Marcus + 6: Polynesian Football Hall of Fame greats



I got chicken skin on Saturday. As a Hawaiian former UH-Hilo cheerleader and a longtime track coach, it was surreal to sit among Polynesian football greats of the past, present and future who came together to honor Polynesian cultures and pass on their collective legacy to future generations.

Fresh off his Heisman Trophy win, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was the main attraction at the Polynesian Cultural Center event. Like all the greats, he exemplified humility off the field. The 2015 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame named Mariota its first Polynesian College Football Player of the Year and inducted six former National Football League players:

  • Luther Elliss of the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos
  • Russ Francis of the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers
  • Jesse Sapolu of the San Francisco 49ers
  • Ray Schoenke of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins
  • Mosi Tatupu of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams (posthumous)
  • Mark Tuinei of the Dallas Cowboys (posthumous)

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is a non-profit that honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. The Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes and hosts educational programs for Polynesian youth. The permanent Hall of Fame exhibit is at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Last year, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame inducted Junior Seau, Kevin Mawae, Kurt Gouveia, Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson, Herman Wedemeyer, Olin Kreutz and Ken Niumatalolo as the inaugural class.

Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

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Photos by Amanda Stevens