.

  3. CynHyn August 7, 2019 7:34 am

    Kekaula Kaniho, 2 year startery dB Boise St
    Forgot him.

  4. Cryhyn August 7, 2019 7:35 am

    Oops,sorry got him.

  5. Mahatma Gandhi August 7, 2019 3:38 pm

    Kanawai Noa at Nebraska? He had been at Cal for the past 4 years. What’s up with that?
    He was playing at Cal, not riding the bench. But he to totally remake his game from what he did at Punahou. He had to convert to an under the coverage receiver, no can break free past the popolo safeties.

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