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Kaulana Apelu was awarded a scholarship by coach Willie Taggart on Sunday, August 20 to continue to play football for the Oregon Ducks. Photo by Eric Evans/

KS alum earns scholarship through hard work, perseverance

Aug. 23, 2017

A now viral video has been making its way around social media channels of a inspirational and proud moment recognizing the hard work and perseverance of KSK ʻ15 alum Kaulana Apelu.

In a surprise reveal during a practice, Apeluʻs mom, Mahina Assily, pops up on a jumbotron to tell her son the good news. News that is then celebrated by his coaches and teammates.

Apeluʻs story in itself is inspirational, coming back from two significant knee injuries in high school and the death of his father, to continue to pursue his dream of playing DI college football. That spirit of ho‘omau was rewarded on Sunday when the junior linebacker was awarded a scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year by University of Oregon football head coach Willie Taggart.

"He deserved it; he played a lot last year,"  said Taggart said after awarding a scholarship to Apelu.

"He's a kid that just loves to play. He gives us 100 percent all the time; there's times I have to tell him to slow it down just so nobody gets hurt. But he doesn't make any excuses; he just works. That's what we want – guys who love to compete."

Earning a scholarship was Apeluʻs goal ever since he walked-on to the Oregon football team. Through his focus, hard work and perseverance, he achieved that goal.

"If you have a dream, never give up. Always chase it," says Apelu.

Oregon football has a great recap of the surprise and reaction from Apelu on their website. Read and watch more here:

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