Former New Orleans Saints guard Chirs Naeole has been named one of 15 player finalists for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
The finalists, consisting of 15 players and three coaches/contributors, were selected from a field of more than 200 nominees by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee composed of past head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards,Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai'i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
The committee will meet again to select six members (five players and one coach/contributor) who will be inducted as the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
The inductees will be announced on Oct. 12, 2016 and they will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, to be held in Oahu and at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Jan. 21 & 22, 2016.
CLASS OF 2017 PLAYER FINALISTS
- Junior Ah You (DE) Arizona State, Pro: CFL & USFL 12 years, Samoan ancestry
- Bob Apisa (FB/HB) Michigan State, Pro: NFL (GB) 1 year, Samoan ancestry
- Herman "Buddy" Piikei Clark (OL) Oregon State, Pro: NFL (CHI) 4 years, Hawaiian ancestry
- Riki Morgan Ellison (LB) USC, Pro: NFL (SF, OAK) 9 years, Maori ancestry
- Ma'ake Tu'amelie Kemoeatu(DT)*Utah, Pro: NFL (BAL, CAR, WAS) 9 years, *Tongan ancestry
- Chris Naeole(G) Colorado, Pro: NFL (NO, JAX) 12 years, Hawaiian ancestry
- *Alapati "Al" Noga *(DL) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (MIN, WAS, IND) 7 years, Samoan ancestry
- Niko Noga(LB) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (AZ, DET) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
- *Joe Fagaone Salave'a *(DL) Arizona, Pro: NFL (TEN, BAL, SD, WAS) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
- Dan Saleaumua(DT) Arizona State, Pro: NFL (DET, KC, SEA) 12 years, Samoan ancestry
- *Ma'a Tanuvasa *(DE) Hawai'i, Pro: NFL (STL, PIT, DEN, SD, ATL) 9 years, Samoan ancestry
- *Mosiula Mea'alofa "Lofa" Tatupu *(LB) USC, Pro: NFL (SEA) 6 years, Samoan ancestry
- Manu'ula "Manu" Asovalu Tuiasosopo(DL) UCLA, Pro: NFL (SEA, SF) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
- *Marques Tavita Tuiasosopo *(QB) Washington, Pro: NFL (OAK, NYJ) 8 years, Samoan ancestry
- *Kimo von Oelhoffen *(DL) Boise State, Pro: NFL (CIN, PIT, NYJ, PHI) 14 years, Hawaiian ancestry
CLASS OF 2017 COACH & CONTRIBUTOR FINALISTS
- Thomas Ka'auwai Ka'ulukukui, Former Head Football Coach at University of Hawai'i, Hawaiian ancestry
- John Manumaleuna, Southern California Advocate for Polynesian Youth, Samoan ancestry
- Charlie Wedemeyer, Former Head Football Coach, Los Gatos High School (CA), Hawaiian ancestry
ABOUT THE POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia's greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a non-profit organization, the Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides collegiate scholarships and supports educational programs for Polynesian youth. Its permanent home is located at the Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie on O'ahu's North Shore) 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. For more information, visit www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org