Featured image courtesy of Scoring Live.
People often say that football players have football in their blood. Miki Suguturaga embodies this statement to the fullest.
His cousins, Chris and Ma’ake Kemoe’atu, were NFL players and Super Bowl Champions — Chris with the Steelers in 2005 and 2008, and Ma’ake with the Ravens in 2012.
“I do look up to my cousins,” Suguturaga said. “I think they have a big impact on the rest of my family. They made it far in life making a name for themselves and showing me that I can be something great like an NFL player.”
Needless to say, Suguturaga was influenced by football as a child after watching them and other family members play. He was instantly hooked.
There was one problem: his mother Emaleti. She was against Suguturaga playing football because of his safety and the fact his father died when he was young.
“Since his father passed, anything with sports, especially football, I’m afraid of him getting hurt,” Emaleti said.
Over time, however, she became more accepting of the game. But to this day, she is still scared of the possibility of her son getting injured.
Suguturaga wouldn’t be where he is today without her. After his father died, she had to take care of him and his five siblings. Today, Suguturaga considers her to be the biggest influence in his life.
“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Through football and school, she pushes me to be the best that I can and make others around me do the same,” Suguturaga said.
The 3-star defensive end has gotten 15 offers but said that he’s far from making a final decision. As for his major, he is undecided, but has several frontrunners.
“So far I’ve looked at engineering, but a lot of other things have come up. I’m possibly looking towards business, but right now, engineering is at the top for me,” Suguturaga said.
Along with football, Suguturaga has also excelled in track and field. He started in eighth grade when the field events coach encouraged him to try out.
Since then, he’s become one of the best throwers in Hawaii, finishing 2nd in discus and 5th in shot put at states last year.
“I do well in track and field because of the technique in throwing discus and shot put,” Suguturaga said.
Suguturaga has received several collegiate offers for track and field, so if football doesn’t work out, he will have a strong back-up plan.
“It’s fun to compete in. It’s a competitive sport that I can fall back on if I have to,” Suguturaga said.
There’s another facet to Suguturaga’s life that goes unnoticed: religion. Suguturaga is a Mormon, a member of the Latter Day Saints, and his mother has continued to keep religion at a high pedestal for him.
“I keep telling him and he knows that the Sabbath Day has to be kept a priority,” Emaleti said.
However, she will continue to support him in whatever endeavors he pursues.
When it comes to Suguturaga’s motivation for football, it’s not only his mother, but his friends who motivate him for success.
“I have one friend who I always go and work out with. He always pushes me because he’s stronger than me and I want to get stronger,” Suguturaga said.
So far, that has shown that in his play — especially in his senior season. Now, Suguturaga only has one more step in his journey left: committing and, then, college.
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