X marks the spot for former Warrior

April 16th, 2014

"Who knew I'd be going to Japan?" former UH defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu marveled.

Tuipulotu signed with the Asahi Soft Drink Challengers to play in this fall's X League in Japan. He leaves next month. Former UH defensive lineman Saui Matagiese will be a teammate.

On playing for a beverage company, Tuipulotu mused: "Perfect. A match made in heaven."

Actually, Tuipulotu has cut out sweets and is adhering to a healthful diet. He dropped more than 50 pounds since his final game with the Warriors in 2011, and now weighs 255. His surgically repaired shoulder has long healed.

Tuipulotu also will leave behind an MMA career in which he was 2-0 as an amateur fighter. He said he went into that sport only to get "that rush again."

Tuipuloto said the X season runs from August through December. The company will pay for all his living expenses except food. He also will receive a $3,000 monthly stipend.

"That's more than a scholarship," he said. "I lived on a scholarship. I can make it happen again."

* * * * *

Former Kealakehe coach Sam Papalii offers this update:

David Fangupo is enrolled at Cerritos JC. He lives with two former teammates from 2012 championship team — Giovanni Chanes-Rodrigues (6-1, 300) and Jerone Moeoge (6-2, 340). Fangupo is the No. 1 nose guard who also will be used as a short-yardage ball-carrier. Chanes-Rodrigues made the 2013 all-conference team. He has received 2015 scholarship as a center from UAB and North Texas. Moeoge is in the d-line rotation.

103 Responses to “X marks the spot for former Warrior”

  1. el burro sabio:

    Uno, Ekahi, Ichi, One. Good Luck Kaniela.

  2. Ipu Man:

    Asahi makes a very mellow beer brew, too...

  3. Stephen Tsai:

    Did we mention that Unga was back at tight end yesterday?

  4. tommui:


    I'm not a coach - nor aspire to be one - but switching someone back and forth from D to O and O to D seems like a jack of all trades.

  5. Stephen Tsai:

    I didn't notice when he moved to D-line, and I didn't notice when he moved back.
    This is what happens when it rains and practice starts soooo early.

  6. Daddy:

    Hello and good morning

  7. Stephen Tsai:

    No. 6:
    Why is this song playing in my head:

  8. jeezy33:

    A better QB option has came about.... Matt Joeckel will graduate and transfer from Texas A&M... He actually played some this past season and looked good. He can run and throw it..

  9. 99club:

    #3 - after just reading through yesterday's posts, this one made me laugh. The kid must have skills, like tommui posted.

    Nov. 8 Colorado St. game tip of the day: best time to buy Zippo hand warmers is right about now! Half price on amazon.

  10. Stephen Tsai:

    Unga is a very imposing player.
    I'm mostly impressed with the speed of the front seven on defense.

  11. Stephen Tsai:

    Of course, it's disappointing that Fonua is probably out for the rest of the spring.

  12. jm2375:

    Good morning Tsaikos!

    Best wishes to Kaniela. Hope he has a good career in Japan.


  13. tom-warriornation:

    Keep up the great reporting work Stephen; we all appreciate it! Aloha Tsaikos from boya_jr and I in SF.

  14. A-House:

    Good morning to el burro, Ipu Man, and the World.

    Turbulent times abound!

  15. Derek:

    Get Joeckel in here pronto. I saw him play when Manziel was out for the first half and I was impressed with his play. For sure, he would be the starter here. P.S. I think he's better than Wittek. He can bring Tabuyo back to Hawaii too!!!!!

  16. A-House:

    again, I bring up the subject of NO advantage to the student athlete when coaches continually move them around

    yes, jack of all but master of none

    yes, it's spring training, but--------------------does this indicate how well the coaching staff did in recruiting?

  17. tom-warriornation:

    for those who live in the SF bay area this weekend:


    Da Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce of Northern California is having our very first Cherry Blossom food booth...Serving special loco mocos, very local style. We have a Maui and SF celebrity chef who will be with da ohana cooking some ono stuff.....hamburger or kalua pork loco moco or da combo if you like...booth open on April 19 and 20 only....going be fun....

    Other HCCNC events coming soon: hccnc.com

    Please come and support HCCNC who sponsors the UH football roadgame tailgates here in No. CA.

  18. jalansky:

    Good luck, Kaniela (and Saui). Represent us well! Back in the day, when football was in its infancy in Japan, they used to call it "ame-ragu," short for "American rugby." Notice what that does to your cultural perspective! Anyway, just a fragment of memory . . . .

  19. boolakanaka:

    Damn, dats one big a$$ d-line for a JC.

  20. Shoko:

    You think Hawaii expensive. Wait till you live Japan...
    1.00 US Dollar = 102.245 Japan Yen

    Should be a great experience for both former players. Always can purse a career in mixed martial arts and sumo if football ends.

