Pacific Northwest News
Ke`ala O Kamailelauli`ili`i Wins BIG at E Hula Mau!
By Rochelle delaCruz
Hālau hula Ke`ala O Kamailelauli`ili`i from Federal Way, Washington walked away with three perpetual trophies at the 11th E Hula Mau Hula Competition held in Long Beach, California over the Labor Day Weekend. The three trophies are: George Holokai Perpetual Trophy for the highest average points total in group `auana; Hoakalei Kamau`u Perpetual Trophy for the highest average points total in group Kahiko; and Mary Kawena Pukui Perpetual Trophy for the highest average hālau points for Hawaiian language. E Hula Mau said that no group has ever taken all three.
In addition to the perpetual trophies, individual awards won by Ke`ala O Kamailelauli`ili`i are:
Kumu hula Kamaile Hamada has been taking his hālau to E Hula Mau since 1999. This year, there were eleven hālau represented in this competition that took place over “three days of hula, mele, arts, crafts, food and fellowship.” (www.namamo.org.) In addition to dance and oli, Ke`ala O Kamailelauli`ili`i also won the Lei Award.
Seattle Seahawks…Up Close and Personal
By Danny Kaopuiki
Our plan was to do a story on the three Seahawk players with Hawaiian connections. My photographer buddy Steve Kajihiro and I used our NW Hawai`i Times credentials to get Seahawks media passes to go on the Qwest football field for the game. It was totally awesome for me but just another work day at the office for professional photographer Steve. Come with us and we’ll tell you all about it.
Steve and I went through Security at the Press entry gate and up to the Press Media Lounge and began our day with all-you-can-eat eggs, bacon, fruit, rolls etc. Then we were given green vests with large white numbers on the back and strolled onto the field. Only those with green vests are allowed on the field. It’s a half hour until game time and maybe half the stadium is filled, but by 1:00 pm, there are 60,000 fans in their seats and when they boo as the Atlanta team comes out, the noise is deafening. Then it gets even louder as the pyrotechnics go off, the fans go bonkers and our beloved Seahawks come charging in. Steve and I look for our Hawaiian connections and zero in on #51, Lofa Tatupu as he runs in pumping his fists just like a true Polynesian warrior. Unfortunately, Itula Mili and Wayne Hunter, our two other Hawaiian connections, are on the injured roster for this game.
The football game starts and it’s all Seattle Seahawks in the first half as they can do no wrong. Our man Lofa has a great half with several key tackles including a sack of Michael Vick, Atlanta ’s All-Pro Quarterback. It is amazing to be on the field! And you’re so close to the players that you can touch them. Like all the other photographers, Steve Kajihiro is running from spot to spot trying to get the best angle for his camera shots.
At half time we go back to the Press Media room for all the hot dogs, chips, fruit etc you can eat and then it’s back to work. I think the Seahawks ate too many hot dogs because they were a step slower in the second half but all’s well that ends well and the Seahawks win! Then it’s back to the media room to turn in our green vests, pack up the cameras and…of course, eat pizzas and other goodies on the buffet table. We don’t really get a chance to talk to the players during the game but we do meet a few others with Hawai`i ties like Dan Devon (Hawai`i-born sportscaster for TV Channel 13) and Mike Iosua, former (1997-2001) University of Hawai`i player.
The following Thursday, Steve Kajihiro, Stephen Gomes (Hawaii Radio Connection host and former KJR Radio staffer) and I do a follow-up visit to the Seahawks practice facility in Kirkland for one-on-one interviews with our three Polynesian players. That’s where we found out that Itula Mili (Kahuku HS ’92, BYU ’96) is fully recovered from a virus infection and ready to play against the Arizona team on September 25 th. Itula and his wife and young son live in the Seattle area during the football season (this is his 9th) and in Utah in the off-season. Itula is from Lā`ie, O`ahu, misses Hawai`i and wants to go back there to live after he retires from pro ball. He wants to go back to coach high school football –
Kahuku of course.
Wayne Hunter (Radford HS, UH) came over to Lofa Tatupu’s locker while we were talking to Lofa and asked, “How come you guys talking to da Samoan from Boston ?” As he and Lofa laugh, you can feel the pride these guys have for each other. Wayne is in his third year as a pro but has had injury problems (currently he has knee and leg problems which will keep him on the bench for a few more weeks.)
And what can be said about Lofa Tatupu that hasn’t already been said? A rookie who is the starting middle linebacker (the defensive signal caller, the guy who’s counted on to be the stopper on running as well as passing plays.) Lofa’s dad is Hawai`i high school football legend Mosi Tatupu who led Punahou to some fabulous wins before moving on to University of Southern California and then to the NFL. Lofa was born in Massachusetts where Mosi played for the New England Patriots. Lofa played high school ball in Wrentham, Massachusetts but was not recruited by most of the major colleges because he was too small and too slow to play for them. Of course, Lofa had an All-American career at USC and is already excelling at the professional level.
We will continue to track our three special Seahawks: Hunter, Mili and Tatupu, and give you more up close and personal stuff on them as the season progresses!
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