At Punahou, Elia won 10 letters: two in football, two in track, one in baseball, two in tennis and three on the Rifle Team.
As a 16 year old junior, Elia was the key player of the Punahou football team’s single-wing offense. At left halfback, he was the principle runner, passer, punter and point-after kicker. He was an excellent pass receiver. He kicked off, played safety on defense, and was the punt and kick-off receiver. He was the premier triple-threat player in the ILH league playing both offense and defense. His punts consistently exceeded 50+ yards. He was a hard-running, elusive back with the potential to score from anywhere on the field. This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1992 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.
He once ran a 76 yard punt return to score against Kamehameha. Respected and feared by all ILH teams, he was team captain and unanimous All-Star selection in his senior year. His senior coach, the legendary Bill Wise, considered Elia among the finest passers and all-around football players he had ever coached.
In track he placed in the 100 and 220 yard sprints and the 1/2 mile relays. His potential as a baseball pitcher in his senior year was cut short by the advent of WWII.
After graduation in 1942, Elia enrolled at Stanford University and immediately won a berth on the freshmen football team. In 1943 he joined the Marine Corps and was send to OCS at the University of California. Following his stint in the military, he returned to Stanford in 1946, graduating in 1948. Football was out so he joined the boxing team, winning three letters in ’46, ’47 and ’48. At 175 pounds he boxed as a light-heavy and heavyweight. He was noted for his formidable punching ability and won several titles.
Elia is currently Chairman of the Board of Long and Melone, a successful escrow company. He enjoys tennis and deep sea fishing.