Polynesian Classic teaches lessons beyond the scoreboard

Posted at 12:23 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 15:30:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — David Uiagalelei is a proud father.

His son, D.J., is the top high school quarterback in the nation.

"He doesn't want to just say or preach it," said Uiagalelei. "He wants to live it."

D.J. was definitely living it. He made big plays in St. John Bosco's route of Liberty. D.J. is making even bigger moves in life as a young man. His dad says his Polynesian culture and upbringing is a big reason why.

""We're also pushing family," said D.J.'s father. "Love, respect, you know, that's the one thing I love about our Polynesian people and the sport."

Jesse Sapolu feels the same way. He is one of six San Francisco 49ers to own four super bowl rings. He also played with some of the greatest to ever take the field.

"I was a center to a quarterback that wasn't very good named Joe Montana and another one in Steve Young" said Sapolu while smirking.

Sapolu helped organize the third annual Polynesian Classic at Bishop Gorman High School. Of the more than 5,000 Pacific Islander students enrolled at valley schools, several played in the event.

"At the end of the day, it's not about the scoreboard," Sapolu said. "There's kids out there that learn to never give up."

Liberty didn't shine on the scoreboard, but one things for sure: the student-athletes are learning lessons they will carry for the rest of their lives.


St. John Bosco (Calif.) 49, Liberty 7 (Final)
Desert Pines 42, Logan (UT) 3 (Final)
Saguaro (Ariz.) 49, Faith Lutheran 3 (Final)
Bishop Gorman 42, Servite (Calif.) 21 (Final)