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Friday, October 27, 2006

Sweetwater HS (National City, CA): Lafo Ka'apana

Lafo Kaapana, Sweetwater

On the field: The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder is an imposing figure on the Sweetwater line. While Kaapana understands this may not be the turnaround season the Red Devils had planned, the senior has hope for the future. “Sweetwater may lose games, but (the Red Devils) always have their pride. That tradition pushes us to work hard, and I know this team will be a powerhouse next year,” he said. That blend of size, athleticism and attitude – along with a 3.36 GPA – has Kaapana drawing scholarship interest from programs such as Washington State, UNLV, Fresno State and Sacramento State.

Husky history: As a youngster, Kaapana always dreamed of playing youth football. But his size was an obstacle. “I was the kid left out,” said Kaapana. “I was always the kid who was too overweight, but that size is paying off now.”

Staying busy: Off the field, he is involved on campus as an ASB officer. Kaapana, who has black and Samoan ancestry, is president of the African-American Student Union. He also is part of the Sweetwater track team. In the offseason, he worked as a teller at Washington Mutual in the high school internship program.

Future focus: A fan of psychology and math, Kaapana said he isn't sure what he will pursue as a major in college. He is more certain about where he envisions himself after college. “I want to own my own business,” said Kaapana, who sees himself someday running an island-inspired apparel store.

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