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January 14, 2009

Haka vs. Haka showdown in new Cowboys Stadium

Euless Trinity's well-known Haka dance will get a look at its first Haka-rival with plans being set for a Trinity showdown with Bingham (UT) in a Labor Day meeting Sept. 7 at the Cowboys' new stadium.

The Trojans and Bingham Miners will be a focal point of the Herbstreit Challenge in its second year in Texas. Trinity's Haka dance from the Polynesian roots of many players is well-known in Texas.


But Haka dances are done at Bingham and the University of Utah as well with similar Polynesian backgrounds for players. Trinity standout defensive lineman Siosaia Tuipulotu led the Trojans' Haka dance the last two years and will sign with Utah on Feb. 4.

There will be a high Utah-factor at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on the Labor Day weekend. Oklahoma and Brigham Young will play Sept. 5.


Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said the details are being finalized. The Herbstreit Challenge is moving to Week 2 and the change will mean Trinity will play Bingham on Monday and play Cedar Hill on Sept. 12 (Saturday).

"The chance to play at the new (Cowboys) stadium is the big thing," Lineweaver said. "What a chance for our players and for anyone wanting to come out and watch high school players and check it out."

Trinity defeated River Ridge (La.) John Curtis, 28-12, last year on Labor Day before about 6,000 fans at Texas Stadium. The Herbstreit Challenge will have more high-profile in-state Texas matchups this year to go along with fewer out-of-state showdowns.

Cedar Hill is tentatively set to play Colleyville Heritage while Arlington Bowie could play Klein Oak or another out-of-state opponent.

Mansfield Timberview and Justin Northwest were in the Challenge last year and are waiting for finalized schedules. Because the Herbstreit is moving to Week 2, the non-district game scheduled between Arlington and Southlake Carroll may be included or those teams added to the schedule in some mix of out-of-state teams.

Trinity has won state titles in 2005 and 2007 and went 13-0 this season before falling to eventual Class 5A Division I state champ Allen in the state quarterfinals at Texas Stadium.

Trinity is losing the nucleus of talent from its past three seasons and its top-returner is sophomore running back Tevin Williams. The Trojans' program will be solid but not nearly as highly rated as its has been the last four years.

"I'm thinking Katy," Lineweaver said. "That's a program that returned very little experience this year but kept things together and kept things going all the way to a (5A Division II) state title."

Bingham reached the Class 5A state final in Utah this past season. The Miners will return a standout speedy running back in Harvey Langi and multi-purpose playmaker in Inoke Taufalele.

As you can tell with the Polynesian vowell-heavy names, Trinity and Bingham players will be able to pronounce each other's names.


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