A week of heartbreak ends with a weekend in the home of America’s Team.
Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Peter Manuma and Wynden Ho‘ohuli will play in the Pylon All-American games on Sunday in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The three Hawaii players — Mokiao-Atimalala and Manuma of Campbell, and Ho‘ohuli of Mililani — have a workout with the Stars squad on Saturday. Game day is Sunday.
“This is for the 808,” said Mokiao-Atimalala, a Star-Advertiser All-State wide receiver last year. “We have a lot of coaches, but the only one we know is Kawe Johnson.”
The senior playmaker has 20 scholarship offers and pared them down to five before 2020 came to an end. His list of five: Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, UCF and USC.
Ho‘ohuli, an All-State linebacker, has 14 offers. He committed to Nebraska. Manuma, a versatile two-way player, has committed to Hawaii.
The three have been in constant workout mode back in the islands. Mokiao-Atimalala spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic working out with older brother Tamatoa, now a freshman at Hawaii.
“We’ve been doing 1-on-1s trying to get together as a small group and get some work in,” Titus Mokiao-Atimalala said.
Despite the large roster at this weekend’s event, he believes he and Manuma will see action on both sides of the ball. Mokiao-Atimalala had six interceptions as a junior and returned three for touchdowns.
He also has a message for decision makers who cancelled the Oahu Interscholastic Association fall and winter sports seasons in the past week.
“For me, I would just say that sports is big. For us, it’s our opportunity out to further our education for a lot of us. A lot of our parents put a lot of time and money into us. For the kids that don’t have offers and just need a little more film, look out for those guys and think of those guys,” he said. “If they could just really think.”
Mokiao-Atimalala is also hopeful that City and County of Honolulu Mayor-Elect Rick Blangiardi can make a big impact on the situation for high school and youth student-athletes.
“He’s been a coach (at Hawaii) so he knows what it’s like. Please, we really want to play and for a lot of our athletes, this is what they want to earn,” Mokiao-Atimalala said. “A lot of athletes on the mainland got to play.”