Fort Osage High School running back Ezra Vaoifi is proud of his Samoan heritage and speaks of it often. On Saturday, he will have the opportunity to represent it on the football field.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Vaoifi has been selected to play in the fourth annual Polynesian All-American Bowl in Tustin, Calif., south of Los Angeles, on Saturday afternoon. The Samoan islands are part of the Polynesian region in the Pacific Ocean.
A Fort Osage teammate, Tauai Tuala, was another of the 70 athletes selected from across the nation to play in the game.
“It’s definitely a big deal to me and to the Samoan community we have in Independence,” Vaoifi said. “I’m representing all of us and all of Kansas City. It’s going to be really cool.”
Vaoifi, a senior, ran for 2,034 yards and scored 25 touchdowns for Fort Osage, which reached the Missouri Class 5 quarterfinals. He deemed himself finally healthy after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in a knee his sophomore year.
“I just wanted one good year to show that I can play when I’m healthy,” Vaoifi said. “That happened for me. My knee felt great, and I showed what I can do.”
Tuala led the Indians with 71 tackles, including 11 for loss. He also posted a team best 5.5 sacks for a defense that didn’t allow more than 14 points in any game last season.
The two Polynesian All-American teams will be coached Saturday by two former NFL athletes. Jack Thompson, a former third overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979, will coach one team. Ma’a Tanuvasa, who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, is assigned to the other.
Blue Springs football news
Blue Springs twin defensive linemen Khalil and Carlos Davis figure to be two of the more heavily recruited football players in the Kansas City area from the Class of 2015.
Let the games begin.
The Davis twins, who played key roles in Blue Springs’ second straight Missouri Class 6 state championship, picked up offers from Nebraska last Thursday.
They each previously had offers by Missouri, and more Division I schools are likely to join the fray.
Khalil totaled 62 tackles — including 26 for loss — this season, adding four sacks and making The Star’s All-Metro first team. Carlos had 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He was a second team selection. Both started on the interior defensive line for the Wildcats.
Khalil and Carlos have expressed a desire to attend the same school, although neither is in a rush to make a commitment.