2019 POLYNESIAN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Honolulu, HI (December 12, 2019) –The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today four Finalists for the 2019 Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award.
The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding senior high school football player of Polynesian Ancestry. Crescent Valley High School (Oregon) and current University of Southern California Safety Talanoa Hufanga was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2017. Orem High School (Utah) and current University of Washington WR Puka Nacua & Thompson High School (Alabama) and current University of Alabama QB Taulia Tagovailoa were selected as co-players of the year in 2018.
The four Finalists include QB Jayden de Laura (St. Louis School; Honolulu, Hawai`i), LB Noah Sewell (Orem High School; Orem, Utah), RB Lawrance Toafili (Pinellas Park High School; Largo, Florida) and QB DJ Uiagalelei (St. John Bosco High School; Bellflower, California). The Finalists were selected from a Watch List of nearly 50 players.
“This award showcases the immense talent of our Polynesian student-athletes in high school football today,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman and Co-Founder. “We congratulate each Finalist and their families.”
The Finalists will be recognized during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on O`ahu, Hawai`i. The Player of the Year will be announced (and honored) during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner on January 17, 2020 (Sheraton Waikiki), and again at halftime of the Polynesian Bowl (Aloha Stadium) on January 18.
POLYNESIAN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Jayden de Laura – Saint Louis School (Honolulu, HI)
Quarterback … Hawaiian Ancestry … Led the Crusaders to a 12-0 record and the Division I Open State Championship … Passed for 3,452 yards and 29 touchdowns … Rushed for 341 yards and eight rushing touchdowns … Selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl.
Noah Sewell – Orem High School (Orem, UT)
Linebacker … Samoan Ancestry … Led the Tigers to a 5A State Championship … 103 total tackles (61 solo) … 12 tackles for loss … Four sacks … Two interceptions … Named 2019 Utah Valley Football Player of the Year … Ranked nationally as the #2 inside linebacker in the Class of 2020 … Selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl.
Lawrance Toafili – Pinellas Park High School (Largo, FL)
Running Back … Samoan Ancestry … Led the Patriots to the 7A Regional Semifinals … Rushed for 1,463 yards, 121 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns … Ranked nationally as the #17 running back in the Class of 2020 … Selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl.
DJ Uiagalelei – St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
Quarterback … Samoan Ancestry … Led the Braves to a CIF Southern Section Championship … Passed for 3,815 yards and 44 touchdowns … Rushed for 345 yards and seven touchdowns … Ranked nationally as the #1 Pro-Style QB in the Class of 2020 … Selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl.
About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame: The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center 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. www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
About the Polynesian Bowl: The Polynesian Bowl is held annually during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week and is televised LIVE on CBS Sports Network. Major sponsors include adidas, BodyArmor, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawai’i Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council, Hawai’i News Now, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Motiv8 Foundation, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel and Riddell.