The University of Hawaii started their college football season today in honor of a teammate that died in July, Scheyenne Sanitoa.
Before the game started, the fan Facebook page for the Hawaii Warriors posted a touching tribute to the late player.
In that tribute, the post said he “passed away on the 4th of July at the way too young age of 21.” They then sent thoughts to his friends, family and teammates.
Ahead of the season kick-off later today it feels appropriate to mention. Hawaii linebacker Scheyenne Sanitoa. Scheyenne unfortunately passed away on the 4th of July at the way too young age of 21. My thoughts continue to be with his family, friends, and teammates. pic.twitter.com/jtBRk0xB16
— Hawai'i Warriors UK (@HawaiiUK) August 24, 2019
Scheyenne Sanitoa cause of death
Scheyenne Sanitoa died at the age of 21, and according to ESPN at the time, there was no cause of death mentioned.
According to the University of Hawaii, Sanitoa’s death did not take place on campus and he was not involved in any team or athletic department activities.
However, a Facebook post by Jahlani Tavai makes it sound like a tragic passing. In his tribute post, Tavai said that he couldn’t get his head around the death of Scheyenne Sanitoa.
“To anyone reading this, if you’re going through anything or ever need help, always know there’s someone there for you,” he wrote. “For all my loved ones, I’m always here to be that open ear and help for you! Rest in Love uso!”
As a teammate and friend, it sounds like he knows the cause of death and it makes Scheyenne Sanitoa’s death even sadder.
Can’t get my head around this…to anyone reading this, if you’re going through anything or ever need help, always know there’s someone there for you! For all my loved ones, I’m always here to be that open ear and help for you! Rest in Love uso! Alofa atu uso Scheyenne!!! https://t.co/mkczOzjaeK
— Jahlani Tavai (@tavai31) July 5, 2019
Scheyenne Sanitoa’s brother also left a message on Twitter shortly after his death.
According to Eddie Siaumau-Sanitoa, he had spoken to his brother about his own football debut and how they were going to make their family proud.
I just can’t believe bro!!!! We literally talked about my first college game and how we are going to make the family proud😔 I ain’t stopping now big bro. I just can’t believe like damn😞 Lord pls be with my family🙏🏽 #RipBigBro😔 #SANITOA pic.twitter.com/DOChSzVvrY
— Eddie Siaumau-Sanitoa (@EddieSiaumau1) July 5, 2019
The Hawaii Warriors
Hawaii brought in campus counselors to help students deal with the tragic death of Scheyenne Sanitoa.
— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) July 5, 2019
The Hawaii Warriors opened the 2019 NCAA college football season without Scheyenne Sanitoa in their lineup. However, he was not forgotten.
Taking on the Arizona Wildcats, Hawaii came out on fire to start the game, and while Arizona came back they are playing to win. At the time of this writing, Hawaii was fighting and held a 28-21 lead at halftime.