Penn's Moala becoming a two sport star - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Penn's Moala becoming a two sport star

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Off the field Penn's Inoke Moala is one of the more quiet kids you will ever meet, but on the football field the star tight end sure can make a lot of noise.

"When you do well and perform well, it's a great feeling," said Moala.

Moala is more than just a great football player, this season he has quickly become one of the best players on the Kingsmen rugby team.

 "You get to touch the ball a lot more," said Moala, about why he likes rugby. "In football I usually only touch the ball a couple times and block, but for rugby you do everything."

The Penn junior is so good at rugby in fact, that he helped lead Penn to the Midwest League Championship this past Saturday. It was pretty remarkable too, considering he just started playing the sport a few months ago.

"The best thing about him from a pure rugby standpoint, and certainly you see it in his football too, is not only is he physical, but he's got great footwork, he's got soft hands for a big kid and he can run over you or he can run around you," said Penn Rugby Coach Bart Bottorff.

It is understandable that Moala has grown into quite the star because athleticism runs in his family.

Before he moved to America, Inoke's father, Pule, was a member of the Tongan National Team. Despite the sport being in Inoke's blood, his father, almost did not let his son play rugby.

"He knew I was going into my senior year and he didn't want me getting injured," said Inoke. "But I just decided to play and hopefully I can take care of my body."

Inoke will likely start getting offers from some major schools in both sports, but the 6'2", 225 pounder believes his future is in football. Not really a bad choice considering the schools who have contacted him, hoping they can turn the tough tight end into an elite linebacker.

"Notre Dame, Purdue, Michigan is a little bit interested, and the University of Illinois," said Moala.

He may wind up playing college football, but he figures why not enjoy both sports for as much time as he can. After all, the whole rugby thing should help him lay a few more guys out come next football season.

"It will help be more of a physical guy and not be soft on the field, and also be a team player," said Moala.

The Penn Rugby team will play in the national high school rugby tournament in Elkhart starting on May 15th.
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