Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Euless Trinity principal: Manukainiu, Vaenuku were "loved and adored"
EULESS - Euless Trinity principal Mike Harris said Tuesday that former football standouts Polo Manukainiu and Gaius Vaenuku were "loved and adored" at the school and throughout the community.
Manukainiu, Vaenuku and Lolo Uhatafe - a Euless Junior High student - died in a rollover crash Monday in New Mexico. Manukainiu graduated in 2012 and went to Texas A&M to play football, where he redshirted as a freshman. Vaenuku graduated this year and was headed to Utah on a football scholarship. Both Manukainiu and Vaenuku were defensive linemen.
"They were great, great kids," Harris said. "Great personalities. Not only were they physically bigger than life, but so were their personalities. They were loved and adored. They were kids you loved to send out as ambassadors for Trinity High School.
"We took as much pride in their being Trinity graduates as they did from being Trinity grads."
Harris said no officials plans for a ceremony to remember the students had been made, but he said Trinity students were planning on gathering at the school at 3 p.m.
Salesi Uhatafe, another Trinity graduate who is also a Utah signee - and Manukainiu's stepbrother - was injured in the crash. His father, Salesi, Sr., also survived.
Vaenuku was a member of SportsDay's 2012 all-area team after tallying 82 tackles and 12 sacks for Trinity. Manukainiu played sparingly as a senior in 2011 after tearing the PCL and MCL in his knee over the summer. He recorded 46 tackles, with six tackles for loss and two sacks.