Archive for November, 2009

Kenton wins tickets

November 30th, 2009
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Copy editor Christie Lee Williams (Aiea '85), not to be confused with Maui correspondent Christie Wilson or UH video coordinator Chris Williams, has picked Kenton as the winner of two tickets to the UH-Wisconsin game. Thanks for playing, and we'll be giving away more tickets this week. Kenton, please e-mail me at sstsai@hawaii.edu.

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Cornerback Travaun Nixon of Ventura College told the Warrior Beat he is joining the Warriors. Nixon is 6 feet and 190 pounds. He played in only seven games this past season, but made six interceptions. He will enroll at UH in January.

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Blaze Soares has been named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Week.

"I feel very thankful," Soares told the WB. "If it weren't for my teammates, it wouldn't be possible. Great team efforts help you get individual awards. I'm thankful. This is the first one of my career."

Soares is tomorrow's guest on the Warrior Beat Show.

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Today is the last day of hurricane season. Which means: we can now tap the hurricane relief fund to stave off furloughs.

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Anheuser-Busch donated $100,000 to UH today. In a round-about way, I think, Koakane probably deserves partial credit.

Who wants UH-Wisconsin tickets?

November 29th, 2009
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My pal, Christie Lee Williams, picked the winner ... Crystal.

Please e-mail me at sstsai@hawaii.edu, and Wena will mail you the tickets.

Please join us for tomorrow's contest.

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Well, that's the thing about sports. It's unpredictable. (Hey, the Warriors always  call a timeout when it's fourth-and-1, which is why I'm glad I didn't take my usual shi-shi break when they went for it in the fourth quarter. But I digress.) The point being is that it is regretful that many couldn't enjoy the ride the past four weeks. At the heart, football is about entertainment, and it certainly has been entertaining.

• Coach McMackin said to give credit for the defensive strategy to line coach Dave Aranda. Aranda called dozens of coaches across the country seeking answers to defending the triple-option attack. He studied hours of videos. And, as the play-caller, he made several adjustments, including having cornerback Jeramy Bryant defend the pitch. Bryant made a big backfield tackle in the fourth quarter.

• Aranda, in turn, credited Rich Miano, George Lumpkin, Cal Lee, Chris Tormey and Mike Smith.

• I think we're about to see an expanded role for Chizzy Dimude.

• Now fans know what they were missing when Blaze Soares was injured the past couple of years.

• I've always liked the idea of a national playoff in football. National titles should be won on the field. Then again, the bowl system fits UH best. In what other sport does a .500 team have a must-win regular-season finale? In Division I-A, there is justice for all.

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Who the heck put a video ad on the blog page? Scared the blueberries out of me.

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I've been in a lot of fender benders. There was prom night. (Sorry about the whiplash, Karyl Kurasaki.) There was the time I was dropping my kids off to school. Radio was on. Daughter was singing the Busta Rhymes' part; I was Mariah Carey. I closed my eyes at one point, opened them and — bam! — hit a van driven by my son's fourth-grade teacher. I told Devon: "I guess you're going to be repeating fourth grade." But I digress. Again. Point is sometimes we'll wait more than an hour for an officer to show up. Tiger Woods gets two visits from Florida state troopers for a relatively minor accident. Too bad it didn't occur in Hawai‘i.

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Jean Yuriko Kubo Tsai would have been 75 today. We miss you, Mom.

Game Day: Navy

November 28th, 2009
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For the Warriors, here are the keys:

• Win the coin toss. Then take the opening kickoff. This is a game for the offenses.

• Score on the opening drive. It might be another 8 minutes before the Warriors get the ball back. Navy is fourth nationally in time of possession, averaging 33 minutes, 38 seconds. UH is 73rd.

• Need big games from Spencer Smith and Mana Silva. They're patrolling the perimeters.

• If the ball is on the 1, everybody should go after Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs. He has 22 touchdowns this season. Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper told the Washington Post: "We're probably leading the country in guys falling down at the 1-yard line. I always tell our guys in meetings -- I joke around with it, but at the same time it's true — 'Hey guys, if you got a chance to score, you better score. Because if you don't score, you know what's coming next. We're giving the ball to the quarterback.' "

• Left tackle Aaron Kia should change his number. Maybe it's larynx memory, but the officials seem to call "77" too often, even when another might have committed the penalty.

