COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- The Texas A&M football team will honor the memory of fallen teammate Polo Manukainiu (man-ooh-ky-ee-NEE-ew) with a helmet sticker that reflects his Tongan heritage, the school announced on Tuesday.
The Aggies, who open against Rice on Saturday, will wear the circular decal with Manukainiu’s #90 jersey and his first name on it. Inset in the jersey number will be a Tongan-inspired design. The Aggies will wear the decal throughout the 2013 season.
Texas A&M equipment manager Matt Watson said, “We wanted to come up with a tribute to Polo as a player, but also reflect a bit of his personality as well. After talking with several of his friends and family it was evident how much Polo’s Tongan heritage meant to him. After trying to incorporate partial elements of Polo’s actual Tongan Tribal arm tattoos we came up with this design that hopefully his family, friends, and teammates will deem a fitting and personal reflection to who he was both on and off the playing field.”
Manukainiu, from Euless, Texas, died along with two other passengers in a tragic automobile accident on July 29, 2013.