Archive for March, 2008

Video of UH spring practice

March 31st, 2008

 Here's video of today's practice:

* * *

This is a sad day in Hawai‘i history.

If you've lived in Hawai‘i for a significant amount of time, you know somebody who works for Aloha Airlines. Its workers truly lived up to the company name.

The recent developments will have an impact on local sports. This will affect inter-island competition, make it more difficult for Neighbor Island fans to attend O‘ahu sporting events and, yes, hinder the way the UH football team travels. The Warriors used Aloha charters last year. With Hawaiian Airlines picking up much of the slack, will there be affordable charters for the Warriors this season?

But that is a concern for another time.

For now, let's mourn the downfall of a company that has served Hawai‘i well, and our prayers to employees who face an uncertain future.

* * *

In my 18 seasons covering the UH football team, I've learned that spring is a time for the young players to gain experience. This spring, "Ferd" and I will move to the side as our bright young journalists — Leila Wai, Kyle Sakamoto, Stanley Lee and Kalani Takase — showcase their enormous talent. They're the future, and trust me, they are very, very good. Look for their reports starting with today's opening of spring practice.

Time to spring forward

March 30th, 2008

For many UH football players, the most important season is spring.

"There are 20 or so scholarship guys, and it's time for them to step up," offensive coordinator Ron Lee said. "The honeymoon is over. They definitely need to step up. They'll get a good shot. This spring is huge for them."

Keep an eye on:

• Slotbacks Michael Washington and Aaron Bain. Both entered the program at the same time as Ryan Grice-Mullins and Davone Bess. The two slot positions are now open, and Washington and Bain have their one and only shot. Because they have not redshirted, they are entering their senior seasons.

• In the musical chairs that is the offensive-line rotation, fourth-year juniors Laupepa Letuli, Aaron Kia and Raphael Ieru have been left standing on the side. There were great expecations when they signed with UH in 2005. It's not too late.

• Two JC quarterbacks won't arrive until training camp, and Greg McMackin has promised both a shot at the starting job. There's no reason that Inoke Funaki, who enters spring ball as the No. 1 quarterback, can't hold onto the job with knockout workouts. The quarterback position is about leadership, and Fuanki is in the best position to win over his teammates.

• In team testing, C.J. Allen-Jones consistently puts up impressive numbers. For some reason, he could never secure significant playing time at outside linebacker. McMackin has been successful in converting outside linebackers into speed rushers. Maybe the same could happen to Allen-Jones, who has moved to defensive end.

• In January 2005, UH players couldn't stop talking about the charismatic recruit from the Bay Area. Even June Jones marveled at the recruit's personality. But Mario Cox had to wait to get academically cleared, and it deteriorated after that. He gets a third chance at running back. With his strength and toughness he could fit the role of power back in the revised four-wide offense.

• During a practice for the 2004 high school all-star game, the UH coaches declared Rocky Savaiigaea as their top local priority. With defensive tackle Fale Laeli recuperating from knee surgery, there is an opening for Savaiigaea.

• If Brashton Satele can stay healthy, he should be a force at middle linebacker. "He's dedicated himself in the weight room," defensive coordinator Cal Lee said. "That's what it takes. If you want to be good, don't lie in bed and dream about it. You have to work for it."

* * *

The numbers:

Power cleans — 318 pounds: Clarance Tuioti-Mariner, Blaze Soares, Ray Hisatake, Daniel Libre.

Squats — 610 pounds: Clarence Tuioti-Mariner. 500 pounds: Keith AhSoon, C.J. Allen-Jones, Austin Hansen, Jake Heun, Vaughn Meatoga, Rocky Savaiigaea, David Veikune.

Bench press — 455 pounds: David Veikune, R.J. Kiesel Kauhane. 435 pounds: Josh Leonard, Tuika Tufaga. 425 pounds — Vaughn Meatoga, Quentin Beaver.

Flex test — 10.5: MacArthur Cheek. 9.5: Nate Nasca.

Broad jump — 10-5: Ryan Mouton. 10-2: Kealoha Pilares.

Vertical jump — 39 inches: Ryan Mouton. 36.5 inches: Kealoha Pilares.

Starting point of spring

March 29th, 2008

Greg McMackin does not call it a depth chart. Instead, he refers to it as starting points. So entering spring practice, here are the guys who will open on the first team.

Left wideout — Greg Salas.

Left slotback — Michael Washington.

Left tackle — Ray Hisatake

Left guard — Keith AhSoon.

Center — John Estes.

Right guard — Clarence "Lafu" Tuioti-Mariner

Right tackle — Keoni Steinhoff.

Right slotback — Aaron Bain.

Right wideout — Malcolm Lane.

Quarterback — Inoke Funaki.

Running back — Daniel Libre/Leon Wright-Jackson.

Defensive left end — David Veikune.

Defensive left tackle — Josh Leonard (Fale Laeli is recovering from knee surgery).

Defensive right tackle — Keala Watson.

Defensive right end — John Fonoti.

Strong-side linebacker — Blaze Soares.

Middle linebacker — Solomon Elimimian.

Weak-side linebacker — Adam Leonard.

Left cornerback — Ryan Mouton.

Strong safety — Keao Monteilh (Erik Robinson is recovering from shoulder surgery).

Free safety — Desmond Thomas.

Right cornerback — JoPierre Davis.

* * *

Colt Brennan said he needs to add "a couple of more pounds" to be at his projected weight for Tuesday's Pro Day. He now weighs about 215.

Brennan, Davone Bess and Jason Rivers have been working out at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. That's the site for Pro Day.

This year, the running drills will be held on FieldTurf instead of grass.

Brennan said he will participate in the running drills. "It's the least important thing (for a quarterback)," Brennan said, but the scouts "still want you to do that stuff."

I'm sorry

March 28th, 2008

The day my father died, a family friend told me: "You're now the man of the house. You're responsible."

I was 12.

Thirty-five years later, as the leader of a different house, I take responsibility for the disastrous debut of the new Warrior Beat Web site.

When everyone from the leaders of the University of Hawai‘i to my wife tell me the new site just isn't working, I can feel the distress.

I apologize that the type is too small. I apologize that it takes too long to post. I apologize that posters have to take a math quiz. I apologize that there's no link on the main page. I've addressed your concerns with the techs. Until something is done, all I can say is: I'm sorry.

Special apologies to Jim Donovan and his staff. While they were gracious, it still was inconsiderate to have to make them wait . . . and wait ... and wait.

Jim Donovan chat moves to old site

March 28th, 2008

Jim Donovan will answer your questions on the old site at: