Based on his name alone, Tuli Tagovailoa-Amosa Jr. will have a lot to do when he takes over the field for the Kapolei football team this fall.
After playing for Thompson High School in Alabama last fall, the quarterback will make his sophomore year debut for the hurricanes against Kahuku on Friday night.
Tagovailoa-Amosa’s brother, Myron, is currently a prominent defensive lineman for Notre Dame. His cousin Taulia was the starting quarterback for the Hurricanes from 2015 to 2016 before finishing his high school career in Thompson.
Taulia’s brother Tua is the state’s top passerby and is currently in his second season with the Miami Dolphins.
“Just seeing their work ethic and how they do things is a blessing and motivates me to do the same,” Tuli told Alan Hoshida of KHON2 from Taulia and Tua.
“I took a lot of things with me (because I was close to them), but I’m sure you have to go 100 percent and be the best player there is.”
Tuli Tagovailoa-Amosa Jr. will have much more to play than a legacy this fall. He will also play in honor of his father Tuli father, who died unexpectedly from blood clots in his lungs in September. He was 53 years old.
“I really appreciate these moments,” Tuli Jr. says about memories. “I miss my father and I can’t be too sad, just use what he taught me to improve and make him happy.”
“I see a lot of my husband in all my children,” said Tuli Sr. Saipeti’s wife, he added. “Their size, their features when they speak, provide a lot of comforts. It seems that he didn’t leave at all.”
Tuli Tagovailoa Sr. was a pastor on the west side of Oahu. His children, including Myron, Tuli, and former Navy defensive tackle Adam Amosa Tagovailoa, were raised with faith, family, and football as pillars of their lives.
Tuli Tagovailoa Sr. also founded the youth football organization Ewa Beach Sabers and trained them with friends and family. Notable alumni in addition to the Tagovailoas include Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and 2019 Cover2 player of the year Marcus Mariota Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, who is now a first-year receiver at UCF.
“My husband just walked with the vision, he started something, and the rest was history,” Saipeti recalls. Tuli Jr., who already has an offer from Maryland, faces a tough test to open his high school career in Hawaii when he faces an always-stingy Red Raiders defense.
Tuli’s talent is obvious to Hurricanes coach Darren Hernandez. The 2021 season is all about using your tools.
“The quick release, the precision, the footwork, all these things are characteristic of the way you train, so we hope it all starts this season,” Hernandez said. If you come in season and in any other subsequent competition, Tuli Tagovailoa’s memory will survive through its namesake.
“In every piece, I always come here and remember my father and try to make every match difficult and concentrate, be disciplined and trust the coaches so I can lead them to victory,” said Tuli Jr.
“It’s a blessing to me. Just to be named after him and grateful that (Tagovailoa’s parents) named me after my dad.”