Eastside Bulldogs offensive/defensive lineman James Taupule is an imposing individual on the gridiron.
The 20-year-old Taupule, who is 6-feet, 2-inches tall and 375 pounds, was part of the Bulldogs football squad last season which captured its second consecutive Northwest Junior College Football League championship courtesy of a comeback 36-32 win against the Lewis-Clark Valley Loggers in November of 2016. Taupule said it was the first time he’d ever been part of a championship team in his entire life.
“I don’t know how to describe it. It was so fun. That energy when you are losing and then out of nowhere it kicks in and you start winning, I loved it,” Taupule said of the comeback triumph in the championship contest.
The leader of the Bulldogs in the trenches hopes his team can win the NWJCFL championship for the third consecutive season.
“We’re ready. We want to go undefeated,” he said.
The 2017 football season will be one of the first times in Taupule’s football career where he is one of the elder-statesman between the white lines.
“I’m not used to being a leader like that but I like it. When you have people that look to you, that is a good feeling,” Taupule said. “All of the lineman are really cool.”
Recently the Bellevue Reporter had an opportunity to ask Taupule a few questions about his life away from the football field.
Bellevue Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?
James Taupule: “Life”. It hits you. There is a big meaning to that movie. There is a lot of classic actors (Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence) in there.
BR: What is your favorite kind restaurant in Western Washington?
JT: Pho. I like the fried rice there.
BR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
JT: I like to draw and weld. I work a job as a welder right now. It is fun.
BR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?
JT: My mom and dad. They mean a lot to me.
BR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?
JT: The Seattle Seahawks are my team.
BR: What is your biggest pet peeve?
JT: I really don’t know. I try to get used to things and just adapt to my surroundings. I really don’t know what my biggest pet peeve is.
BR: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
JT: I just hope I got my stuff together and am taking care of my family.
BR: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
JT: I would get a car and then buy my parents a house.