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Tigers win ninth straight -10/24/2014, 11:03 AM

TMP seeks first win, travels to Russell -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS, TMP play to scoreless draw -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

Hays' Fleharty among Tigers' Hall of Fame inductees -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

Tigers set for No. 10 Bearcats -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

Tiger men picked second in MIAA -10/23/2014, 10:48 AM

HHS looks to rebound -10/23/2014, 10:21 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 23 -10/23/2014, 10:21 AM

Williams will be looking for 3s -10/23/2014, 10:20 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 22 -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

Royals win 7-2, send tied series to San Francisco -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

Area prep volleyball sub-state brackets -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

FHSU women's basketball picked fourth in MIAA, ESU first -10/22/2014, 2:28 PM

HHS soccer shut out by Garden City -10/22/2014, 10:11 AM

Tiger women sixth at Park Classic -10/22/2014, 10:11 AM

Tigers start prep for Bearcats -10/22/2014, 2:22 PM

Blocks Britz's specialty for KSU -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

Royals must fight against history -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

K.C. roughed up in Game 1 -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

Castorino named MIAA Men's Soccer Athlete of the Week -10/21/2014, 3:23 PM

Babyak, Thompson earn MIAA weekly honors -10/21/2014, 3:05 PM

Hays High girls claim 4A title -- TMP sixth -10/21/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP soccer falls at Garden City -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

Charles the Chiefs' all-time leader -10/20/2014, 10:17 AM

'Boys move to 6-1 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Jump back to 1985 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive with win at Talladega -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women earn shutout, set record -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Faifili brings positive vibes

Published on -9/13/2013, 10:21 AM

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By GEOFFREY CALVERT

Associated Press

LAWRENCE -- Life is good these days for Kansas linebacker Samson Faifili.

He started his first game for the Jayhawks last Saturday against South Dakota, making four tackles in a 31-14 season-opening victory. He's on scholarship, playing football at the Division I level and, most important, doesn't have to worry about pinching pennies.

That wasn't always the case.

Faifili grew up in Hawaii but moved to Utah when he was 13. After he graduated from high school, Faifili took a year off from school and moved again, this time to Sacramento, Calif. He eventually enrolled at American River College, but his first five months were about survival.

"When I got to California all I had was $200 to last me a few months," Faifili recalled this week. "(I was) skipping meals and drinking lots of water."

When he enrolled in school, Faifili didn't have residency for the first three semesters, so he had to pay out-of-state tuition -- about $5,000 that he had to cobble together.

So, yes, he's loving life at Kansas, where he's on scholarship and the school provides his meals. But how did a kid from Hawaii end up here after stops in Utah and California? Partially because of Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o, Faifili's cousin.

Te'o played for current Kansas coach Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

"He did talk to me about coming here, what kind of coach Coach Weis is," Faifili said. "He trusts coach. That played a little part of me coming here."

Just like Te'o, who was proud of his Hawaiian roots, Faifili carries a little bit of the island state with him just about anywhere he goes. He often has a ukulele under his arm, one of three instruments -- along with piano and guitar -- that he plays.

He started playing when he was a young boy in Laie, Hawaii, and will gladly strum a song on campus, sometimes serenading students with native songs.

"I carry it around with me every day just to lighten up the mood on campus," Faifili said. "Early morning classes everyone's like, 'Ugh!' So I just go sing around to people."

Faifili's good-natured demeanor changes when he steps onto the field. He made 114 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 12 sacks during his two years playing in junior college, and supplanted more veteran players on the depth chart shortly after arriving at Kansas.

Quarterback Jake Heaps even joked that he would have to calm Faifili down last Saturday against South Dakota because he was so excited to get on the field. Next up is a game at Rice on Saturday.

"I'm not nice," Faifili said. "I'm an easygoing guy. Friendly. But then we go on the field. Once you step in between those white lines, it's on. All business."

Defensive coordinator Dave Campo said Faifili brings a certain physicality that Kansas missed during a 1-11 season in 2012. So when the Jayhawks began fall camp in early August, the fact that he had about 30 pounds on incumbent linebacker Jake Love made it hard to keep him off the field.

"He can rush the passer, he's got some speed," Campo said. "He plays with an awful lot of passion and that's something that you can't put a number on."

Faifili unseated Love by the end of camp, which didn't surprise Weis, who's been intrigued by him ever since the recruiting process. Weis' next hope is for an opponent to make the mistake of latching onto Faifili's bushy hair that pokes out of the back of his helmet.

"We expected him to challenge a starting inside linebacker, that's what we expected when we brought him in here," Weis said. "I can't wait until someone pulls his hair from the back of his helmet. We'll look forward to that."

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