S U P E R _ B O W L _ X X X I



Pio Sagapolutele

"I had the Pac-Five logo silk-screened on while I was in college. It was a little tight, but what I did was cut off the sleeves. It doesn't come all the way down to my stomach, but it covers my chest."



A piece of Hawaii at
Super Bowl

The Pats’ Pio Sagapolutele will wear
his old Maryknoll T-shirt under his pads

By Pat Bigold
Star-Bulletin

Pio Sagapolutele, the only Hawaii-bred player in Sunday's Super Bowl XXXI, has decided how he'll carry a piece of home into battle against the Green Bay Packers.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound New England Patriots defensive tackle said this morning from New Orleans that he'll wear his old Maryknoll Schools T-shirt under his pads.

Sagapolutele wore the shirt, which has a Pac-Five Wolfpack logo on the back, during media day at the Superdome yesterday.

The former resident of Kuhio Park Terrace said he derives positive energy from the garment.

While a Maryknoll student in 1985, he played on the Pac-Five football team that scored a lopsided victory over Waianae in the Prep Bowl.

He said he'd like that energy to seep into the Patriots' defensive line tasked with stopping Brett Favre and an improved Packer running attack.

"I used to wear the shirt in Cleveland and I wanted to wear it for the Pittsburgh game but I couldn't find it," he said.

He did find it in time for the AFC Championship game.

"I had the Pac-Five logo silk-screened on while I was in college," Sagapolutele said.

Of course, adustments had to be made before Sagapolutele, who weighed only 235 pounds in high school, could fit back into the shirt.

"It was a little tight, but what I did was cut off the sleeves," he said. "It doesn't come all the way down to my stomach, but it covers my chest, so it's more like a cut-off shirt now."

Sagapolutele said he will also inscribe HI, the postal abbreviation for Hawaii, over the tapes covering both of his wrists.

He said he's looking forward to tomorrow when the parents he hasn't seen for a year fly into New Orleans from American Samoa.

"I think they might be more excited than I am," Sagapolutele said.

Toni and Matalua Sagapolutele promised their son they'd bring him something special that represents his Polynesian culture.

"But they wouldn't tell me what it is - it's a mystery," Sagapolutele said.

He said his father is a judge and his mother supervises a clinic for the underprivileged.

Also due in tomorrow is Sagapolutele's girlfriend, Yvonne Hahn of Cleveland. The couple have a 6-month-old baby.

Sagapolutele said Patriots' head coach Bill Parcells' strict, full-pads practices sessions are making him feel like he was back in training camp.

"With Parcells, training is the same from the first week to the last," he said.

"On Monday, Green Bay had a 90-minute workout in jerseys and sweats, but we went at each other for about two hours with the pads on. That's the way Parcells did it with the Giants when they won those two Super Bowls, so we're trusting in him."

Asked if the stories concerning the rift between team owner Bob Kraft and Parcells has distracted him, Sagapolutele said he's not interested.

"We came here to play the Packers, and whatever little circus Kraft and Parcells have going is between them. If Parcells goes, he goes. I think we have the nucleus of young and veteran players to make this team good for another couple of years."




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