Archive for August, 2010

The beginning is near ...

August 31st, 2010
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Not sure how the offensive line will do. 

Can't make a guess on the Warriors' pass rush. 

But I know this for sure: The haka is the best it's ever been. 

Nobody is trying to hide in the back, least of all the freshmen. The one thing that a UH official wondered was: If this is a team chant, why aren't the coaches involved? Why indeed?

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The Warriors appeared to have correctly handled running back Alex Green's medical situation, holding him out for about a week before allowing him to resume practicing the past Thursday. Green had suffered a concussion from a non-football accident. The NCAA has implemented stricter guidelines in dealing with concussions — conditions the UH medical staff met in enforcing Green's care. 

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The area near the entrance of the grass practice field is known as Tommy's Corner, where strength coach Tommy Heffernan makes injured players do exercises, such as sit-ups and push-ups, while their teammates practice. Lately, there are about a couple of players assigned there. That's what happens in the days leading to the season opener. 

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I erred in reporting that Ryan Henry is the No. 1 punt returner. That job belongs to Greg Salas.

Guest host: Dopaco24

August 30th, 2010
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As promised, Dopaco24 is blog host for a day. Meet him:

My name is Patrick Collins.  I'm a 27 year old Army veteran who is originally from Alabama. I am out of the Army now.  Currently I'm enrolled at KCC.   Everyone in my family, with the exception of myself, is an Alabama fan.  My parents even have a Big Al statue in their front yard.

I first became a fan of UH while watching the 2001 Hawai'i-BYU game, although my favorite team at the time was still Florida State.  I joined the Army in 2002 and was sent to Schofield Barracks in 2003.  I was able to see my first live college football game at Aloha Stadium in 2003 with Hawai'i hosting the Rice Owls in a WAC conference game.  After a few more 2003 games, I found myself talking only about UH and nothing about FSU.  So, with the Bama game coming up, I had to tell my dad the news.  I was worried about what he would say, so I was hesitant over the phone.  My dad said, "What is it son?  Just tell me."  So I then proceeded to tell him that I was a Hawai'i fan.  My dad then replied,"That's it?  I thought you were going to tell me you got some girl pregnant out of wedlock, killed someone, or worse, that you were an Auburn fan.  I don't know if I could ever talk to you again if you were an Auburn fan."  I know he was joking, of course.  Or was he?  Anyway, we ended up making a $20 bet about who was going to win.  My dad lost and never paid up.  So in 2006, I purchased tickets and a Hawai'i t-shirt for the Alabama game and had my father wear a University of Hawai'i  t-shirt at Bryant Denny Stadium. :)
With the exception of the 2004 and 2008 seasons(I was deployed), I have attended every home game since the Rice game.  I also attend Women's and Men's Volleyball, Men's Basketball, Baseball, and Softball game/matches, just not everyone of them.  I even volunteer with the Hawai'i Bowl.

Sunday ramblings

August 29th, 2010
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• Nice to see that former Warrior wideout Ashley Lelie has been re-classified as a UH student assistant, allowing him to coach on the field. As a student manager, he was allowed to serve as only an off-field mentor to player. Lelie received clearance from the NCAA, which allows schools to offer student assistant positions to players who returned to their schools to complete work on a bachelor's degree. Jason Rivers also will be a student assistant. Not sure what roles Fetaiagogo Fonoti and Lance Samuseva, who already has a bachelor's degree, will fill. 

• It's nice when popular opinion and the coaches' opinion match. Freshman sensation Allen Sampson will not redshirt this season. 

• With Scott Enos locking down the placekicking job, freshman Tyler Hadden will be available on a need-to-play basis. Barring injury, for the first road trip — to Army and Colorado — safety Kenny Estes will be Enos' backup.

• The Warriors got to wear their game-day helmets during yesterday's practice. Seeing those dark-green helmets makes you realize the opener is very near. 

• Some players were under the illusion that they could still request number changes. What they're learning is the number worn in practice might not be the number worn during games, if a formal request was not made. The names already have been sewn onto the jerseys. 

• It appears Brashton Satele survived the New York Jets' first cut. Linebacker Calvin Pace's foot injury, while bad for the Jets, is helpful to Satele's situation. 

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Very happy birthday wishes to ... 

Dylan Linkner — fellow Windward resident who always works hards (and usually for low or no pay). 

Kerri Mokulehua — one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. 

Keith Ah Yuen — the voice of reason, and what a "One In A Million You" voice. 

Ian Rutka — To paraphrase Rod Tidwell: You're militant but we love you.

Pomai — One of the many who walk the walk. 

Cliff Sanchez — A man whose heart is as big as his playing-days hair (and he had big hair back in the day). Those kids in L.A. are lucky to have your help. 

Pohai Keli‘ikipi — One of the top nurses around. And funny, too. She's doing my eulogy. 

And ... how many birthdays are there today? Pomai and a Pohai. Michael Jackson. Elliott Gould. Weezy from the Jeffersons ... 

