Experiencing the spotlight


McKinley High School varsity players (left to right) Francis Leasiolagi, Ezekiel Samuelu, Travis Tanuvasa-Filipo, Alexandria Buchanan, Stephen Martin, Damian Tinay, Kinson Esa, Zephaniah Vulivalu, Iulio Atonio, Jomari Locquiao and Tamatoa Aga. Photo by DePaul (Mutu) Leuta.

Alexandria Buchanan, editor


Ever since Aug. 19, I have had interviews, articles and recognition for simply scoring a touchdown. This newfound “spotlight” has been focused on “McKinley’s girl quarterback” or “Alexandria Buchanan from McKinley,” and I don’t believe it is right for me to have so much attention.

My intentions when joining the football team were never to make state or national news. This “fame,” as some have called it, was completely unexpected. What I did was no extraordinary task. I threw a touchdown, which many quarterbacks on the island have done and will continue to do long after I finish playing. The only difference is I am a girl, and although it may be considered unusual, it is not amazing.

What many have not noticed is the amount of time, effort and dedication put in by my teammates, coaches, team managers and supporters. Without all of them, I would not have had the opportunity to play, let alone “make history.”

The attention has been mostly positive, yet there have been negative comments made from people as well. I have never claimed to be a great quarterback, nor the best we have at MHS, and I never asked for the amount of attention I received. I am a sophomore, who did not have a full season of playing tackle football until this year, now starting for the varsity team.

I do not want to sound like I am making excuses or complaining about the negativity. Every statement made about my stats has been accurate, and I can not argue facts. All I ask from everybody is patience and time. I have two more years, and I can guarantee progress in my performance.

Nevertheless, I realize how blessed I am to have the encouragement of so many. The most important thing I have gained from this experience is my teammates’ and coaches’ trust and the confidence I now have in my own abilities. My record is far from perfect, but now I know I can make things happen. I hope to encourage and be a role model for others.

It’s been a crazy ride, and I truly hope everyone realizes how much their support impacts me, whether I know you personally or not. Most importantly, thank you to my friends and family for their constant support. I want to thank my teammates, on both the JV and varsity teams, and my coaches, whose faith pushes me and allows me to do what I love. More specifically, thank you to my linemen, who don’t get as much attention as the other positions, but play one of the most important roles on the team.

Overall, I have become a stronger player and person through this experience. I have learned so much and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this team. We broke our losing streak, and I am positive we will do so much more this upcoming season. Mahalo everybody, and keep a look out for us, Tigers, we aren’t even close to being finished yet.