Top DL honors for Saint Louis’ Anthony Sagopolutele at FBU Showcase

Anthony Sagapolutele faces the prospect of having no senior season of football, but hasn't stopped maximum training. (Photo by Paul Honda)

The route from Honolulu to Naples, Fla., is worth the 14-day quarantine for Anthony Sagapolutele.

The Saint Louis senior-to-be made the trip to Naples for the FBU Top Gun Showcase and earned a spot on the Top Defensive Linemen honors. The three-day event gathered the top football seniors in the nation at the brand-new Paradise Coast Sports Complex.

In his tweet, the 6-foot-2, 260-pound DL called it an honor.

“It was an honor to participate in the FBU Camp in Naples, Fla. What an experience to go against competitors from all over the nation. I loved the competition held in the camp and it has shown me my strengths and weaknesses. I aim blessed to be part of the top 5 D-line in my class!”

Update, Thursday, 10 a.m.
Chad Ricardo of NBC Sports Washington tweeted that Sagapolutele may have been the best D-lineman in the Showcase.

Sagapolutele added 30 pounds since last football season without losing speed. His sprints up the hill at Kakaako Park during a recent Liahona Youth Empowerment workout, running stride for stride with linebackers and receivers, were impressive.

He is awaiting a decision about his eligibility. Sagapolutele sat out his sophomore year at a mainland school following the death of his father. Many of his teammates and friends have supported him via social media, but there is not much precedent for allowing a high school athlete in Hawaii to play during a fifth year.

That’s why opportunities like the FBU Showcase are crucial to his future. Sagapolutele has a 3.4 grade-point average. Lewis and Clark is the only school that has shown interest so far. Sagapolutele’s teammates and friends, from current high school players to former college players, have expressed their support via social media.


  1. internal July 14, 2020 5:22 pm


  2. MiliLouis July 15, 2020 7:33 am

    StL #90 definitely had a great season last year and deserves a shot at the next level.

    Besides being in high school for a 5th year, is his age also a factor for making him ineligible? Playing against other kids who potentially could be as young as 15yrs might be a safety issue if you’re 19yrs or possibly turning 20yrs and still playing high school ball. Could the league be held liable if they allow a player beyond the age requirement to play and inadvertently injures another player?

  3. Wala'au July 15, 2020 7:39 am

    Great article on an outstanding young man!

    Anthony is 18 as of this year so the age issue shouldn’t be prohibitive until 2021. Guess a lot will depend on when the football season gets going?

  4. ILoveHawaii July 15, 2020 8:16 am

    Safety issue and fairness issue.
    5 years to play 4 sounds a little like college.

    I dont doubt that this young man will be playing at the next level. He is a beast.
    Its a really great story of resilience and perseverance but I dont know if the league will be willing to let him play, let alone HHSAA allowing play in the state tournament.

    Good luck to this young man. Go and get it at these college showcases!!

  5. ??? July 15, 2020 1:01 pm

    Kahuku forfeited a Championship season because a student/athlete went back to 8th grade after 2 weeks in the 9th grade, ST Francis also forfeited their season for a 5th year Player.
    So I don’t see this kid getting an approval for a 5th year.
    He will definitively be a DI athlete one day. Good Luck!

  6. July Jones July 17, 2020 9:59 am

    5th year players in HS will increase significantly after this pandemic.

  7. Mr. pragmatic July 21, 2020 10:19 am

    Age should be on the only factor in determining whether this young man should be allowed an additional year given the set of circumstances he encountered. You should not allow a 20 year old to compete in high school sports. However if this young man will be 18-19 when his class graduates what harm is there. There are a plethora of male and female athletes in our local high schools that were held back a year and it was not due to the personal hardships like this young man has gone through. Our high school leaders are here to benefit the well being of the student athlete and each case should be handled on a case by case basis. Rules should be interpreted with the benefit of doubt afforded to the student. Nothing is cast in stone. “let the players play, let the coaches coach, and let the officials make sound common sense decisions geared to the well being of the student athlete.”

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