Archive for March, 2009

WAC hates UH: 2009 schedule is released

March 31st, 2009

From UH:
Sept. 4          CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Sept. 12        at Washington State
Sept. 19        at UNLV
Sept. 30        at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 10         FRESNO STATE*
Oct. 17         at Idaho*
Oct. 24         BOISE STATE*
Oct. 31         at Nevada*
Nov. 7          UTAH STATE*
Nov. 14        NEW MEXICO STATE*
Nov. 21        at San Jose State*
Nov. 28        NAVY
Dec. 5           WISCONSIN

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Just because there's no practice, it doesn't mean there are no workouts. The Warriors ran sprints and lifted weights this morning. Here's a picture of Waylon Lolotai, Alasi Toilolo, Victor Core and Elliott Purcell:


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And here's defensive end Aaron Rink:


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And here's offensive lineman Austin Hansen:


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And here's offensive lineman Matagisila Lefiti's new tattoo:


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For the first practice, the offensive line looked sharp yesterday. In part, it was new coach Gordy Shaw's emphasis on fundamentals and techniques. Often, he would stop a drill to offer pointers. He also has that knack of being able to observe several blockers at once.
But the main reason for the improvement is the line's overall good health. Last spring, center John Estes was hindered by a hamstring injury suffered while running the 40-yard dash. Tackles Aaron Kia and Laupepa Letuli and guard Raphael Ieru had a variety of injuries. Now they look fine.

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Wideout Rodney Bradley said he still is adjusting to the offense. He's grateful for being a mid-year transfer, which gives him an extra semester of work.

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Wideout Royce Pollard, listed as the backup to Malcolm Lane on the right side, appears poised for a breakout season.

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Agent Kenny Zuckerman alerts us to this Sporting News article, which mentions Ryan Mouton:

Here's an excerpt:

10. Ryan Mouton, Hawaii (5-9, 187)
Mouton is not a well known prospect by the media, but NFL personnel men have started to move him up draft boards this spring. He is an athletic cornerback with the foot quickness and explosiveness to close on passes in a flash, and he has the ball skills to break up passes. He also is a competitive player who flies upfield to deliver violent tackles. He should be a nickel cornerback as a rookie and a starter in time.


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A very happy birthday to Colomaohana.


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Also, happy birthyday to JeJe (pictured  left, next to Kazz and JoJo):


Play ball!

March 30th, 2009

The Warriors opened spring training today:


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As part of the warmups, players had to roll, stand and then sprint. Here's offensive tackle Brett Leonard:


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And here's Brett Leonard getting ready to block in one-on-one drills:


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Here's left tackle Aaron Kia:


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This morning, there was an hour-long team meeting, followed by position meetings. Here's defensive end Victor Clore:


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Here's defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea:


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Here's defensive end (and potential tight end) Antwan "Tua" Mahaley:


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Here's offensive tackle Brett Leonard:


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Here's Inoke Funaki:


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A blogger took head trainer Eric Okasaki's photo.
He said: "This better not appear on the blog."
And the blogger laughed and laughed ...


A step in their spring

March 29th, 2009

This is a big spring for:
• Offensive lineman Laupepa Letuli. He is talented enough to have earned auditions at left tackle, left guard, tight end, running back and defensive end. But injuriies have prevented him from ever having a healthy training camp. Now a senior, he get his shot at right tackle.
• Defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea. At the all-star practices in December 2004,, Rocky Savaiigaea was regarded near the top of the Warriors' wish list. And that was in a recruiting class that eventually would include Colt Brennan, Davone Bess, John Estes, Letuli, Aaron Kia, R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane, Brashton Satele, and so forth. He's never really played much because of injuries. This is his last chance.
• Middle linebacker Brashton Satele. He became a starter last year. This year, he becomes a leader. There's a difference.
• Safety Spencer Smith. He's the only remaining Jerry Glanville recruit.  While Aaron Brown and Lametrius Davis are expected to contend for starting jobs, Smith has the advantage. Brown does not arrive until this summer, and Davis is going to work at corner for the first part of spring practice. Smith has been in the system three years, and this spring he gets to work under Chris Tormey.
• Kicker Brett Symonds. Symonds certainly has the leg, but there's a message when  UH decided to bring in a preferred walk-on this summer, and pursued a kicker who just committed to Georgia.
• The 15 or so walk-ons on the bubble who are  hoping to stick around past the Green-White Game. The Warriors will have to make some cuts to make room for the newcomers.

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Happy birthday to one of our favorite coaches, Dee Wisneski.


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Hey, some of our readers showed up at the softball game yesterday:


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My daughter missed her flight out of D.C. this morning, which meant she got to hang out on the East Coast another day. Which meant she could take this sorta cool picture of the cherry blossoms.


It's Ieru's turn

March 28th, 2009

Oft-injured Raphael Ieru will get the first shot at playing right guard.
Although he is bracketed with Brysen "Bulla" Ginlack on the depth chart, Ieru will get the first-team reps in Monday's first practice.
It's been a steep ascent for Ieru, who always seemed to have problems related to a knee injury he suffered as a freshman. Now he is relatively healthy.

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The Warriors won't do any heavy hitting until their third practice — Saturday, April 4.

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The football team could use some material to rebuild the platform on the portable tower used to shoot video of practices.

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Happy birthday to the wonderful and lovely Liz Kauai. She's been the rock of our blog during an often  rocky year. I'm forever grateful for her kindness and hard work (and also for running our cool alternate site).


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Belated congrats to Brie (center) for being named to the ILH padding all-star team.


Everything's set

March 27th, 2009

Greg McMackin said the coaches have scripted every drill for the 15 practices of spring training. The first practice is at 4 p.m. Monday.

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And there's a happy ending. Richard Torres has agreed to give up No. 11, enabling Inoke Funaki to finish his career with that jersey number. They're both Kahuku High graduates, by the way.

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Chris Williams will serve as the interim video coordinator. Williams is a former UH linebacker. His most memorable act was in front of the cameras. Before a statewide television audience during the softball team's Senior Day ceremony, Williams proposed to Kaulana Gould.

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After a very brief experiment at running back, Bryce Kalau‘oka‘a‘ea is back at quarterback.
"That's where my calling is," said Kalau‘oka‘a‘ea, a former Castle standout. "That's where I belong."
He missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL. He said he is healthy now.
He joins a crowded field. The top of the depth chart goes like this: Greg Alexander, Brent Rausch and Shane Austin. Those three will get the majority of the reps in team drills.
Limited work will go to Kalau‘oka‘a‘ea, Steele Jantz and Bryant Moniz. In fall training, three freshmen join the competition.
"I don't mind," Kalau‘oka‘a‘ea said. "It's actually going to push me into doing my best, being up against guys who also are hungry for that position."