After back-to-back solid defensive efforts by the University of Hawaii football team, the world toughness hovers around the rapidly progressing program.
However, for one Rainbow Warriors that word comes nowhere close to properly defining his strength.
Freshman safety, Peter Manuma who has played in all seven games this season, learned at the completion of practice one week ago that his mother Kuini had lost her lengthy battle to breast cancer.
The next morning, citing what Mom what would have wanted him to do, the Campbell graduate was back on the practice field preparing for what would end up being an emotional seven tackle performance in a win over Nevada.
“Coming to practice the very next day, surrounding myself with teammates and coaches that really care for me and showing me tremendous amount of love and they support me through it all and to this day, they’re still supporting me,” said Manuma. “It will never be easy but with the amount of love and support that I’m getting, it gets a little easy.”
‘Bows head coach Timmy Chang says he was beyond impressed with the maturity and strength that Manuma has displayed during an extremely emotional time and takes pride in that the team has rallied around their brother the way that they have.
“I gave him the choice and option that if you want to sit out and mourn, that would be okay. It’s the next guy up for us but what we did on Saturday night and how he’s displayed himself and acted, Peter does so much for this team, special teams, defense and he’s a freshman. Amazing, I mean, he’s a warrior and we’re proud to have him on this team and have him representing the Braddahhood,” said Chang.
Stretched across the front row of the endzone seating on the Murakami Stadium side of the Clarence TC Ching Athletics Complex, family members cheered on Manuma while holding up a banner honoring Kuini. According to Peter, the loud and visible support from his family helped provide the inspiration and motivation needed in the victory.
“That means the world to me. That was my Dad’s very first game. he usually doesn’t come to my football games and it means a lot seeing your family after a team like that. Especially front row supporting you through everything. That really means a lot to me.”
Manuma, who over the last two games has totaled 17 tackles, will hit the road later this week for Saturday’s game at Colorado State.
Kickoff between the Rainbow Warriors and Rams is scheduled for 10:00am HST and will be televised on Spectrum Sports Pay-Per-View.
If you are interested in supporting the Manuma family during this time, a GoFundMe page has been set up, click here.