Football Makes A Positive Impact

Wednesday - July 23, 2008
By Jack Danilewicz
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Samson Anguay
Samson Anguay with his mentor, UH defensive lineman and Ewa boy Rocky Savaiigaea, during football camp. Photo by Nathalie Walker, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Around the Campbell High football program, people are often talking about Samson Anguay, but not necessarily about the game itself.

“A lot of parents come to us and tell us how humble and respectful he is,” Suzette Anguay said of her son. “That’s the most important thing to Mom and Dad.”

The kind of praise that Samson receives is the kind that would be hard for any 17-year-old to ignore. Indeed, on the field, he is what they call a “difference-maker,” one who can change the complexion of a game with one touch of the ball. He demonstrated as much in his coming out party against Aiea last fall as a sophomore - his first taste of varsity football - when he scored four times, establishing himself as one of the state’s most exciting players in a mere 48 minutes of action.

Last fall he had 11 touchdowns in all for Campbell, scoring in a variety of ways that demonstrated his instinctive athletic ability.

“He’s good at the game because he loves the game,” said Suzette.“I don’t know how he gets into that zone. This kid has speed, and I know that it doesn’t come from Mom.”

To be exact, the younger Anguay runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, although he may actually be faster in the heat of a game, according to coaches. While he burst on the football scene like a meteor last fall, Samson was one of the last to notice. Any playing time he could get as a sophomore on the varsity was welcome, he said.

“When they moved me up, I thought it was to learn more (at the varsity level),” he said. “I didn’t know I’d actually start. After that, I just put it all on the line and tried to do my best. This year, I think the coaches will be expecting even more from me.”

Samson and his teammates officially begin fall camp Tuesday in preparation for the 2008 season. The Sabers are coming off a 5-5 campaign highlighted by a win over eventual OIA champion and Division I state tournament champion Leilehua in the regular-season finale for both teams. The arrival of new head coach Amosa Amosa, who spent the last eight seasons as offensive coordinator at Aiea under Wendell Say, has also fueled preseason optimism at Campbell.

“We’re a new program with a new coach,” Samson said.

The Sabers spent spring practice and their summer workouts installing Amosa’s version of the run-and-shoot offense. The Sabers had the run-oriented Wing-T under the previous staff, making for a time of transition.

“The run-and-shoot is a real good offense in my eyes,” Samson said. “The coaching staff is awesome, and everyone has been picking it up real fast. Everyone is pushing to go far this year instead of just making the playoffs.”

Samson will remain a running back in the run-and-shoot in addition to logging some playing time at slot back. Ironically, he found his way to the backfield in part because there was no one else to play running back on his Ewa Saints Pop Warner team when he was 11.

“I had played wide receiver and defensive back until they converted me,” he said. “When I first played, I wasn’t really into it. Over the years, it has become more serious to me and more natural. When I was a freshman and I made junior varsity, I saw how football could be a positive for me and I decided to stick with it.”

Football has always had a healthy place in the Anguay family. Father Darryl played for Farrington in the 1970s, while older sister Doreen played Pop Warner as a youth.

“My cousins all played, too, and I was able to see how football kept them on track,” said Samson, who has a 3.0 grade-point average. “My family has been very supportive; they’ve really worked to keep me on track.

They’ve been telling me my whole life that my grades will take me further.”

With two seasons of eligibility remaining, Samson also hopes to attract the interest of college recruiters. He attended a pair of scouting combines recently, finishing in the top 10 at both, and spent last week at the University of Hawaii football camp.

“It’s my dream to play college football. The game is so much fun. Catching the ball, trying to make a big play, having fun with my teammates ... Football is my passion.”

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