Editors Note- Nicolas does not spell his name with an "H" we have corrected all but the title so as not to break the story link as it is being widely shared!
When our friend Margie Cheencha Ah Sam asked us to look in on her Son in 2015 we did. Nicholas Ah Sam was a Junior and having a break out year as the best athlete on the Springfield Millers football team. Part of my extended family, Margie was the ultimate Mom and super fan and she drove her kids into sports through her passion and hope for a better future for them all.
She was one of the loudest and most boisterous and even outrageous Mom's ever! Margie's passion was not to be questioned and her love unconditional. The Samoan native raised her family and many others who came into her world and she did it without much money or help or resources. But she was so passionate and strong and her love drove that family forward; heading up and forward to a better place.
Her cheers and chants for Nicolas and all her kids were legendary. So too her famous posts on Facebook!
Boy she was Fun. Really a great example of God's work in human form.
That is why it was so hard to get the news that she passed away suddenly in October of 2017 right in the middle of the football season. Right after this post was made. Nick was just finally getting some love and moving ahead and Margie who was the wind behind his wings (Hurricane or "Afa" truly) was now gone.
No way he could continue, but he did. The family did...together.
The Sprigfield (Ore) community turned out and turned up by the hundreds at a memorial service and rallied around Nicolas and his 5 siblings. It was beautiful and poetic and cruel and kind and all things in between. The woman who loved them all so much was gone. Nick, a first team all State football and basketball player, was needed back on the fields and as hard as it was he pressed on. The Division 1 Safety who had been pressed into service as a QB put his heart on the line and attacked the field for the Millers.
You can Donate to a Fund set up by the Springfield Community to help these 5 amazing kids by clicking the picture below. NWPR has helped just today and hope you can too.
Nicolas took Margie with him game after game and laid down performance after performance on his way to being named 1st Team All State. The Miller's struggled during the season but this amazing young man lead a scrappy and tough group of kids every Friday racking up huge numbers. His ultimate effort came in the final game of the season against superbly tough Thurston.
In that game Nick threw for 175 yards and a TD and took off running for 282 yards and 4 more TD's. In the end he had posted 437 yards and had nothing left to give. The Millers came up short 39-36.
Thurston's Head Coach Justin Starck offered this at games end.
“We expected him to do that,” Starck said. “The only way we knew that we could stop it is to commit all 11 guys on our defense to him. We did as much as we could and still couldn’t contain him.”
"I kept thinking she would be in the endzone when I got there waiting for me,"said Nicolas as we talked about that night.
At seasons end Nick had run for 1400 yards and 20 Td's and thrown for 900 yards and another 4 all from his QB spot; not bad for a Safety.
With the season over and basketball on deck Nicolas had little time to think about recruiting. He is one of the State's best basketball players and took off in game 1 and has not looked back averaging 20 points per game.
With Margie watching over he and his siblings life went on. The community has gathered around them too. All season many wondered who would offer Nick and when it would happen because his ability was more then obvious. In December his first and main offer came from Coach Bruce Barnum and the PSU Vikings.
It turns out Coach Barnum had been monitoring the situation and wanted to reach out and make the Viking family part of the Ah Sam family.
Yesterday Nicolas pledged his future to the Viks. No doubt when he gets to the park blocks in Portland next Summer Margie will be with him shouting "Beast Mode" and a number of other patented phrases! She was one for the ages and her children carry her legacy forward in all they do.
Margie - Matou te alofa ia te oe.
Here is a 1 to 1 conversation we had with Nicolas- we will be rooting for him and the Viks next season!