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Friday, August 29, 2008

Like father, like son

Former NFL player hoping to pass on experience to prep team

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 (2 a.m.)

To Lonnie Palelei, it seems like yesterday when his eldest son, Evan, was running around the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room in diapers. Lonnie Palelei was an offensive lineman for the Steelers, the first of three teams he played for during an eight-year NFL career.

Evan Palelei was a toddler, fooling around with his father’s teammates that he referred to as his “uncles.”

Some 15 years later, father is still watching son play — only now he does it with football pads instead of diapers.

And instead of fooling around, Evan Palelei is blocking and tackling for Bishop Gorman, for which is entering his junior year at linebacker and guard. Lonnie Palelei has seen his son’s transformation first-hand as he enters his sixth season as the Gaels offensive line coach.

Gorman’s home opener is Aug. 29 at the Fertitta Field against Service High from Anchorage, Alaska, as father and son will surely create more memories.

“I’ve played in hundreds of games myself but being a part of his games out here is the best thing I’ve ever done,” Lonnie Palelei said. “I get to have a front row seat to see him develop.

“Now, after all those guys I played with that saw him in the locker room, he has a pretty big following of guys that knew him when he was a little baby.”

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