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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Keep an eye on: DL Thomas Toki

By Mason Kelley

If Thomas Toki (Kirkland, Wash./Juanita) wants to train, he calls his teammates.

Whether it is working in the weight room, on the practice field or training at the Barton Football Academy's elite events, the 6-foot-1, 280-pound sophomore is frequently joined by Juanita standouts Paul Finau, a freshman, and Vere Waqaituinayau, a sophomore.

After school, and on the weekend, the teammates push each other to get better.

“It’s really important, because I have someone to work with when I don’t have anything to do,” the defensive lineman said.

Toki, like his teammates, has already enjoyed success at an early age. He caught the attention of Washington’s coaching staff, earning a trip to the program’s junior day.

As he continues to work on his game, he is also working hard in the classroom.

“Get good grades, focus on schools, because football is a given for me,” Toki said. “I don’t want school to be the reason I can’t go to college. That’s what happens to so many athletes.”

Quick for his size, Toki is capable of playing on both sides of the ball. He focused his attention on defense as a sophomore, but might see some time on offense next season.

He wants to add interest so he can start earning offers. He knows his talented teammates will continue to push him as he works toward his goal.

“When I need to get better, they’re around,” Toki said.