Learning football the Samoan way

Credit: Zach Wolken/KTVB

Learning football the Samoan way

Print
Email
|

by Zach Wolken

Idaho's News Channel 7

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 2:18 PM

MERIDIAN -- There are football camps all summer long that focus entirely on fundamentals and how to become the best football player possible. 

This weekend there is a football camp that can do exactly that, and a lot more. 

At Meridian High School the Big John Manumaleuna Foundation put on a football camp focused on both education and sports. 

The camp also featured two prominent NFL players with Samoan ties, Chicago Bears tight end/fullback Brandon Manumaleuna and former Idaho Vandal, now 49er, offensive lineman Mike Iupati. 

"Giving back to the community and giving back to the kids.  Showing them what I have been through, you know what I mean.  Just that hard work pays off," said Iupati about the importance of this camp.  "These kids are great kids and they just need someone to guide them."

The guiding is the key and the guiding is not just football oriented, it's life changing.  Along with Iupati and Manumaleuna several other coaches and athletes of Samoan decent were helping to instill the importance of the Samoan way, along with the fundamentals of football. 

"You know football is a team sport and the kids got to know you can't do it by yourself," said Brandon Manumaleuna.  "It takes a group.  If you're Samoan you say it takes a village.  It's pretty much showing unity and camaraderie.  I guess it's something really good for the kids."

Former Boise State coach Jim Criner was also on hand and was amazed to see the type of education the young athletes were getting. 

"The coaches here bring that to the participants," said Criner.  "They bring it to the young participants in the program and being involved in football all my life you know it's something that is not only very important to your own family, but to the family of a football team."

Family and football are important, but grades and good behavior are also part of the Big John Manumaleuna Foundation's morals.

While its one thing to act appropriately and say the right things, but it's another to believe these concepts, so each athlete and coach wears a shirt with the camp's motto on it, saying "No Grades, no play."

The Big John Manumaleuna Foundation is instilling more than just the fundamentals in these athletes.  They're showing these football players how to be solid young men and that is the most important lesson of them all.

 

Print
Email
|