15 from Hawaii make Polynesian award watch list

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame released a list of 43 players named to the Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award watch list today.

Fifteen of those players are currently enrolled in high school in Hawaii.

Kahuku and Saint Louis lead the way with four selections, followed by Punahou with two and Mililani, Waipahu, Campbell, Kapolei and Farrington with one each.

Representing the Crusaders are linebacker Jordan Botelho, safety Kamo’i Latu, quarterback Jayden de Laura and defensive tackle Stanley McKenzie. The Red Raiders have linebackers Ace Kaufusi and JL Lavea, cornerback Kaonohi Kaniho and offensive lineman Micah Soiai-Howlett.

Other players selected to the watch list are Punahou safety Alaka’i Gilman, Kapolei defensive lineman Maceal Afaese, Waipahu running back Alfred Failauga, Mililani linebacker Muelu Iosefa, Farrington offensive lineman Faaope Laloulu, Punahou offensive lineman Solatoa Moea’i and Campbell receiver Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala.

The award is presented annually to the best high school football player of Polynesian ancestry.

Southern California sophomore Talanoa Hufanga of Crescent Valley H.S. in Corvallis, Ore., won the inaugural award in 2017 and Alabama freshman quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (Thompson Academy, Alabaster, Al.) and Washington freshman receiver Puka Nacua (Orem H.S., Orem, Utah) shared the award last year.

“This award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes.” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee in a press release. “Football for Polynesians is a way of life and an opportunity to advance their educational pursuits through a college scholarship.”

Five finalists will be released on Dec. 10 and the winner will be announced on Jan. 17, 2020, during the Polynesian Bowl celebration dinner at the Sheraton Waikiki and also be recognized during halftime of the 2020 Polynesian Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Aloha Stadium.


  1. Cryhyn August 22, 2019 2:38 pm

    If Taulia was invited then do the same for SolJay Maiava. After all he qbs the 5th rank team in the nation. That would be the highest rank qb in the history of PB.

  2. Protectors not Protesters August 23, 2019 11:42 am

    He’s already been invited

  3. Cryhyn August 23, 2019 4:28 pm

    OK thanks bro.

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