Today the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced the five inductees for the 2016 Hall Of Fame Class. Included in the class is former BYU great Vai Sikahema. Joining Sikahema are Charles "Charlie" Teetai Ane, Jr., Rockne Crowningburg Freitas, Albert "Al" Lolotai, and Troy Polamalu. The inductees were picked by a committee composed of Dick Tomey, LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride, Dick Vermeil, Neil Everett, Gil Brandt, Kevin Mawae, and Robert Kekaula. The five names were chosen from a finalist list of 25. The class will be honored in Oahu, Hawai'i in January. For more information visit the Polynesian Football HOF website.
Vai Sikahema was a running back and return specialist for the Cougars in 1980-81 and 1983-85. Being a native of Tonga is one of the reasons he made the list for the Hall of Fame but his play solidified the choice. He left BYU as one of the most prolific returners in school history and held the BYU record for most career punt return yards with 1,312. He jumped into the spotlight at the end of his freshman year as a punt returner when he returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown against SMU in the Miracle Bowl. Between his sophomore and junior year he was called to serve an LDS mission in South Dakota before coming back to redshirt. Earning accolades from the WAC conference and national attention over his junior and senior seasons, led him to play in the NFL. When he was playing with the Cardinals he made two Pro-Bowls before moving with the team to Arizona and then joining the Green Bay Packers and then the Philadelphia Eagles. Since his retirement he has worked in various media jobs including the sports director for a local NBC channel. He has also been a mentor to many people and families while serving in his various church callings. BYU inducted him into the BYU Cougars Hall of Fame in 2002.
Congratulations to Sikahema and all the inductees for 2016.