It’s a University of New Mexico homecoming football game Alexander “Moana” Vainikolo will never forget. The UNM senior linebacker is playing against his hometown Saturday when the Lobos play the Hawaii Rainbows.
“I am about to go to war with my own people,” said Vainikolo. “It’s a test to see who has got a little more.” Vainikolo grew up watching the Rainbows. He even has a family member deeply ingrained into the program.
“Vili the warrior, the mascot, that’s my uncle,” said Vainikolo. So it’s exciting man.” Vainikolo is up for the task, coming off a strong performance in a 23-10 loss at Wyoming last week. Vainikolo had 9 tackles and a sack in the setback.
“What I hope for is, hopefully, they throw it my way,” said Vainikolo. “I’m just helping the team out the best way I can, but if they come my way they come my way and hopefully the regret it.”
Should the Lobos win, it would be their first conference win of the season. The Lobos are 0-3 in conference play and 2-5 overall. The game has a 2 p.m. start time at Dreamstyle Stadium Saturday.