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Friday, August 07, 2009

Oregon football team's 10-strong Polynesian contingent bonds quickly

By Seth Prince, The Oregonian
August 07, 2009, 6:27PM

The Polynesian contingent on the Oregon football team has increased to 10 as the Ducks opened fall camp Friday.

Six of the 10 players are in the first season at Oregon, but senior defensive tackle Simi Toeaina said the newcomers and veterans have already bonded.

"Being a Polynesian, it's an instant click," said Toeaina, who is cousins with Polynesian quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. "I'm going to have their back no matter what and push them. If I see them slacking, I'm going to let them know."

Linebacker Keloni Kamalani, offensive lineman Mana Greig, receiver Lavasier Tuinei, tight end Brian Teague and defensive linemen Andrew Iupati and Wade Keliikipi are the newcomers to the tight-knit group.

"We've got some reinforcements now," senior defensive end Will Tukuafu said. "We take them under our wing and make them feel comfortable. Family is the main thing in our culture and those guys are like our brothers now. You take care of your brothers."

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