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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Football camp offers high exposure

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

The nationally renowned "All-Poly" high school football camp made its Hawai'i debut yesterday, in the shadow of Diamond Head and a couple long kickoffs away from Waikiki Beach.

And with it came coaches from over 20 NCAA Division I programs, representatives from three major recruiting Web sites and the promise of unprecedented exposure for about 300 local football prospects.

"This is the biggest thing we've had here," said former Kealakehe High School coach Sam Papali'i, who also had stints as an assistant at the University of Hawai'i, Utah, Nevada-Las Vegas and Iowa State. "There hasn't been anything better for the prospects of this state."

The three-day camp at Kapi'olani Park features such notable instructors as UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow, Colorado assistant head coach Brian Cabral and Brigham Young defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, along with several others with strong Hawai'i ties, like Oregon State defensive line coach and Radford High graduate Joe Seumalo, Utah State defensive line coach Chad Kaha'aha'a (Baldwin) and Central Arkansas defensive backs coach Corey Batoon (Saint Louis).

Hawai'i associate coach Rich Miano and director of football player personnel Tony Tuioti also are serving as instructors.

Since its humble origin in Utah eight years ago, the All-Poly Camp has grown into a nationally recognized hotbed that has attracted dozens of top DI prospects and coaches. Past Hawai'i standouts like Punahou's Manti Te'o and Kahuku's Spencer Hafoka and Paipai Falemalu participated in the All-Poly Camp in Bountiful, Utah, but camp founder and organizer Alema Te'o decided to bring the camp to Hawai'i to make it more accessible to local players.

(The camp is rooted in the aim to help high school athletes of Polynesian ancestry, but is now open to students of any ethnic background.)

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