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Posted 05 Aug 2001   For week ended July 27, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 01Aug01

By Mark Wright

LDS Quarterback Keeps Living While Teammate Makes NFL

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Fred Salanoa has discovered that the key to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you get. It would be easy for Salanoa to be bitter about the frequent distractions that have disrupted his collegiate football career, but Salanoa refuses to feel sorry for himself. Instead, he just keeps on enjoying life and taking it one day at a time. "I'm living my dream," he said. "My dream is to play collegiate football and that's what I'm doing."

Yes, it is true that Salanoa knows things could have gone much, much better, but he'll take just what he's got. He failed to qualify academically for college when he graduated from high school in Hawaii but now sports a a 3.8 grade-point average while completing a degree in therapeutic recreation. His former backup is now playing in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins while Salanoa is a 5-year senior quarterback at Eastern Washington, working during the summer as a volunteer trying to help inmates at the Hawaii State Penitentiary find better ways to spend their free time by involving them in various sports programs.

While Salanoa could have easily grown resentful of Josh Heupel, his former teammate who just happened into a golden opportunity at Oklahoma, he has chosen instead to feel joy in his friend's good luck and achievement. "I have no gripes about it," Salanoa said at the Big Sky Conference media day Tuesday. "Josh Heupel is a great guy. He was my roommate on the road. I learned a lot from him and, from what I've known, he's learned a lot from me. We still keep in touch and I'm happy for the guy." Even when injuries robbed him of the opportunity to gain greater recognition for his football skills, Salanoa didn't grumble or complain, he just worked harder. Barely three games into his first season at EWU, he severely injured his right knee and missed the rest of the season. Then, the next year, he suffered a concussion against Weber State and lost his starting job to fellow senior Chris Samms. Now, with a fifth and final year of eligibility, Salanoa knows this is the last chance he has to make his college football dreams come true. "To win a championship," he said. "That's our goal."

An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salanoa is happily married and has a 14-month-old daughter that is his pride and joy. Instead of dreaming of the NFL, Salanoa now hopes that his experience and connections to college football help him to land a job as a football coach someday. And even if he doesn't win a national championship for a national powerhouse college football program, Salanoa will simply move on. And no matter what else happens, for the rest of his life, Salanoa will remember that he achieved the dreams that he created for himself.


Salanoa Not Harboring Any Regrets
Salt Lake Tribune 24Jul01 S2
By Michael C. Lewis: Salt Lake Tribune


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