INTRODUCING THE POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2023
November 1, 2022 (Honolulu, HI) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame unveiled its Class of 2023 today. Three Inductees were selected from a list of eight Finalists.
The Class of 2023 is Larry Warford of Samoan Ancestry, Manti Te’o of Hawaiian and Samoan Ancestry and Harry Montague-Field of Hawaiian Ancestry.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, we congratulate the Class of 2023,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman, Co-Founder and Inductee. “These men represent the very best of our Polynesian people and we look forward to celebrating this recognition with them and their families in January!”
The Class of 2023 will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on January 20 & 21, 2023. The events will include the Polynesian Bowl, the Enshrinement Ceremony, and the Celebration Dinner.
The Inductees were selected from a field of over 100 nominees and eight Finalists by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee which includes former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Jack Thompson (Chairman), Coaches Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, past NFL player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, past NFLPA President and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae, former NFL Player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, and NFL Network writer and commentator Steve Wyche. In addition to the Selection Committee, all living Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductees casted a vote to select the Class of 2023.
CLASS OF 2023
HARRY MONTAGUE-FIELD (OT) Hawaii, Oregon State; Pro (CHI) 4 years professionally, Hawaiian ancestry
• Was the first player of Polynesian Ancestry to play in the NFL.
• Named to the 1933 Pacific Coast All-American Team, he was also selected to play in the 1934 East-West Shrine Game.
• Harry played professional football for the Chicago Cardinals (NFL) from 1934 to 1936, and for the Los Angeles Bulldogs (AFL) in 1937, winning the distinction of being the first and as far as we know, the only tackle to win All-Pro honors in both leagues (NFL All-Pro 1936 and AFL All-Pro 1937).
• Returning to Hawai`i, Harry coached the Healani Football Team (1940-41) and was head football coach at Punahou in 1941.
MANTI TE’O (LB) Notre Dame; Pro (SAN, NO, CHI), 7 years professionally, Hawaiian and Samoan ancestry
• Won the Maxwell Award (2012), Lott Trophy (2012), Chuck Bednarik Award (2012), Walter Camp Award (2012), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2012), Butkus Award (college) (2012), and Lombardi Award (2012).
• Unanimous All-American (2011 & 2012)
• Had 437 total tackles in his four-year career at Notre Dame. He ranks third all-time in school history.
LARRY WARFORD (G) Kentucky; Pro (DET, NO) 7 years professionally, Samoan ancestry
• 3x Pro Bowl Selection (2017-2019)
• PFWA All-Rookie Team (2013)
• Second Team All-SEC (2010, 2011, 2012)
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. PolynesianFootballHOF.org
About the Polynesian Bowl: The Polynesian Bowl is a premier all-star game played annually in Honolulu, Hawai`i that features 100 of the nation’s top ranked high school seniors of Polynesian and non-Polynesian ancestry alike – many of whom have gone on to play in the NFL. The game has become the most sought-after all-star football invitation – a rapid rise from its inaugural game in 2017. This past January, top ranked 2022 player Travis Hunter participated in the game and was named Offensive MVP. The game will be broadcast live and in primetime on NFL Network. Major partners include Microsoft Surface Pro, adidas, BodyArmor, Riddell, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawai`i Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, HBCTC, Hawai`i News Now and World Wide Safety. For more information, go to PolynesianBowl.com