Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Announces Finalists for Class of 2017

Al Noga // Hawaii Athletics

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today that 18 Finalists will be on the ballot for induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.  The list includes 15 players and three coaches/contributors.

The Finalists were selected from a field of over 200 nominees by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee composed of past head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.

Special thanks to our outstanding Selection Committee, who has once again put forward an outstanding group of Finalists for the Class of 2017,” said Dick Tomey.

The committee will meet again in the coming weeks to select the six members (five players and one coach/contributor) who will be inducted as the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors, we congratulate the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Finalists,” said Jesse Sapolu, Chairman and Co-Founder. “Each Finalist had an outstanding football career and are worthy of induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.”

This year’s inductees will be announced on October 12, 2016.  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 21 & 22, 2016.

CLASS OF 2017 PLAYER FINALISTS

  • 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
  • Herman “Buddy” Piikei Clark (OL) Oregon State, Pro: NFL (CHI) 4 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Riki Morgan Ellison (LB) USC, Pro: NFL (SF, OAK) 9 years, Maori ancestry
  • Ma’ake Tu’amelie Kemoeatu (DT) Utah, Pro: NFL (BAL, CAR, WAS) 9 years, Tongan ancestry
  • Chris Naeole (G) Colorado, Pro: NFL (NO, JAX) 12 years, Hawaiian ancestry
  • Alapati “Al” Noga (DL) Hawai’i, Pro: NFL (MIN, WAS, IND) 7 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Niko Noga (LB) Hawai’i, Pro: NFL (AZ, DET) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Joe Fagaone Salave’a (DL) Arizona, Pro: NFL (TEN, BAL, SD, WAS) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Dan Saleaumua (DT) Arizona State, Pro: NFL (DET, KC, SEA) 12 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Ma’a Tanuvasa (DE) Hawai’i, Pro: NFL (STL, PIT, DEN, SD, ATL) 9 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Mosiula Mea’alofa “Lofa” Tatupu (LB) USC, Pro: NFL (SEA) 6 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Manu’ula “Manu” Asovalu Tuiasosopo (DL) UCLA, Pro: NFL (SEA, SF) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Marques Tavita Tuiasosopo (QB) Washington, Pro: NFL (OAK, NYJ) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
  • Kimo von Oelhoffen (DL) Boise State, Pro: NFL (CIN, PIT, NYJ, PHI) 14 years, Hawaiian ancestry

CLASS OF 2017 COACH & CONTRIBUTOR FINALISTS

  • Thomas Ka’auwai Ka’ulukukui, Former Head Football Coach at University of Hawai’i, Hawaiian ancestry
  • John Manumaleuna, Southern California Advocate for Polynesian Youth, Samoan ancestry
  • Charlie Wedemeyer, Former Head Football Coach, Los Gatos High School (CA), Hawaiian ancestry

ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a non-profit organization, the Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides collegiate scholarships and supports educational programs for Polynesian youth. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie on O’ahu’s North Shore) and was established in 2013 by Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa. Other board members include Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema, June Jones and Reno Mahe.

For more information, visit www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org

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