PFHOF names 2018 inductees

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame — which in partnership with the Polynesian Cultural Center has established a permanent “home” that is open free to the public — recently announced the professional player and contributor “class of 2018.”

Polynesian Cultural Center honor guard of “warriors” at the 2017 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame “home” in Laie. (PCC photo by Mike Foley)

In October the PFHOF selection committee announced they had picked five members of the Class of 2018 from a list of 18 finalists. The four professional player inductees are:

Herman “Buddy” Pi’ikei Clark (Hawaiian): OL, Oregon State; All Pac-10 Selection. Drafted in the 4th Round in the 1952 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears (1952; 1954–1957); 2x All Pro Selection (1955, 1956); named to NFL Half-Century Team; member of the Hawaii Sports and Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame; chairman of Aloha Stadium Authority and instrumental in bringing the Pro Bowl to Hawaii. He was born November 30, 1930, and died on October 9, 1989.

Ma’ake Kemoeatu (Tongan) — The Kahuku High alumnus played DL tackle for the University of Utah; 2x All Mountain West Conference Selection; Baltimore Ravens (2002-2005), Carolina Panthers (2006-2009), Washington Redskins (2012); Ed Block Courage Award Winner (2010); and Super Bowl Champion (XLVII). He was born January 10, 1979 in Pule’anga Fakatu’i’o, Tonga, and raised in Kahuku.

Manu Tuiasosopo (Samoan): DL, University of California Los Angeles; 3X All Pac-10 Selection; 2x All American Selection; Rose Bowl Champion (1976). He was drafted in the 1st Round (18th pick) in 1979 NFL: Seattle Seahawks (1973-1983), and San Francisco 49ers (1984-1986); NFL All Rookie Team Selection (1979); Super Bowl Champion (XIX). He was born August 30, 1957 in Los Angeles.

Kimo Von Oelhoffen (Hawaiian): DL, Boise State University; selected to Boise State All Time Football Team; drafted in the 6th Round (162nd pick) in the 1994 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals (1994-1999), Pittsburgh Steelers (2000-2005), New York Jets (2006), Philadelphia Eagles (2007), and Super Bowl Champion (XL). He was born January 30, 1971, in Kaunakakai, Molokai.

And Bob Apisa (Samoan) as contributor: Fullback/Halfback, Michigan State University; 2X All-American Selection (first Samoan to be named All-American); 2x National Champion (1965, 1966), member of the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame; Green Bay Packers (1968). Apisa has been described as the godfather of the Hawaii pipeline for football players recruitment to major college programs. He was born June 4, 1945, in Fagatogo, American Samoa.

‘Truly worthy of recognition’

“This year’s class represents three Super Bowl Championships, two All-Americans, two College Football National Championships, and a member of the NFL’s Half Century Team,” said Jesse Sapolu, Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Co-Founder and Chairman. “Their accomplishments on and off the field make each of them truly worthy of this recognition.”

The inductees will be honored during enshrinement week in Honolulu on January 19, 2018, and at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Jan. 20.

They will also be recognized at the inaugural Polynesian Bowl, a premier senior high school all-star football game featuring the world’s elite players of Polynesian heritage and other ancestries. The game is set for January 20, 2018,  6 p.m. at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu (tickets needed). For more information about the game, visit

The PFHOF Selection Committee consists of coaches Dick Tomey, chairman; Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil; past NFLPA President and inaugural inductee Kevin Mawae; former NFL Player and Class of 2015 inductee Ray Schoenke; ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett; NFL player personnel legend Gil Brandt; NFL Network writer and commentator Steve Wyche; and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.

“Class of 2017” Polynesian Football Hall of Fame pro inductees at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

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About the PFHOF 

Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa founded the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in 2013 to honor Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. It also serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides academic scholarships and supports educational programs for Polynesian youth.

In addition to Sapolu and Tanuvasa, other PFHOF board members include Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema, June Jones and Reno Mahe. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Sapolu also gave special thanks to Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii News Now, Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council, NFL,  Weil & Associates, Tihati Productions, Coca-Cola Bottling of Hawaii, Kyoya Company, Motiv8 Foundation, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and of course the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Come visit The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

photo of the interior to Polynesian Football Hall of FameEstablished in 2013 to honor Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors, this beautiful gallery showcases the achievements of the inductees and Polynesian football legends with plaques, photos, mementos, an interactive display and a Wall of Honor.

The permanent home of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center next to the Center’s Hukilau Marketplace along the beautiful north shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The Hall of Fame is open to the public at no charge. To learn more, CLICK HERE

Story by Mike Foley, who has been a full-time freelance writer and digital media specialist since 2002. Prior to that he had a long career in marketing communications, PR, journalism and university education. Foley learned to speak fluent Samoan as a Mormon missionary before moving to Laie in 1967 — and still does. He has traveled extensively over the years throughout Polynesia, other Pacific islands and Asia. Foley is mostly retired now, but continues to contribute to PCC and various other media.

Foley recalls when he first arrived in Samoa in 1965, American “gridiron” football was just starting to draw a little attention. Noting the natural athleticism of the Samoans and their all-in style of playing rugby, however, he couldn’t help thinking, “These guys will be formidable if they ever start playing American football.”