Archive for August, 2008

Paying my union dues

August 24th, 2008
By



It is with much regret and sadness that I will be taking a break from blogging.
Several non-bloggers — Mike Gordon, Dan Nakaso, Wayne Harada, Paul Kuromoto and Chris Neil — called for a temporary blog shutdown.
I don't usually pay attention to those who try to direct from the shadows. (I'm still waiting for someone to say "thanks" for my previous two blog shutdowns.) But my other co-workers are my family, and in support of the six unions representing The Advertiser employees, I have agreed to take a temporary break from blogging.
The hiatus will begin tomorrow.
I will continue to have daily reports on the Warriors in the paper and online editions. I also will be following the team to Atlanta and then Florida. If there are any updates, they will be posted on the breaking news section.
In accordance with newspaper policy, I will not participate in nor promote any other site during the hiatus.
For updates on tailgate parties, cattle calls, and karaoke events, please contact Liz Kauai at (808) 482-0133, Stretch at (808) 864-3148, SteveM at (808) 537-9815.or Kekoa at (916) 996-0410.
You also may call me at (808) 525-8051 or e-mail me at sstsai@hawaii.edu for updates and additional news on Warrior football.

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And our winners are:
UH football media guide (donated by Stretch) — Hawaiianbod.
• June Jones Fondation Celebrity Golf Classic program autographed by Jones, Jesse Sapolu and Reagan Mauia — Pride, who then donates it to Kekoa.
Sugar Bowl Whiteout poster — Jack Flash.
Two field passes (donated by Stretch) — Liz Kauai.
Autographed Arizona Cardinal cap (donated by MeiLing) — Florida Ted.

Call Stretch for the guide, autographed program and field passes. Call me for the cap and poster.

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Here's that autographed program:

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Here's the drawing for the field passes. The hand with the huge diamond ring belongs to JuJu. The other hand is Seryna Ko's.

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Hey, I'm just going to empty out the photo album. Here's Liane with her prize for being a top saleswoman:

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Here's our pal Kortney, who is going on maternity leave Friday. She's a big UH football fan:

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And here's my former Roosevelt classmate Janet, who helps run the UH Alumni Association. She was at the Pigskin Pigout. She also was on the selection committee that picked Bob Nash.

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Mr. Neatnik — UH softball coach Bob Coolen — was a happy fella Saturday. It was the first volunteer clean-up day on campus. More than 100 coaches and staff did yardwork, picked up trash and painted. Coolen signed up for every category.

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Back to football. Sort of. Here are the Warriors are practicing the new ha‘a.

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Slotback Dustin Blount has his helmet properly fitted with air.

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And as I go on my temporary blog break, I leave you with this image:

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Seeing red

August 23rd, 2008
By



Today's three-hour practice will be the final evaluation period as the coaches determine, 1) the now 66-player travel roster to Florida, and 2) which players will redshirt this season.
The key redshirt candidates include slotbacks Ryan Henry and Dustin Blount, wideout Mike Tinoco and outside linebacker Paipai Falemalu.
All four have played well in training camp. But there are four set players for the two slotback positions — seniors Aaron Bain and Michael Washington, and underclassmen Kealoha Pilares and Jon Medeiros.
By redshirting, Henry and Blount — both junior-college transfers — would have an additional year to accumulate college credits toward graduation and to learn the system. After that, they still would have two years of eligibility remaining.
The scenario could change if the Warriors continue to lose running backs to injuries, and Pilares has to move back there.
Tinoco, a JC transfer, is in the same situation as Henry and Blount. The Warriors are deep at wideout, especially since Nate Nasca, who has one year to play one season, has been impressive there since moving from slotback. Nasca will appeal for another season.
Because of injuries, Falemalu has been a No. 2 outside linebacker for most of training camp. He also is a starter on a couple of special teams. But he is a freshman with a redshirt year to burn. Linebackers Adam Leonard, Solomon Elimimian and Tyson Kafentzis are seniors.
A player is eligible to redshirt as long as he does not appear in any game that season.

Rausch won't practice until Monday

August 22nd, 2008
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No. 1 quarterback Brent Rausch was withheld from practice today because of a slight strain in the right forearm and biceps of his throwing arm.
Head coach Greg McMackin said Rausch will not make any throws, not even in warmups, during tomorrow's practice. The Warriors do not practice Sunday. McMackin said Rausch is expected to practice Monday.
Greg Alexander took all of the snaps with the No. 1 offense today.
But McMackin said that if Rausch "is 100 percent, he's our starter. He's No. 1."
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Running back David Farmer has been diagnosed with a strained knee. He will not require surgery.
"Which is really good news," McMackin said. "It's not as serious as we thought. I don't know the (recovery) timeline. He just has to rehab it."

UH will reinstate Graunke

August 21st, 2008
By



Quarterback Tyler Graunke will be reinstated to the team, head coach Greg McMackin said today.
He had been withheld from team activities since Aug. 4 because of "academic issues."
He resolved those issues this past weekend, according to his father, Jeff Graunke.
Because Graunke must undergo medical examinations and attend NCAA-mandated orientation sessions, he will not travel to Florida for the Aug. 30 season opener.
McMackin said he will take only three quarterbacks — Brent Rausch, Greg Alexander and Inoke Funaki.
“I’m happy for Tyler,” McMackin said. “He’s taken care of things, and will be able to play. ... (But) I wish he would have been eligible (for the first practice) Aug. 4, when the rest of the 104 athletes were.”

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The Warriors held their first — and only — scrimmage of the preseason today at Aloha Stadium. To simulate game conditions, they piped in amplified "crowd" noise. The Warriors also unveiled their new ha‘a. On the down note, running back David Farmer suffered an apparent knee injury. He will undergo an MRI tonight.

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One of the players told me that he felt the 2006 offense was the best in UH history. Statistically, it was the most pass-efficient offense in NCAA history. The key pass-catch figures were Colt Brennan, Davone Bess, Ryan Grice-Mullins, Jason Rivers, Ross Dickerson, Chad Mock and Ian Sample. The running backs were Nate Ilaoa and Reagan Mauia. The starting offensive linemen were Tala Esera, Hercules Satele, Samson Satele, John Estes and Dane Uperesa.
I imagine it could be argued the 2006 Warriors were the best overall. The defensive ends were Melila Purcell III and Ikaika Alama-Francis. Leonard Peters and Jacob Patek were the safeties. There was so much depth at linebacker that a healthy Blaze Soares was limited to a handful of snaps against Oregon State.
And Marissa Bonilla was a student manager.
Any thoughts?

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Happy birthday to Ralph.

Breaking camp

August 20th, 2008
By



The Warriors practiced for two hours today, beginning at 7 a.m., their earliest start of training camp. Defensive end John Fonoti and defensive tackle Fale Laeli resumed practicing today. After practice, the Warriors broke training camp, officially moving out of the dance studios.

Dan "The Iceman" Kelly packs up:

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Quarterback Shane Austin folds his sheets before departing:

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The best part of the end of camp? The training table is served in Stan Sheriff Center, which is next to the locker room. During training camp, they had to walk to the student cafeteria overlooking the grass practice field.

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Another practice, another ice treatment. Quarterback Inoke Funaki referred to himself as "The Iceman With A Tan."

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Congrats to Rob DeMello. He and his wife will become parents March 10.