It is an absolute honor to welcome and witness the 2020 class be inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. As Polynesian football legends, their stories will be proudly be displayed amongst fellow legends for anyone to walk through these halls and be inspired by their great achievements.
i (PRWEB) January 19, 2020
Lā‘ie, Hawai‘ PHOTOS/B-ROLL: http://bit.ly/2RxZ4n9
The Polynesian Cultural Center today honored the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 inductees with a cultural-based Enshrinement Ceremony before family, friends and fans.
The Enshrinement Ceremony festivities featured a presentation of diverse cultural traditions including the sound of the pu (triton conch shell) and multi-cultural dance performance. In addition, the warriors representing the Center’s six island villages – Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa, Tahiti, Tonga, and Fiji – welcomed the honorees and guests.
Jesse Sapolu, chairman, co-founder and inductee of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame said, “I want to congratulate our Class of 2020 inductees. It is an honor to present you with this legendary award that recognizes your contributions both on and off the field. You are more than talented football stars; you are the inspiration for those who share your passion and are paving the way for future athletes to follow your footsteps and succeed.”
2020 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Inductees:
David Tukatahi Dixon (Maori ancestry)
- Dixon attended Arizona State University, then went on to play 13 seasons as an outstanding guard for the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings. He started 134 of the 152 games he played in the NFL.
Frank Manumaleuga (Samoan ancestry)
- Originally from Lā‘ie, Manumaleuga starred for three seasons as a linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs and three seasons in the USFL. He played college football at UCLA and San Jose State University and holds the San Jose State single-game record for most tackles in a game.
Haloti Ngata (Tongan ancestry)
- Ngata played 13 seasons as a defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. He was drafted by the Ravens in 2006 and helped lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XLVII. He played college football for the University of Oregon and earned consensus All-American honors.
Dominic Raiola (Hawaiian ancestry)
- Originally from Honolulu, Raiola was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2001 and played in 219 games over 14 seasons. He attended the University of Nebraska and earned the Rimington Trophy as the best center in college football and was a consensus first-team All-American.
2019 Polynesian College Football Co-Players of the Year:
Penei Sewell (Samoan ancestry)
- Sewell graduated from Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah. Currently a sophomore, he had an outstanding season as an offensive tackle for the University of Oregon, helping to lead the Ducks to an 11-2 record and the Pac-12 Championship. He earned several honors, including the Outland Trophy, Morris Trophy and Associated Press Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and was named a consensus first team All-American and to the All-Pac-12 Conference First Team.
Tua Tagovailoa (Samoan ancestry)
- A graduate of Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Tagovailoa was the starting quarterback for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide the past two seasons earning multiple awards and honors. As a freshman he led Alabama to a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the national championship game against the University of Georgia. He is a two-time (2018 and 2019) Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Awardee. Tagovailoa will forego his senior year at Alabama and has declared for the NFL draft where he is projected to go in the first round.
2019 Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year:
Ronnie Stanley (Tongan ancestry)
- Stanley played high school football in Nevada and lettered at the University of Notre Dame where he was a consensus All-American his senior season. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and in 2019 helped lead the team to an NFL-best 14-2 regular season record. He was selected as a First Team All-Pro and named to the Pro Bowl.
Alfred Grace, President and CEO of the Polynesian Cultural Center commented, “It is an absolute honor to welcome and witness the 2020 class be inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. As Polynesian football legends, their stories will be proudly be displayed amongst fellow legends for anyone to walk through these halls and be inspired by their great achievements and signing records.”
As a tribute to Polynesia’s greatest football players, coaches and contributors, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame exhibit at the Polynesian Cultural Center showcases the achievements of the seven classes and 36 inductees with plaques, photos, mementos, interactive displays and more that dates back to 2014. The Polynesian College Football Player of the Year and Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year are also honored in the exhibit.
In a collaboration between the Polynesian Cultural Center and Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, the exhibit serves as a permanent resource to preserve and promote Polynesian Football history. As a non-profit organization, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame provides college scholarships designated for student-athletes of Polynesian ancestry to be awarded to the alma mater of each inductee, helping to promote educational programs focusing on character and teamwork for youth within the Polynesian community and other initiatives positively benefiting Polynesian culture and heritage. To support these efforts, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame donated a total of 1,000 Enshrinement Ceremony tickets to local high school football teams.
The Hall of Fame exhibit is located in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s guest orientation area adjacent to the Hukilau Marketplace. Admission is free and open to the public during regular operational hours.
For more information about the Polynesian Cultural Center, visit Polynesia.com or call (808) 293-3333. For more information about the PHFOF, visit PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
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ABOUT POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Located on Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center is the only cultural tourist attraction of its kind in the world and a favorite of all visitors to Hawaii. An engaging, interactive celebration showcasing the people, culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia, the Center has entertained millions of visitors from around the world since opening in 1963. A non-profit organization, 100 percent of the Center’s revenue goes to daily operations and to support the education of its student-employees from neighboring Brigham Young University-Hawaii. For more information, visit http://www.Polynesia.com.
ABOUT POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors 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. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie on Oahu’s North Shore) and was established in 2013 by Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma’a Tanuvasa. Other board members include Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema, June Jones and Reno Mahe. For more information, visit http://www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.