Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.5

November 4, 2004


'Hawaiian Sam' tackles life as a Concordia Stinger

By John Austen

Photo of Sam Taulealea

Sam Taulealea
Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

After butting heads with the coaching staff at the University of Colorado, 320-pound Hawaiian native Sam Taulealea has found a home with the Concordia Stingers football team.

The six-foot-two nose tackle might miss the beauty and warmth of his home state, but he doesn't regret for a moment his decision to move to Montreal.

"If you had told me five years ago that I'd be playing football in Montreal, Canada, and would really be enjoying it, I would have thought you were crazy," said the affable Taulealea, 24.

"They made a coaching change in Colorado after I got there and it wasn't working out. I finished playing, but when I heard good things about Montreal and the Stingers I decided to come north."

Taulealea received rave reviews about our fair city and the Stingers program through Montrealers Rudy and Marwan Hage. The brothers played at Vanier CEGEP and were in Colorado. Rudy is a Montreal Alouettes draft choice, while Marwan is the property of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"I discussed it with my family and thought it would be good for me [to come to Montreal]," Taulealea said. "Everything has been great. The coaching is awesome here and I'm enjoying playing football again.

"I had lost the passion to play when I was in Colorado, but something turned it around for me. To be honest, I thought I was done playing. I started coaching 12-   year-old kids when I was there and I could see the fire and passion in their eyes. I said to myself, I was like that at that age. I wanted to get the feeling back again and I found it at Concordia."

Taulealea earned a full scholarship to the University of Colorado in 1998. He was one of the most sought-after high school players in the Aloha State. After all, there aren't many high school athletes who can bench-press 405 pounds and run the 40 in 5.01 seconds.

Taulealea, who is taking sociology and communications courses at Concordia, says the competition is good here, although he finds there is a wide disparity among the teams he has played against.

Taulealea and the rest of his Stinger teammates hope to prolong their season when they travel to Ste. Foy this weekend for the QUFC semifinals. The Stingers lost both regular season games to Laval this season.

When not causing havoc with the opposition's offensive linemen, Taulealea can be found at the local cinema with his buddies.

"I'm a real movie buff," he said. "It's a great diversion. I can just get lost in the movie when I'm watching it."

He misses Hawaii and its weather every day, but loves his adopted city.

"Hey, I'm a Québécois now. This city has so much diversity and culture... and the women are gorgeous!

"I hear it’s kind of cold here in January and February, though. I guess I'll just put on a sweater."