Honolulu, HI (January 21, 2023) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced tonight that Warren High School (Downey, CA) Quarterback Nico Iamaleava has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award.
The Polynesian High School Football Player of the Year Award is presented annually to the most outstanding senior high school football player of Polynesian Ancestry. Current San Francisco 49ers All-Pro Safety Talanoa Hufanga was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2017; BYU WR Puka Nacua & University of Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa were selected as co-players of the year in 2018; Oregon State QB DJ Uiagalelei was selected in 2019; Ohio State DE J.T. Tuimoloau was the recipient in 2020; and University of Arizona WR Tetairoa McMillan was the 2021 Award recipient.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Iamaleava is of Samoan descent. He led the Warren Bears into the playoffs with a 9-2 record and was undefeated in league play. On the season, Nico threw for 1,726 yards and 25 touchdowns, while rushing for 399 yards and six more touchdowns. He is already enrolled at the University of Tennessee where he will begin his Freshman season in the fall with the Volunteers.
Nico was selected to play in the 2023 Polynesian Bowl, where he won Offensive MVP after leading Team Mauka to victory on Friday, January 20. His Award was announced at the 2023 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner tonight in Honolulu, HI.
“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we congratulate Nico on an amazing season,” said Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jesse Sapolu. “We look forward to following his career because we know he will be a success and positive role model for our Polynesian youth.”
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 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. www.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 of 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. On January 20, 2023 five of the top nine ranked 2023 high school players in the country participated in the game. It was broadcast live and in primetime on NFL Network. 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. www.PolynesianBowl.com
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