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Hunkin’s character, talent adds strong presence up front for Skyline

Photo courtesy of Skyline Football
Photo courtesy of Skyline Football

Skyline junior lineman Fa’aMalu Hunkin wants to make it out for everyone in his family.

Hunkin sees the life he and his family are living right now. He wants to be the on to change it. He wants to be the one that paves a better tomorrow for all of his loved ones. He wants to be the one to make everyone’s dreams possible.

So, whenever the new Skyline Titan steps on the field, that’s what he aims to do.

“What motivates me every day is the type of life I’m living right now,” Hunkin said. “The life that I’m living right now is very hard, for not only me, but my family. And I just want to make it out for all of us. It makes me push harder on the field. It makes me push myself.”

Football is Hunkin’s life, ever since he made is first tackle as a 9-year old.

It’s the sport that has done everything for him, and it’s one he hopes to create an opportunity to play collegiate sports with. 

“Whenever there’s tough times I’m going through, football is like my way of getting away,” Hunkin said. “It’s a stress reliever, and it’s helped me a lot physically as well, keeping my healthy. My mentality wasn’t always strong when I came into football when I’ve always pushed myself. My mentality has just got stronger.”

And Hunkin is as strong as it gets. Not only as a football player either.

When Hunkin made the move to Skyline from Oakland High School after Oakland’s season was canceled, one thing was evident to Titans head coach Joe Bates, whose program is coming off its best season since 2004. 

“What stands out about Malu from my first encounter with him coming in this week, his patience, his discipline, his respect and his standards, his academic excellence, his standards that he has instilled naturally,” Bates said. “Also, his parents support. That kind of stands out too. Just those qualities alone. 

“The character is off the charts, so he blends in well with what we’ve got going on. I’m excited about it. I’m excited that he ended up continuing his education and wanting to play sports at Skyline.”

In the classroom, Hunkin’s GPA sits above a 3.2. He knows that if his grades aren’t there, he can’t play football and the opportunities to play college football won’t be there.

So, Hunkin strives for success in everything he does, and Bates loves that characteristic and his overall leadership capabilities. 

“Even these football coaches are like, ‘Hey, Malu is up at Skyline now.’ I’m like, ‘Man, I know. He popped up on us,’” Bates said. “And they’re like, ‘That guy right there is something else. He definitely can add to what you guys have got going on.’ The references that are pouring in for him and his brother and his family are off the charts. I’m excited to have that in the locker room to be honest with you.”

Currently, Skyline is 1-1 in Hunkin’s first two games and coming off a 21-0 shutout of Oakland Tech.

Once the season is over, Bates is excited to see how the recruiting goes for Hunkin. He plans to take him to some camps over the summer, and the showcase scene should certainly be a boost, too.

Plus, the highlights are already there on the tape. More film this year should lend itself to more exposure. 

With athletes like Hunkin, Tyher Howard, Lucas Gerbelot and others along the defensive line in the 2022 class, Bates expects an electric Signing Day next year.

“He can definitely be a gamechanger in the big ‘22 class that we have with Tyher, big Manny, Lucas – all those guys we’ve got in the class of ‘22. DeMarco,” Bates said. “He’s just adding to it. I’m hoping to have a big, long table. I probably need an eight-footer or two six-foot tables at Signing Day next year.”

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