Colleges

St. Aug football has Hawaiin flair

Posted September 15, 2012

— Christian Kelii-Kama and Joseph Pelesasa are freshmen football players at St . Augustine's University in Raleigh. Given their backgrounds, it is no surprise they had a little culture shock when they arrived on campus this summer

"Everything. Everything is the biggest change,” said offensive lineman Kelii-Kama. “Culture-wise, temperature-wise, almost everything."

Keli-Kama and Pelesasa came to North Carolina from Hawaii – roughly 4,700 miles. That is quite the distance to travel to play college football.

St. Aug has Hawaiian influence on gridiron St. Aug has Hawaiian influence on gridiron

"They showed us they were very interested in coming to the mainland,” head football coach Michael Costa said. “They were good football players."

Hawaii isn't exactly in the recruiting budget for St. Aug, so the coaches used some creativity to get out to the island and find some talent.

"Our basketball team was playing in Hawaii and a few of our administrators couldn't attend,” Costa said. “Our president (Dr. Dianne Suber ) decided we could do some recruiting."

So the coaches visited every school they could and found two guys who would agree to take a on a small school thousands of miles from home.

"I gave my life into the coach's hands,” Pelesasa said. “He said he was going to take care of me. School has been great. I thank them for that. I thank the Lord."

And now the two Hawaiins are sharing some culture with their teammates.

"Manah...It means power.” Pelesasa, a linebacker, said. “Hawain power. Also swag. The island feeling."

"Over there, they are very disciplined about what they do,” Costa said. “They were coached old-school. Not a lot of nonsense."

The two freshmen are quickly becoming leaders for the Falcon team. Their only complaint so far? North Carolina is too humid.



1 Comment

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • hawaiigirl2nc Sep 21, 2012

    Um im sorry but at least you can do a little research on the spelling on the HAWAIIAN words... And it is not manah.. Its MANA... Sorry but im from Hawaii and reading this article from boys from Hawai'i I was very proud and happy. But have taken back from a news article to have miss spelled words... Very disappointed.

  • CBB: Texas A&M at LSU

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CIAA: Winston Salem State @ Fayetteville State

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Sprint Unlimited

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500 Qualifying

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • CBB: UNC vs. Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Oregon at Cal

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 10
Memphis Open (ATP)
Second Round
(5) D. Kudla1 5    
M. Kukushkin6 7    
I. Marchenko1 3    
Y. Nishioka6 6    
(4) S. Querrey6 6    
H. Laaksonen3 4    
(1) K. Nishikori6 7    
R. Harrison2 5    
 
World Tennis Tournament (ATP)
First Round
(6) R. Bautista A77 1 6   
J. Sousa64 6 3   
J. Chardy69 6 710   
E. Donskoy711 4 68   
(8) V. Troicki4 77 6   
A. Kuznetsov6 62 3   
V. Pospisil5 2    
A. Zverev7 6    
(3) G. Simon77 6    
R. Haase65 1    
Second Round
P. Kohlschrei6 6    
I. Dodig4 2    
(2) M. Cilic77 79    
G. Muller62 67    
(5) G. Monfils6 5 6   
B. Coric3 7 2   
 
Argentina Open (ATP)
Second Round
F. Delbonis3 6 4   
N. Almagro6 4 6   
(5) D. Thiem3 79 6   
G. Elias6 67 3   
(4) J. Isner610 6 66   
D. Lajovic712 4 78   
(3) J. Tsonga6 6    
L. Mayer1 2    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 10
St. Petersburg Ladies (WTA)
First Round
(7) K. Mladenovic6 5 1   
L. Siegemund1 7 6   
A. Beck4 6 7   
L. Hradecka6 4 5   
E. Vesnina3 6 6   
P. Tig6 3 1   
D. Cibulkova6 6    
E. Rodina3 0    
K. Flipkens4 7 4   
D. Kasatkina6 5 6   
Second Round
(4) A. Ivanovic7 6    
M. Gasparyan5 2    
(2) R. Vinci6 77    
Y. Wickmayer2 62    
 
Taiwan Open (WTA)
First Round
(1) V. Williams6 6    
P. Lee3 2    
Second Round
A. Sevastova7 2 7   
D. Vekic5 6 5   
(7) K. Nara6 4 6   
Y. Zhang2 6 3   
(5) S. Zheng4 4    
S. Voegele6 6