HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame released its Class of 2021 on Tuesday, selecting three inductees from this year’s top 10 finalists.
The three honorees inducted into the Class of 2021 are Al Noga of Samoan ancestry, Niko Noga of Samoan ancestry and Charlie Wedemeyer of Hawaiian Ancestry.
This is the first time in the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s seven year history that a pair of brothers are inducted into the Hall in the same class.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, we congratulate the Class of 2021,” Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating their induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame next year.”
The 2021 Polynesian Bowl and Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend — that was set to take place in January — was canceled due to COVID-19 health restrictions, so the Class of 2021 will be honored alongside the Class of 2022 next year.
The Inductees were selected from a group of over 100 nominees by the Selection Committee which include former NFL players, Hall of Fame coaches and select members of the media. In addition to the Selection Committee, all living Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductees cast a vote to select the next class of Inductees.
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021
Alapati “Al” Noga — Samoan Ancestry
- Played defensive line for the University of Hawaii where he earned First team All-American, 1986 WAC Defensive Player of the year and finalist for the Outland Trophy.
- Drafted in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft, playing seven years in the NFL, including stints with the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Football Team and Indianapolis Colts.
- Named number three on UH’s Top 100 football players of the century.
- Born on September 16, 1965 in American Samoa.
Falaniko “Niko” Noga — Samoan Ancestry
- Played linebacker for the University of Hawaii where he was a two-time All-WAC selection.
- Drafted in the eighth round of the 1984 NFL Draft, playing eight years in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions.
- Conducts an annual youth Flag Football League in American Samoa.
- Born on March 1, 1962 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Charlie Wedemeyer — Hawaiian Ancestry
- Played quarterback and wide receiver at Michigan State University where he won a championship with the Spartans in 1966.
- Former high school football coach, he led Los Gatos High School in California, to a 78-18-1 record.
- Continued to teach and coach football for 30 years after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Born on February 19, 1946 in Honolulu, Hawaii...Died on June 3, 2010.