Warrior Beat: Scheyenne Sanitoa made a lasting impression with Hawaii football

Scheyenne Sanitoa, who died on Thursday, was set to enter his junior season at UH. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

Several years ago, a group of coaches and former players went to American Samoa to bring needed items and provide instruction in football.

One of the camp attendees was memorable for his unique first name (it came from his mother’s cousin), his articulate questions, and unabashed joy for life and football. Former UH head coach June Jones, who was part of that group, said that youngster, Scheyenne Sanitoa, made an indelible impression.

Sanitoa grew up to be a University of Hawaii linebacker who was loved as much as he loved others. Teammates praised his on-field passion and his uplifting friendship. A UH official said it seemed that Sanitoa’s smile was as much a fixture as his long hair.

Sanitoa died Thursday at his McCully apartment.

To paraphrase Hubert Humphrey‘s eulogy, Sanitoa will remembered for the way he lived.


  1. burro sabio July 6, 2019 2:18 pm

    Amen. Thank you for finding words for this Mr. Tsai, it must be very difficult for you too.

  2. clyde July 6, 2019 3:10 pm

    Yes, amen. It’s a difficult story for someone to write, particularly when the memories are so fresh. A talented 21-year-old with the football world at his feet and a lifetime in front of him left us much too soon. Condolences to Scheyenne’s family, friends and teammates, and may he rest in peace.

  3. LizKauai July 6, 2019 3:21 pm

    God Bless. Heavenly Consolation.

    “When we outgrow our physical form, and are considered by God ready to reap the fruit of our spiritual development, we proceed to the other world. We term it death only because of our shortsightedness. A more proper term would be ‘a more abundant life.’”—– Shoghi Effendi

  4. Da Punchbowl Kid July 6, 2019 3:55 pm

    Always a Warrior. Love and sympathy to his ohana, friends and teammates. Rest in the arms of the Lord, Scheyenne.

  5. sackkabooya July 7, 2019 10:43 am

    My recollections of Sanitoa on the field was that he was an in-between type of guy as far as body type. When I watched him my mind would think of Al Aliipule for some reason. Maybe because they were both angular, focused and kind of “skinny” in comparison to their position. But you could see the fit in Batoon’s scheme for him. Similar to Tavai’s role albeit 3/4 the size. So his application would be different. But his is very versatile like Jahlani’s skillset. That’s why I (we; a lot of us) was expecting such a breakout from him. Different from the other linebackers (some of whom I expect breakouts as well) because he can drop in coverage really well, move well side to side quick, and attack up-field pretty good, you could see it later in the season last year. Just like in that Prep All-Star game. Just getting the hang of it. So much potential. Very sad.

  6. Stephen Tsai July 7, 2019 2:04 pm

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=50094

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