Oregon St. offers Laie Park 8th grader

It’s a whole new world, maybe.

Tausili Fiatoa, an eighth grader who plays for the Laie Park Red Raiders in the Hawaii State Jr. Prep Sports football league, received a football scholarship offer from Oregon State on Thursday. Two supporters of the year-round football club, Robert Faleafine and Jack Damuni, shared the news on Facebook late Thursday night. Faleafine is founder and president of the Big Boyz League.

Faleafine communicated via text early Friday morning and confirmed the news. The offer came via Beavers assistant (defensive line) coach Chad Kauhaahaa, who turned Baldwin into a Maui Interscholastic League dynasty before departing for the college ranks. This was the second offer by Oregon State to a local player in less than 24 hours. On Thursday morning, the Beavers made an offer to Kapolei freshman linebacker Rocky Savea.

Fiatoa is a 6-foot-1, 184-pound defensive end who rated fifth among eighth graders at the Nike Opening Combine at Aloha Stadium on Feb. 8. His results include a 5.25 in the 40-yard dash and a 26.4-inch vertical jump.

Word in the community is that Fiatoa may transfer and begin his high school career at national powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nev., this fall. Other local prospects, like former Saint Louis phenomenon Haskell Garrett, made the move in recent years. Then again, Laie Park coach Aisa Wily, uncle of former All-State Red Raiders Aofaga Wily and Salanoa-Alo Wily, was recently hired by new Kahuku High School football coach Vavae Tata to guide the junior varsity program. Maybe Fiatoa stays.

Fiatoa and his Laie Park teammates will play Ewa Beach in the league championship game on Saturday at Mililani High School’s John Kauinana Stadium. Gates open at 9 a.m. for the day-long age-group championship matchups.

Oregon State is not the only school to offer a scholarship an eighth grader. Michigan did so in April. The University of Miami did likewise in April, offering scholarships to three eighth graders. Alabama did it in 2013. It’s been going on with athletes in basketball and soccer, as well. Last year, soccer star Haley Berg of Sanford, Fla., had multiple Division I offers to consider before she was done with middle school.

Note: The earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Aloha Stadium as the site for the championship games.


  1. PinkSushi May 22, 2015 2:27 am

    I wonder if Bishop Gorman is offering good paying jobs to the parents of the kids they recruit to play football for them. Going over state lines to recrut athletes is excessive, winning at all costs. I think I read somewhere that Bishop Gorman is not allowed to compete in Nevada high school games because of their excessive recruiting so they have to go out of state to play their games. Same thing we should have done to St Louis from 1986 to 2000. I read one of Bishop Gorman’s recruits came back to the islands and is now on St Louis’ roster. You should have to fight hard to win a state championship. They should not come easy. St Louis would have Waianae down 35-0 at the half of their Prep Bowl games.

  2. Mauian5 May 22, 2015 3:25 am

    St. Louis doing the same thing, by going to neighbor islands and recruiting kids.
    Rumors are they got the top safety in the state in that kid from Konawaena.
    I know they on Maui trying to get one of the top lineman from Baldwin.

  3. Local Mom May 22, 2015 5:20 am

    I don’t understand the value of transfering, moving away from home, for high school. It’s not as if Kahuku and the rest of Hawaii are not on the map, coaches coming in droves.

  4. amela May 22, 2015 8:53 am

    Puts a lot of pressure on their parents to let their kids go out of state. Seems selfish.

  5. fan May 22, 2015 10:04 am

    Some of these kids want to go to schools like Bishop Gorman. Higher profile, more recognition, hopefully a scholie waiting for them at the end of their high school days.

  6. fan May 22, 2015 10:06 am

    Forgot to addd…6’1″, 180 in 8th grade? That’s a lot of palusami. Kid’s probably still growing too.

  7. Hater May 22, 2015 1:35 pm

    Bishop Gorman? Kahuku?

    OC 16? ESPN?

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.