Feature article on Amosa Amosa

HSB Note: “In early 1984, Dick Tomey lured an 18-year-old lineman from Campbell High School into the memorabilia room of his house. Amosa Amosa, attending a recruiting barbecue held by the University of Hawaii’s coach at the time, looked in awe at the gleaming trophies, signed footballs and yellowed newspaper clippings. When Tomey plucked a jersey from a shelf and held it up — Jesse Sapolu’s old No. 76 — the kid from Campbell was sold.

“You come here, this is your number,” Amosa was told by Tomey, who clearly did his homework more than 25 years ago. See, you leave Western Samoa at age 12 and your athletic hero isn’t Joe Montana or Walter Payton. It’s someone who looked like you, a future Pro Bowler of Samoan ancestry, who would block for Montana and Steve Young and win Super Bowls for Bill Walsh’s 49ers.”

About how the offer of Jesse Sapolu’s number made him decide to go to UH, Amosa said:
“Jesse Sapolu was my idol, I was almost shaking. I called home that night and said, ‘Dad, I think I’m going Hawaii already.’ ” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Condolences were quickly sent to BYU, Utah, Washington and Portland State, which, now it can be told, was never in the running.”

About how he never planned to go to Portland State, Amosa said:
“As a senior at Campbell, I didn’t even know where Portland was. I was like, ‘Portland, is that a state?’ ” (HSB)

About being named one of the 100 greatest players to play UH football, Amosa said:
“All those great players, I just didn’t know if they would put me on that incredible list. I am so honored, I can’t even tell you.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “His football accomplishments — first-team All-Western Athletic Conference, named twice to the prestigious Warrior Club and to the 1988 Hula Bowl, member of the first all-Polynesian line in NCAA history”

A Campbell high school teacher talked about how Amosa had affected the student body at Campbell High School:
“It’s one thing when you used to walk across campus with your books under your arms. But they still see you as haole. With Amosa, it’s different. The kids, they relate to him. They watch and follow. Some have even stopped holding up D-building with their feet. Now they go to class.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The words partially stung then, but I know now what he meant — how a hulking Samoan kid, who deigned to carry his bulky algebra books under his arm and held his head high and proud like the honor student he became, well, a young man like that could effect real change at Campbell.”

About Campbell’s QB Lalo Respicio, Amosa said:
“Da buggah get one heart as big as anybody. Talk about great character. 3.6 GPA. Humble. Works hard. So coachable. Always picking up people. The wins are nice. But to have good character, to have pride in your community, that’s the vision and philosophy.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Good Amosa trivia: As a Campbell assistant, Amosa Amosa once coached Kaleopa Kaleopa. (The oldest boy in a Samoan family often is bestowed a double name). His roommate at UH: volleyball star Allen Allen.”

About how Amosa once showed up in a muddy downpour at Leilehua in bare feet, then-Campbell coach Darren Hernandez said:
“You had to see him. His pants were rolled up and he said his shoes were soaked. I finally told him, ‘Amosa, you can’t coach in bare feet. Put your shoes on.’ So unassuming, so humble, you would never know Amosa accomplished what he did as an athlete or a coach.” (HSB)



%d bloggers like this: