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Fifita Named to 2022 Polynesian College Player of the Year Award Watch List

Aug 18, 2022

HONOLULU (August 18, 2022) – Washington State offensive lineman Ma'ake Fifita was named to the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fam announced Thursday.
 
The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry that epitomizes great ability and integrity. The Watch List is composed of 85 players from 43 different FBS schools. Former Cougar quarterback Jayden de Laura was a finalist for the award last season and defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa won the award in 2017.
 
Fifita, of Tongan descent, appeared in all 13 games last season including five as a starter at right guard. The Everett, Wash. native made his first career start at Utah, started and recorded three knockdown blocks at Oregon, started in wins over Arizona and Washington and started against Central Michigan in the Sun Bowl.
 
Former University of Oregon and current Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Marcus Mariota was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2014; former University of Notre Dame and current Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman, Ronnie Stanley received the award in 2015; former University of Colorado Quarterback Sefo Liufau received the award in 2016; former Washington State Defensive End Hercules Mata`afa received the award in 2017; former University of Alabama and current Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa received the award in 2018 & 2019; former University of Oregon Offensive Tackle and current Detroit Lions Offensive Lineman, Penei Sewell received the award in 2019; former University of Southern California and current San Francisco 49ers Safety, Talanoa Hufanga, and former Brigham Young University and current New York Jets Quarterback, Zach Kapono Wilson received the award in 2020; and former Ohio State University and current Tennessee Titans Defensive Lineman Haskell Garrett received the award in 2021.
 
Five finalists for the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be unveiled on December 1st and the winner will be announced on December 15th. The presentation of the Award will be held during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Celebration Dinner (January 21, 2023) at the Sheraton Waikiki, and they will also be recognized during the Polynesian Bowl (January 20, 2023).
 
The Watch List candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2022 season progresses. The finalists and winner will be chosen by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee which includes former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson (Chairman), Coaches Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, former NFL Player and Inaugural Inductee Olin Kreutz, Inaugural Inductee and past NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, former NFL player and Class of 2015 Inductee Ray Schoenke, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, and NFL Network commentator Steve Wyche.
 
ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia's greatest players, coaches, and contributors. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie, Hawai'i) and was established in 2013 by Super Bowl Champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma'a Tanuvasa. Other board members include Troy Polamalu, Vai Sikahema, June Jones and Reno Mahe. There are currently 43 inductees. The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has provided over $300,000 in college scholarships to date. For more information, go to PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
 
ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN BOWL
The Polynesian Bowl is a premier all-star game played annually in Honolulu, Hawai'i that features 100 of the nation's top ranked high school seniors of Polynesian and non-Polynesian ancestry alike – many whom have gone on to play in the NFL. The game has become the most sought-after all-star football invitation – a rapid rise from its inaugural game in 2017. This past January, top ranked 2022 player Travis Hunter participated in the game and was named Offensive MVP. Major partners include Microsoft Surface Pro, adidas, BodyArmor, Riddell, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawai'i Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, HBCTC, Hawai'i News Now and World Wide Safety. For more information, go to PolynesianBowl.com.