Washington State DL will get back one very big piece for the Apple Cup it didn’t have in Boulder … its coach

IF YOU THOUGHT the Cougar defensive line looked out of sorts last weekend in Boulder, this might help explain why. Because unlike the Apple Cup on Friday, the Washington State d-line this past Saturday was missing one very, very big piece.

Turns out, WSU was missing its heart and soul on the defensive line in Colorado.

Its leader.

Joe Salave'a was not on the WSU sidelines last weekend.

The Cougar d-line coach was instead in American Samoa for the funeral of his father, sources tell CF.C.

Joe’s father, Otela Mitimaauga (Miti) Salave’a, passed away after a long illness in October.  It is not uncommon for a funeral to take place weeks after the death of a respected figure in America Samoa, in order to allow for people far and wide to come pay their respects -- although this took even longer than what is customary.

Joe’s father was a highly respected figure in the community.

In the village of Leone, “Miki” to his many friends, served as the vice principal at Leone High.

“You didn’t fool around in school when he was there,” Dan Pritchard told CF.C back in October.  (CouGreat Jack Thompson refers to Pritchard as his mentor).

“Miki was always known as a disciplinarian. He was respected, he was big and strong … and the title he had in Leone -- he was the spokesman for the village, in the village council,” said Pritchard.

Salave’a is now back with the Cougs and will be on the sidelines for the Apple Cup on Friday (12:30 pm, Fox).

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