  21. Stephen Tsai:

    Sam Papalii's son, Tai, is helping Demo.

  22. jimmy the lock:

    t-end or d-end

  23. jimmy the lock:

    Schatz or Hanabusa

  24. boolakanaka:

    Kaniela or Danny?

  25. boolakanaka:

    Ron Lee or Cal Lee?

  26. boolakanaka:

    Tony Sellito or Tony Sellito Jr?

  27. boolakanaka:

    Kenny or Danny or Francis (RIP) Fletcher?

  28. jimmy the lock:

    Breathe in, breathe out, repeat 10 times:

    I will not get caught up in the hype...

    At least most hypes can be proven...or disproven. :lol:

  29. jimmy the lock:

    rock, paper, or scissors

  30. boolakanaka:

    Kengos or Chicken Alice?

  31. jimmy the lock:

    Bad news is it's April 16, good news is you still get time to file your State tax forms.

  32. boolakanaka:

    Mosi Tatupu or Ed Kini?

  33. boolakanaka:

    Armand Chong or Elroy Chong?

  34. boolakanaka:

    Jerry Lewis or Gerry Lopez?

  35. Pu'uwai:

    dis or dat?


    tom-warriornation: I sent your notice to my daughter who goes to school and works part-time in SF. It sounds like a tasty and interesting event.

  37. Rodney:

    #8 do you think we lost Whittek
    to Texas?

  38. al:

    mrs. inouye or neil?

  39. boolakanaka:

    Certainly the Mrs. Do you see how Brian, basically threw Neil under the bus...and said, he has no doubt as to authenticty of the senator, and moreover, the letter?

  40. al:

    and yet another sec qb is transferring out of kentucky. Oh and another duke qb.

    on and on.

  41. Da Punchbowl Kid:

    Good Morning Gangeez! :)

    Good for Saui and Kaniela! One of the advantages to their situation is that they can learn to speak Nihongo - not a bad skill to have.

  42. al:

    texas or hawaii?

  43. al:

    asahi or sapporo

  44. al:

    orion or kirin

  45. Da Punchbowl Kid:

    #38 - Don't get us started.

  46. al:

    tsing tsao or chiang

  47. al:

    peroni or spaten

  48. Da Punchbowl Kid:

    So are any of these QB transfers seriously looking at Hawaii?

  49. Da Punchbowl Kid:


  50. boolakanaka:

    I love tsing tao..nice and skunky beer.

  51. al:

    of course they are.
    if wittek looks they'll look, too.

    there must be hundreds of transfers out there.

  52. al:


  53. kawika49:

    Tiger Beer or Bah muy bah?

  54. jiminycricket:

    Spam musubi or manapua?

  55. boolakanaka:

    So, a Tsaiko question: who is the best transfer in UH football history?

    I'll go first, I think you can say either a direct contribution to the program, or how did they personally fare? So, with that in mind: Colt for the first topic, and Mark Tuinei in the latter.

  56. al:

    just thought about this...tsing tsao reason for skunky; water from the yellow river?

  57. boolakanaka:

    54- Gotta be char siu bao--but then again, I am part pake.

  58. al:

    boo...good one.

    for old guys...larry sherrer is one.

  59. al:

    june jones is another. if not for his brief stint here he'd never would have come back to coach here.

  60. al:

    baked or steamed?

  61. boolakanaka:

    59--al--thats a real nice catch, as I did not even consider June.

  62. al:

    boo...must be the tsing tsao.

  63. gobows:

    What football player had the greatest succes after transferring FROM hawaii since 1980?

  64. boolakanaka:

    63--even better Q???

  65. gobows:


  66. boolakanaka:

    Hmmn, not the best, but Paul Dombroski, if I recall correctly, went from UH to Linfield (shout out- 3 prong) then did 6 seasons in the NFL.

  67. cocobean:

    Cole or Woodcock
    Arnold or Golden

    Kim or Maafala

  68. boolakanaka:

    Larry Cole-Super Bowl_win.

    Golden Richards-Super Bowl-win.

    Last one-tie.

  69. Nuffawrede:

    63. Kimo vonolhoffen. UH to Boise St. To Cincinnati bengals to Pitt Steelers. 13 yrs in nfl. Two super bowl rings. just missed the pro bowl a few times.

  70. Nuffawrede:

    By way of kaunakakai

  71. boolakanaka:

    69--Kudos Nuff!! Nice one! molokai nui ahina!

  72. rage777:

    ST and Coach Papalii,

    Thanks for the update on David. I hope he studies hard and gets an opportunity to come back to Hawaii.

  73. oldtimer808:

    I recently went to a buffet at an eating establishment in Aiea across from Anna Miller. I was disappointed in the quality of food. Tha sashimi was discolored and old. Local guys know what good sashimi looks like. Sorry for some reason that stood out in my mind more than football.

  74. d1shima:

    Great Afternoon All!

