Lesatele goes on a wild ride
Lene Lesatele
Lene Lesatele
TBS Managing Editor
Posted Jan 11, 2011


Gahr High School linebacker and BYU commit Lene Lesatele expected to have fun with the many Cougar recruits gathered together at BYU this past weekend. What he didn't know was that fun would turn into a scary moment in the snowy back woods while he and his group were riding snowmobiles.

Although he's a new recruit himself, Snow Junior College transfer Preston Hadley hosted Lene Lesatele on his official recruiting trip this past weekend.

"He's pretty much new like us, but he was my host,” Lesatele said about Hadley. “He's from Snow J.C. and he was cool and we had a good time out there on campus."

As a football player, the 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound Lesatele is tough and fearless on the field. He throws his body around as if it wasn't his own. In fact, he even broke his arm during the season but still wanted to play. Little did Lesatele know he would meet his match in the form of the Wasatch Mountains.

"We went snowmobiling and I had a little accident," he said. "I hit a tree and it was embarrassing. When I hit the tree I got bruised and fell off."

However, that wasn’t the extent of his snowmobile mishaps.

"When I hit the tree that was the first accident," said Lesatele with a laugh in his voice. "Then later on I fell down a steep hill and went flying and hit some more trees. Man, I went flying and did a few flips. Man, I hit hard."

"We were split into different groups and my group was just chilling at the BYU basketball game," said defensive lineman commit Mosese Kaumatule, Lesatele’s roommate this past weekend. "When the other group came back I asked, 'Hey, where's Lene,' because he was my roommate. Then everyone's eyes got really big. They said, 'Oh man, you should have seen it. He crashed and got knocked out!"

Lesatele’s mishaps came despite receiving some advice from Kaumatule.

"The funny thing is we were talking about it the night before, and I was giving him some tips because I know how to snowmobile," Kaumatule said. "It's basically just like riding a bike, but I guess he got distracted or something and there was a sharp turn and [he] flew off the side of the mountain."

Apparently, Kaumatule forgot to warn him about stopping in time for sharp turns.

Right before the accident, Lesatele had been following behind Arizona recruit Aulelio Olomua, who was racing down the path when the group came up on a sharp turn in the road. Olomua was able to slow his snowmobile down enough to where he didn't go down the hill too far. However, like a lemming over a cliff, Lesatele wasn't as fortunate.

"I looked back and saw Lene flying through the air," Olomua said with a laugh. "He hit all the trees and did a few flips in the air and hurt his arm. He got knocked out for a little bit and was embarrassed that he couldn't help us push the snowmobile back up the mountain. He just kind of laid there apologizing while the rest of us got the snowmobiles out. It took us about an hour to get both of them out. He's a tough kid and I'm just glad he was alright."

"Yeah, [Olomua] went down the hill first and I couldn't stop in time," Lesatele said with a quiet voice. "He didn't go down as far and just kind of got stuck in the snow. I couldn't stop in time and just went flying right off the edge. It kind of sucked because that time I hurt my arm."

After ‘Mr. Lesatele's Wild Ride,’ he joined up with the rest of his group at the BYU vs. Air Force basketball game.

"That was a lot of fun and [Jimmer Fredette] is dang good, man,” said Lesatele. “We watched them give Air Force a beatdown. It was my first time being at a college basketball game and it was loud and crazy."

However, attending the game wasn’t all fun for Lesatele, as he received some ribbing from his future teammates.

"We were making fun of him, and when anyone joked about it he would tell them to shut up," said Kaumatule while laughing. "It was pretty funny. When he came in, everyone was giving him crap and he just put his head down like, 'Okay, go ahead.' He hurt his shoulder though from the accident, but I wouldn't have known it if he didn't say something about it. He's a cool kid."

Overall, the recruiting visit to BYU was a great success. Lesatele managed to get out of Provo bruised but alive, leaving only a few destroyed trees somewhere in the Wasatch. He is a solid commit to BYU despite a late but hard push by the coaching staff of Washington.

"Yeah, it was an awesome trip to BYU," Lesatele said. "Washington had been coming on hard, but I'm done with them. They're trying to offer me and get me to come out and visit there, but I'm just going to cancel that. I guess they need a linebacker and had been recruiting me pretty hard. Even after I committed to BYU they still recruited me pretty hard. I'm going to BYU for sure and there's no better place to be. I bleed blue and it's BYU all the way."


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