This year’s Olin Kreutz Award winner for Lineman of the Year is all smiles.
Kaimuki’s Sama Paama is a huge fan of Cover 2: Hawaii High School Football Weekly!
“I watch it all the time with my mom every Thursday,” he said.
Paama was definitely the man on the football field. Number 64 dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football, an iron man two-way player at defensive and offensive tackle.
“He’s an animal. I’ve gotten to see where he’s at now, I can officially say he’s an animal now,” said head coach David Tautofi. “Last year wasn’t so much so. The year before was just still trying to figure out what he was. Sama in a unique way has confidence, and it’s not a confidence in a cocky way, but a confidence of knowing what he’s capable of doing.”
“Coach has been preaching to us from the beginning of the season. It’s all about attitude and your mindset going into the game. You’ve just got to get what’s yours,” Paama said.
When asked what he enjoys most, Paama replied with a laugh, “Defense, because you get to hit people.”
Paama is a mountain of man standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 340 pounds. He can block out the sun.
Next year, he’ll be taking his talents to the University of Washington, which is where Olin Kreutz played before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round and played 12 seasons in the NFL.
“When I went to Washington, they had a lot of great players on the wall. They told me about this one guy from Saint Louis and it was Olin Kreutz. They showed me some highlights of him and he was a mean guy,” Paama said.
Just like Kreutz, Paama hopes to one day play in the NFL so he can take care of his mother, a single mom who raised him to always be humble.
“She means everything to me. She’s the reason I’m here,” Paama said. “Coming from Samoa and leaving everything behind to get a better life for me, she means the world to me. She’s my motivation. She’s the reason why I’m doing this. She made a lot of sacrifices for me over the years. My dream one day is to pay her back.”
So what will Paama miss the most when he heads off to college?
“My mom’s cooking. She makes some good fried chicken.”