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Saturday, December 03, 2011

From doormat to title game

Nice article on one of the AIGA Foundation brothers, Coach Sione Taufoou and his Menlo-Atherton team.

Last week’s post game haka, courtesy of the Menlo-Atherton Bears following their 49-14 drubbing of Salinas, featured an unexpected guest.
As the victorious Bears faced the M-A Faithful that hovered around them on the track, a “shhhhh” quieted the fired-up crowd.
And in jumped head coach Sione Taufoou. If you thought the Bears were excited before, the sideline and team went nuts as their head coach finished off the ceremonial dance.
It may seem insignificant to some, but Taufoou’s involvement with the team serves as a symbol. Two years ago, Taufoou and his staff took over a team that gave up 415 points and scored only 146 en route to a 1-9 season.
Today, some of those same players sit at the door step of history and are one win away from being crowned Central Coast Section champions in Division I.
“I don’t want to take credit for turning (the program) around,” Taufoou said. “I think the students deserve all the credit. The students, the parents — they all believed in each other. I’ve just been there to help things along the way and I couldn’t be prouder of the way these kids play. They play extremely hard and it’s fun to watch.”
Players like Willy Fonua, Cameron Moody, Sam Falkenhagen and Austin Clarence were all part of that 1-9 team. It’s been their hard work and commitment to the Bears’ program that, according to Taufoou, has made all the difference. Today, in their game against Serra, M-A has a chance to come full circle and complete a remarkable run.


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