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Quick response by UH officials. Two players suffered from flu-like symptoms. They were quarantined for a couple of days while being treated. They should be on the active roster today.

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After UH defeated Cal in 1993, we were walking to the parking lot when we saw two Cal players limping, with ice packs on their knees, shins and ankles. We asked what happened. They said it was from cut blocks. Poor bastards, we thought. Now UH gets to face the same blocks today. The circle of life.

America's team

November 27th, 2009
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From today's practice:

Head coach Ken Niumatalolo:

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Today's motto:

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Everything is neatly labeled:

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Each Friday practice concludes with a hit-the-crossbar competition. It's offense against defense. Niumatalolo chooses the passers:

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Here's what I like about Navy:

• It traveled by commercial flights, from Maryland to Dallas to here.

* It is staying at a regular hotel in Waikiki.

* It brought 74 players. Not sure why UH limited its travel roster to 66 for last year's Florida game, or this year's Seattle-Las Vegas trip.

* It practices hard (in a driving rain) and lets its players enjoy themselves (several were seen lounging on Waikiki Beach yesterday).

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If  a player misses at least two seasons because of injuries, he usually is a candidate for a sixth year.

It is well documented middle linebacker Brashton Satele missed the 2005 season, his first at UH, because of various injuries. And, yes, he would have played if healthy. June Jones tried to play many of the freshmen that year — Fonoti, Fruean, Leonard, Elimimian, Davis, Letuli, Cox, etc..

And it is well documented that Satele had season-ending surgery this past August.

Here's the dilemma: Satele is set to earn his bachelor's degree next month. UH has not even started the process of pursuing an exemption that would allow him to play as a sixth-year senior.

If he has a strong case, he needs to enroll as a graduate student for the spring semester. If not, it would benefit UH if he ceded his scholarship, allowing the team to give it to a mid-year transfer. While many believe he has a strong case, his family hasn't received any indication either way.

What to do?

And if anybody knows the answer, let Blaze Soares, Rocky Savaiigaea and Laupepa Letuli know.

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Happy birthday to Mahina Chillingworth.

Turkey tales

November 26th, 2009
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Nice practice today. I would use the word "animated" but Jim Donovan told me I use that to describe every Thursday practice.

Anyway, Bryant Moniz was passing well, so he should be good to go. Jovonte Taylor had a nice kickoff return for a touchdown. And the Warriors worked on their new defensive scheme.

During the kick return drill, Brian Blumberg was about to attempt a kickoff. But the coaches wanted Scott Enos to make the kick. So they yelled for Blumberg to get out of there. Naturally, his teammates gave him grief, always yelling: "Get out of there, Blumberg!" And when he was summoned for a field-goal attempt, they yelled: "Are you sure you're supposed to be in there, Blumberg?"

Later, linebacker Blaze Soares said to announce that it's defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea's birthday in the blog. I said, OK. Turns out it's not Rocky's real birthday. Blaze explains that Rocky's, uh, high butt gives the appearance of a turkey tail. Nice.

OK, it was an animated practice.

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A student manager demonstrates her gobble-gobble dance:

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Despite the heavy downpour, Navy practiced for about 90 minutes at Aloha Stadium yesterday. (The Midshipmen have practices scheduled there tonight and tomorrow.) It's good to know that we have an all-weather military.

It also was good to see head coach Ken Niumatalolo and Ivin Jasper back in the islands. Jasper overcame a tough background — "I had a lot of  great support," he said — and it's cool to see that play-callers Jasper and UH's Nick Rolovich are UH graduates.

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This is how much fun the triple-option can be:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBG_2JO12WE

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How rainy was it last night? Kanoa Leahey, soaked to what became a disco-era shirt, mistook Princess Leila for a cameraman named "Kenny." And your blog host, proving that bachi lives, took his umbrella and headed for the dugout ... where he hydrofoiled down the steps. Back is sore, but the head is fine, thus avoiding a fourth concussion and another game-time decision. Darren Hernandez, who was sitting in the dugout, did say: "You OK?"

Here's Kanoa:

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Here's Princess "Kenny"

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