Mililani celebrates Malepeai’s bowl invite

Mililani running back Vavae Malepeai will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Mililani running back Vavae Malepeai will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Friends and family of Vavae Malepeai gathered at the Mililani High School gym on Monday to celebrate the running back’s selection to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Malepeai, Hawaii’s all-time leading rusher and a three-year starter at running back for the Trojans, is one of close to 100 seniors across the country who have been selected to play in the game at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Jan. 9.

Vavae Malepeai, second from left, is pictured with part of his supportive family — his father Mako, his mom Tali and one of his four siblings, sister Oliana. Photo courtesy of Lynn York.
Vavae Malepeai, second from left, is pictured with part of his supportive family — his father Mako, his mom Tali and one of his four siblings, sister Oliana. Photo courtesy of Lynn York.

Malepeai spoke to the crowd and thanked all of the people in his life for their continued support. He choked up when he talked about his mom and dad, Mako and Tali Malepeai, and others and how much they’ve done for him through the years.


To everyone, he said, “You don’t understand what it means to me that you’re here in the stands and at my games.”

Several onlookers were crying during his emotional speech.

Mililani head coach Rod York also got choked up with emotion when he spoke about Vavae, pausing several times to gather the correct words and clear his throat.


Even York, whose deep-rooted philosophy about football is that it is a team game, mentioned that the Trojans were fortunate to be part of Vavae’s three-year ride.

It was a ride that helped the Trojans to a state title a year ago and a state-runner-up finish the year before that. Despite high hopes during his senior season this year, the Trojans were eliminated in the state semifinals.


Malepeai finished his career as the all-time state leader in rushing yardage (4,549) and rushing touchdowns (71) in 37 games.

Malepeai, who accepted a scholarship offer to play at Oregon next year, received a yellow U.S. Army bowl-game jersey as part of the celebration on Monday.

COMMENTS

  1. amela December 7, 2015 9:36 pm

    Stay home and be a Rainbow Warrior and make Hawaii proud.


  2. Ekolu Osorio December 7, 2015 10:51 pm

    Character-wise he’s another Marcus Mariota. Talent-wise, One of Hawaii’s best RB’s, if not the best. I’d have to put him ahead of Adrian Murrell and Timoteo Manoa because of his longevity. Should be a nice fit at Oregon as he came from a similar type of offense at Mililani Knows how to run behind blockers, powerful and has breakaway speed.


  3. Ua Ova Lou Taimi December 8, 2015 6:37 pm

    He’ll probably be moved to fullback or linebacker. He doesn’t have the speed to stay at tailback at the next level.


  4. AOK December 9, 2015 7:42 am

    I agree with all commenters. Great kid. In Hawaii he was the man. But, on the mainland their speed is on another level. I see him as a J.A.G. (Just Another Guy). Trojan Nation-don’t hate. I would love to be proven wrong. But, I just don’t see it. Good luck to Vae though. And, I’m glad he’s staying away from the 808 mess.


  5. Samoan December 15, 2015 11:07 am

    To the first person who commented, What he decides to do is up to him, let him be. To the 2nd person, Great comment! i feel the exact same way. To the third person, Who are you to say what his position will be in college? you’re not God. And to the 4th comment, you WILL be proven wrong, just wait and see, God has a way of working things out, so you will see that Vavae will do as much damage in the mainland as he did down here in Hawaii. Good season Mililani! Vavae Malepeai is the best football player known in Hawaii, keep on going boy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*