Malepeai is Gatorade player of the year

Mililani's Vavae Malepeai led the state in rushing this season and was named Gatorade player of the year. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai led the state in rushing this season and was named Gatorade player of the year. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Mililani senior running back Vavae Malepeai was chosen Tuesday as the Gatorade Hawaii Football Player of the Year.

Malepeai led the state with 1,930 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on 227 carries in 13 games. He also caught 10 passes for 171 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Trojans to an appearance in the state semifinals and a 10-3 overall record.

In his final high school game, the University of Oregon commit became the state’s all-time leading rusher, breaking the mark of 4,428 career yards by Joe Igber that had stood for 17 years. Malepeai finished his career with 4,549 yards in 37 games with 71 rushing touchdowns, which is also a state record.

Malepeai was named the OIA Blue offensive player of the year and will play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Malepeai has maintained a 3.52 GPA in the classroom and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and as a youth football coach.

The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

Malepeai is the second consecutive Trojans to win the award. Quarterback McKenzie Milton was the 2014 recipient.

Former winners of the award in Hawaii include current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and two-time winners Manti Te’o and Larry Tuileta of Punahou.


  1. SMalepeai December 4, 2015 3:00 am

    So proud of you boy!!!!!!! Alofa from your Cali & Connecticut family!

  2. Matuu Pulotu December 4, 2015 7:18 pm

    Congratulations to you on this award and all the others you so rightly deserve. It was fun for me as a football fan and tough at times as a Red Raider to witness your talent and skills you possess as a football player. May you continue to find success on the next level(s) and continue to make your parents and family, school, community and state proud of all you do. Go get ’em.

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