    Ginger or Mary Ann?

  75. duffer:

    Does midnight and Barbara live in Austin?

    Da kid might be playing the Super Regional in Austin for DII golf.

  76. boolakanaka:

    Mary Ann...hands down.

  77. Old School Dave:

    Best of luck to Kaniela in Japan. Japan is an interesting place to live. One of the good things about Japan (besides pubic transportation that is like clockwork) is beer sold from vending machines:


  78. Old School Dave:

    should be "public" transportation. Don't wanna get banned :-)

  79. Old School Dave:

    Sam Papalii. Rich Ellerson called him "The Dark Side" when recruiting against him (meant as a compliment). Coach Sam was a relentless recruiter.

  80. boolakanaka:

    Kalua Pig or lechon rotisserie pig?

  81. boolakanaka:

    lilikoi cake or haupia cake?

  82. boolakanaka:

    Irish Spring or Ivory?

  83. NotNasti:

    Round bowl or elongated? Should be a no-brainer for the Tsaikos.

  84. SteveM:

    duffer -- midnight lives around 200 miles north of Austin.


  85. A-joe:

    8. On occasions you've been accused for being brash, negative and speaking your mind. I respect those who suggest alternatives and open themselves to scrutiny. Good heads up call on the TA&M QB.

  86. gobows:

    wow didn't know he attended UH. he's not listed as a letter winner.

    "Even though he came in on scholarship, no one really expected anything from him," teammate Doug Vaioleti said. "But the guy was explosive and athletic. I remember Larry Jones (another former UH lineman) said, 'That guy Scooby, he's got some wheels.' Nobody called him Kimo then."

  87. jeezy33:

    Anyone know if this is accurate? But according to PIAA, Punahou kicker Kainoa McDonald signed a LOI today to play for Hawaii.... Pretty sure he would be a walk on though... But just wondering if anyone has more info on this..

  88. midnight:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY WAFAN !!! Duffer: Barbara and I live in Arlington, TX about 10 miles from the renamed AT & T Stadium.

  89. gobows:


  90. Fei Jai:

    Ben Gay says apparel sales should net UH $500k in profits in first year. This from a guy who has never run an actual business in the real world using his own money.

    Except for the Traikos, who is actually going to spend money this year buying stuff from the new clothing line when the last two seasons were losing seasons and the upcoming seasons doesn't look so promising as well?

  91. marleysdad:

    #90, I'll buy more merchandise. So will many others. C'mon man, use your regular name. Stop hiding behind that one.

  92. Boya_jr:

    Ben wants to gain marketshare (mainland and local, top line revenue growth from selling at games and improved Internet and store presence), lower structural costs (Internet, cut out middlemen), and improve working capital (supply chain improvement, less SKUs). Most of all, BJ wants control to implement change.

  93. al:

    sadly, centerplate has the apparel concession at the aloha stadium.

  94. Warrior Dave:

    Rainbowtique is/was poorly run from day one. During the hey days of Colt Brennan and friends, hundreds of thousands of dollars was left on the table. The racks were empty but no staff to bring merchandise to the floor. Stupid way to run a business but no skin off of UH's back since their percentage was so small.

    Even with athletics being down, many tourist will want something with a UH logo on it. Didn't this mornings article say that BJ worked for Bloomingdales? Anyway, hire good people and the stores will make $$$

  95. Tired:

    90 Fei Jai.....your bigotry is truly pathetic

  96. Warrior Dave:

    Al, does Centerplate control sales in the parking lot at Aloha Stadium? UH should also have a regular presence at the Swap Meet. Tons of tourist go regularly every week.

  97. tommui:

    #95 Tired: There was an article in the SA two Sundays ago (I believe) which said that the trolls on the internet are sick people= sociopaths or even psychopaths.

    So you should have pity on them.

  98. Haleakala:

    There is only one Hawaii! Go Warriors!

  99. Tired:

    tommui...I appreciate your comment and agree that pity and compassion are appropriate. It is possible for these sentiments to be present in their full while concurrently standing against bigotry and hatred. I assume this person lives in their own private and solitary hell. That their hatred is in the end a hatred of themselves. For this compassion is needed. But I would not watch someone be assaulted in the street and do nothing anymore than I would accept bigotry on a message board and say nothing. We are a community here. If we are silent in the face of hatred we all have to accept our complicity with it.

  100. SteveM:


  101. al:

    wd...i am sure it is an exclusive arrangement.

    thats got to change.

  102. al:

    remember then gubernatorial candidate neil a., said he would fight to have the university take control of the aloha stadium?


    would he have gone against senator inouye's endorsement of colleen hanabusa had the infamous hawaii stateman been still alive?

    so who's voting for him?

  103. el burro sabio:

    al, I thought it was a terrible idea then and it's a terrible idea now. Now if the state built a new stadium on that site, that's another story. :)