Happy birthday to all.

Leonard to miss three games; Tuaniga leaves

August 28th, 2010
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Brett Leonard, who was going to start at center, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and miss the first three games. 

Bronson Tiwanak will start at center now, completing UH's starting offensive unit:

LWO — Rodney Bradley

LSB — Greg Salas

LT — Austin Hansen

 LG — Brysen "Bulla" Ginlack

C — Bronson Tiwanak

RG — Adrian Thomas 

RT — Laupepa Letuli 

RSB — Kealoha Pilares 

RWO — Royce Pollard

QB — Bryant Moniz

RB — Alex Green

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People in the know tell us that it wasn't easy reading Leonard's MRI. The glitch is that 6-foot-4, 310-pound patients don't always slide neatly into an MRI tunnel. The good thing is UH is able to book MRI appointments quickly. Leonard was injured during a Wednesday morning practice, and a couple of hours later he underwent the MRI. 

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Nice to see the turnout at yesterday's volleyball match. 

v1

The band was in good form ... 

v2

It also was nice to see members of other UH sports teams supporting the Rainbow Wahine. There were several football players there. How scary is it for an opponent when linebacker Jake Heun is in the stands? Also, it appears a few Warriors have established a mini fan club for Kanani Danielson. Here's punter Alex Dunnachie holding a home-made sign after a Danielson kill:

v3

* * * * * 

We're told that men's volleyball player Gus Tuaniga is enrolled at Long Beach City College this season. Tuaniga, who would have been a junior at UH this year, is taking some time to decide whether he wants to continue playing volleyball or pursue other interests. Tuaniga left the Warriors in good academic standing, and will be welcomed back if he so chooses. 

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Congratulations to dopaco24 for the hard work in constructing mock schedules. dopaco24 can either be blog host for a day or have a mini UH football helmet. Text me at 256-0223 for your choice.

Warriors select captains

August 27th, 2010
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In voting by Warrior players, slotback Greg Salas, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga and linebacker Corey Paredes were named team captains for this year. A fourth captain will be named for each game, based on the number of votes received. Safety Spencer Smith will be a captain for the Sept. 2 USC game. 

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Ramblings:

• Know how the Olympic teams used to train in altitude to prepare for competition at sea level? Whether intended or not, practicing on the grass field and Ching Athletic Complex's artificial turf gave the Warriors a boost when they worked out on Aloha Stadium's FieldTurf last night. Sltoback Kealoha Pilares was among several who insisted that the stadium's turf — with "blades" that have been worn down — has better traction, making it a faster surface for players. And that's good for the Warriors' four-wide offense. 

• The past couple of weeks, the buzz has been that Bryant Moniz is reaching Tim Chang-like status in knowledge of the offense. Not sure if that is accurate, but from a field-level perspective, Moniz was pretty impressive last night. He completed 27 of 34 passes — three were dropped — included 7 of 9 in the red zone. Of course, this was against the scout defense, but he was able to go through his progressions quickly and hit receivers on fades, slants, posts and inside screens. 

• Allen Sampson worked as a punt returner yesterday. It's going to be difficult to keep him off the active list. 

• Not sure if it was to get more reps, but Chauncy Winchester-Makainai was the No. 1 right guard yesterday. Adrian Thomas usually has that spot. 

• It was good to see running back Alex Green and linebacker Aaron Brown practicing. "It's game week, you know how that is," head coach Greg McMackin said, a reference to his practice-to-play policy. It actually was the team's medical staff that had sidelined Green and Brown. It was the right move, considering Brown no longer appears to be favoring the right ankle that was sprained. 

• The original schedule had the Warriors practicing Sunday. That will now be a day off. The Warriors will practice today, tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

• Do people still use raw steak to heal a black eye? And why did they do that in the first place? By the way, nobody has a black eye. I was just having a random thought. 

* * * * * 

Let's play the Independence Game. You're the UH athletic director. Your team is going independent starting in 2011. You have to make the schedules for 2011, 2012 and 2013. A few things: You're not allowed to schedule a BCS team for a home game  in October or the first three weeks of November. You may not schedule a team from a conference with a league championship game in the final week of November or December. You may not schedule games in August.  UH games already set may not be moved. You must play a 13-game schedule, with a minimum of six home games. Winner gets to be blog host for a day. 

Here are UH's future schedules: 

2011: 

Sept. 3 — Colorado

Sept. 10 — at Washington 

Sept. 17 — at UNLV

Sept. 24 — UC Davis

Dec. 3 — Oregon State

2012:

Sept. 1 — at USC

Sept. 8 — at BYU

Sept. 15 — Lamar

Sept. 22 — UNLV

Dec. 1 — Western Kentucky

2013

Aug. 31 — USC

Sept. 14 — BYU

Nov. 30 — Army

Dec. 7 — Washington

If you wish to book Navy, here are the Midshipmen's open dates, but remember they need a bye before playing Army. 2011: 10/8, 11/26. 2012: 9/8, 11/3.