The third annual Polynesian Bowl wrapped up Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. It was the last chance for many of the top prep players in the country to play one last high school football game.
100 kids were invited to the game. 56 of them were of Polynesian descent and 26 were from Hawaii.
Punahou players showed out with a couple interceptions and a touchdown catch.
It was a chance for many kids from the mainland to come to the islands and several of Hawaii's top high school players said goodbye to prep competition.
"Playing one more time in (Aloha) Stadium is surreal because I played all four years over here," said Saint Louis School defensive lineman Fa'atui Tuitele. The top 2019 recruit in the state will play college football at the University of Washington. "This being maybe being the last time playing in the stadium in front of my family, in front of Hawai'i... it's a bittersweet feeling but I will always cherish this moment forever."
"The experience was amazing," reflected University of Hawaii commit Arasi Mose, also a state champ with the Crusaders of Saint Louis. "I always grew up wanting to play the sport I love. Now that I get to play the sport I love at the next level, it's a great opportunity for me. It's very special. Especially to share it with the kids from the mainland. Showing them what our culture is about and what we represent."
Taulia Tagovailoa started his high school football career playing for the Kapolei Hurricanes. He finished his prep career playing for a school in Alabama after his family moved. But the little brother of Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua returned to play one last time in the 50th State.
"Played my last football game," said Taulia. "My last high school football game at home. And I got to see my family and friends. And play with my future teammates and against my future opponents. I don't regret playing in this game. Just can't wait to get to 'Bama.
When asked by a Team Mauka member if the University of Alabama commit will beat out his older brother for the starting quarterback spot Taulia's response was simple.