By Stephen Tsai
Outside linebacker Blaze Soares' comeback is nearly complete. More than 10 months after suffering a career-threatening torn ligament at the base of his left calf, Soares runs 100-yard sprints every other day at Cooke/Ching Field.
Under the guidance of strength coach Mel deLaura, Soares undergoes an intense strength and conditioning program.
He has lost 23 pounds, and now weighs 236.
Taking a couple of minutes from his training schedule, Soares talked story with the Warrior Beat.
How's the calf?
"You see me running. I'm doing good. I'm doing coach Mel's workouts every day. He's been getting me right. That's all I can ask for: a good strength coach. I'm working on getting my leg 100 percent."
Soares suffered the injury on the second day of training camp.
"It was a typical hitting drill. It was a freak accident. The Lord has a plan for us. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. Only the man upstairs knows."
On missing the entire 2008 season:
"It was very frustrating. It was hard to go to every game, and having to sit out. That's life. I'm sad to say I'm injury prone. I talked to (former UH running back) Nate Ilaoa. He said, 'Bro, you've just go to deal with it.' He was in the same situation as me. He knows what I'm going through."
"I love to hit. But, to me, I'm just another player trying to make my family and the state proud."
If the NFL dream doesn't pan out ...
"I'm glad I'm getting a college education. Coach Mack is giving me an opportunity to finish school. If I can't play (pro) football, I want to be an entrepreneur."
And away he goes ...
"I go to the Neighbor Islands (frequently) to get away from all of this craziness on O‘ahu. When you go to Maui or the Big Island or to Lanai, it's very peaceful. You can enjoy the country lifestyle. That's why I go all of the time. I visit a lot of family, go to the beach. I try to enjoy life. You only live it once. You never know when it's your last day. You have to live every day to the fullest."
He also can be found at the Tiki Entertainment studios.
"They have a new CD coming out. It's hybrid music. It's rap and reggae. I go into the studio and just cruise. I love music. I love making music. My friend Spooks is a rapper. Spooks Kahuna. Just call him Spooks. My friend Doug Farrar introduced me to his music. That's what I've been up to when I'm not training. Just cruising."
* * * * *
Kicker Scott Enos, who is enrolled in Summer Session I, practiced his placekicks yesterday: