Polynesian HOF announces 25 finalists for next class - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Polynesian HOF announces 25 finalists for next class

 HONOLULU, HI (September 11, 2014) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today 25 Finalists will be on the ballot for induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. The list includes 20 players and five coaches/contributors.

“Over the past several weeks the Selection Committee has been deliberating over the 2015 Finalists,” said Chairman, Dick Tomey. “Each year, the task of selecting Polynesia's great players, coaches and contributors is a major challenge because there are so many worthy candidates.”

Last year, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrined legends Junior Seau, Kevin Mawae, Kurt Gouveia, Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson, Herman Wedemeyer, Olin Kreutz and Ken Niumatalolo as the Inaugural Class.

This year's inductees will be announced on October 8, 2014. They will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, to be held in Oahu and at the Polynesian Cultural Center on January 23 & 24, 2015. On January 24, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame will also officially open its new home at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The permanent exhibit and display will share the history of Polynesian Football and honor its greatest players, coaches and contributors. 

PLAYER FINALISTS

  • George Achica (DT) USC, Pro: NFL (IND) & USFL 3 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Junior Ah You (DE) Arizona State, Pro: CFL & USFL 12 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Bob Apisa (FB/HB) Michigan State, Pro: NFL (GB) 1 year, Samoan ancestry
  • Charles "Charlie" Teetai Ane, Jr. (OL) USC, Pro: NFL (DET) 6 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Herman “Buddy” Piikei Clark (OL) Oregon State, Pro: NFL (CHI) 4 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Riki Morgan Ellison (LB) USC, Pro: NFL (SF, OAK) 8 years, Maori ancestry
  • Luther John Elliss (DT) Utah, Pro: NFL (DET, DEN) 9 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Rockne Crowningburg Freitas (OL) Oregon State, Pro: NFL (DET, TB) 10 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Maake Tuamelie Kemoeatu (DT) Utah, Pro: NFL (BAL, CAR, WAS) 11 years, Tongan ancestry
  • Todd Lyght (CB) Notre Dame, Pro: NFL (STL, DET) 12 years, Marshallese ancestry
  • Chris Naeole (G) Colorado, Pro: NFL (NO, JAX) 11 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Alapati “Al” Noga (DL) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (MIN, WAS, IND) 6 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Niko Noga (LB) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (AZ, DET) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Dan Saleaumua (DT) Arizona State, Pro: NFL (DET, KC, SEA) 12 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Jesse Sapolu (C) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (SF) 15 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Ray Frederick Schoenke (OT/OG) SMU, Pro: NFL (DAL, WAS) 12 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Vai Sikahema (RB/KR) BYU, Pro: NFL (AZ, GB, PHI) 8 years, Tongan ancestry
  • Maa Tanuvasa (DE) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (STL, PIT, DEN, SD, ATL) 9 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Mosiula “Mosi” Faasuka Tatupu (RB/KR) USC, Pro: NFL (NE, STL) 14 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Mark Pulemau Tuinei (OT) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (DAL) 15 years, Samoan ancestry
COACH & CONTRIBUTOR FINALISTS

  • Russ Francis, Advocate for Polynesian Football, Super Bowl Champion and three time Pro Bowl selection
  • Thomas Kaauwai Kaulukukui, Former Head football Coach at University of Hawai'i, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Albert “Al” Lolotai, First Polynesian to play Professional Football, Samoan ancestry
  • John Manumaleuna, Southern California Advocate for Polynesian Youth, Samoan ancestry
  • Charlie Wedemeyer, Former Head Football Coach, Los Gatos High School (CA), Hawaiian ancestry
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