Polynesian Football Hall of Fame 

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, which partners with the Polynesian Cultural Center in showcasing the organization’s permanent exhibit gallery near our front entrance, announced its roster of 25 finalists who will be on the ballot for induction into the PFHF Class of 2016. The 20 player finalists — including four with strong Laie and/or Kahuku High ties — in alphabetical order are:


Junior Ah You

(DE) Arizona State; Pro: 12 years, CFL & USFL; Samoan

Bob Apisa

(FB/HB) Michigan State; Pro: NFL (GB) 1 year; Samoan

Charles “Charlie” Teetai Ane Jr.
(OL) USC; Pro: NFL (DET) 6 years; Samoan

Herman “Buddy” Piikei Clark
(OL) Oregon State; Pro: NFL (CHI) 4 years; Hawaiian
Riki Morgan Ellison
(LB) USC; Pro: NFL (SF, OAK) 8 years; Maori

Rockne Crowningburg Freitas
(OL) Oregon State; PRO: NFL (DET, TB) 10 years; Hawaiian

Ma’ake Tu’amalie Kemoeatu
(DT) Utah; Pro: NFL (BAL, CAR, WAS) 11 years; Tongan
Brandon Manumaleuna
(TE) Arizona; Pro: NFL (STL, SD, CHI) 10 years; Samoan
Chris Nae’ole
(G) Colorado; Pro: NFL (NO, JAX) 11 years; Hawaiian
Alapati “Al” Noga
(DL) Hawaii; Pro: NFL (MIN, WAS, IND) 6 years; Samoan

Niko Noga
(LB) Hawaii; Pro: NFL (AZ, DET) 8 years; Samoan

Troy Polamalu
(DB) USC; Pro: NFL (PIT) 12 years; Samoan

Joe Fagaone Salave’a
(DL) Arizona; Pro: NFL (TEN, BAL, SD, WAS) 8 years; Samoan

Dan Saleaumua
(DT) Arizona State; Pro: NFL (DET, KC, SEA) 12 years; Samoan
Vai Sikahema
(RB/KR) BYU; Pro: NFL (AZ, GB, PHI) 8 years; Tongan


The five coaches/contributors finalists are:


Thomas Ka’auwai Ka’ulukukui
Head coach, U of Hawaii; Hawaiian

Cal Lee
Head coach, St. Louis High (HI); Hawaiian

Albert “Al” Lolotai
First Polynesian to play pro football; Samoan

John Manumaleuna
Southern California advocate for Polynesian youth; Samoan
Charlie Wedemeyer
Head coach, Los Gatos High (CA); Hawaiian


The PFHF Selection committee sifted through a list of over 200 nominees to come up with the roster of finalists. Members of the Selection Committee are coaches Dick Tomey (chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil; past NFLPA president and inaugural inductee Kevin Mawae, ESPN sportcaster Neil Everett, NFL legend Gil Brandt and Honolulu sportscaster Robert Kekaula.

PFHF will announce the Class of 2016 honorees on October 7, 2015. They will be inducted at a reception and celebration dinner in the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday, January 29, 2016, and also at the enshrinement ceremony the next day, Saturday, January 30, 2016, at the Polynesian Cultural Center. PCC guests that day will get the opportunity to meet the inductees, who will also sign autographs.

Story by Mike Foley, image courtesy of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame


Mike Foley, who has worked off-and-on

at the Polynesian Cultural Center since

1968,  has been a full-time freelance

writer and digital media specialist since

2002, and had a long career in marketing

communications and PR before that. He

learned to speak fluent Samoan as a

Mormon missionary before moving to Laie

in 1967 — still does, and he has traveled

extensively over the years throughout

Polynesia and other Pacific islands. Foley

is mostly retired now, but continues to

contribute to various PCC and other media.