Archive for December, 2010

Salas, Green, Pilares to NFL combine

December 31st, 2010
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Greg Salas, Alex Green and Kealoha Pilares will receive invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, according to head coach Greg McMackin, who received a notification today. 

The three former Warriors will receive their invitations via e-mail this coming week.

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Well, it was an interesting year — decade? — with highs and lows, good times and not-so-good times. Let's toast the past, welcome the future, and, as every coach will say, live in the moment. 

Or as Bulla might say: Make memories. 

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Pilares has reached an agreement with agent Wynn Silberman of the Morgan Advisory Group. Silberman represents former Warriors Jake Ingram and Blaze Soares, and was the first agent for Solomon Elimimian, now a standout linebacker in Canada. 

Pilares suffered a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Hawaii Bowl, an injury that will not require surgery. Silberman estimates PIlares' recovery period at 2-4 weeks, after which he will train at Triple Threat in Arizona. 

Silberman said Pilares has an opportunity to play in the Feb. 5 NFL Players Game (previously known as the Texas vs. The Nation) in San Antonio's Alamodome, but is weighing whether it would be more beneficial to just train for UH's Pro Day. Pilares will learn within 10 days whether he will be invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. Pro Day will be held in early April in Carson, Calif. 

Silberman said scouts have spoken highly of Pilares' quickness, lateral speed and football IQ. His skill as an inside receiver is a good fit for the NFL, which employs more three-receiver sets, and not just on third down anymore. 

Pilares had the best power-lift total among the Warriors the past spring. Silberman said he expects Pilares to have one of the top five bench-press totals among the receivers in the 2011 NFL class. Silberman said the goal is for Pilares to run a sub-4.5 in the 40-yard dash. The projection, according to Silberman, is 4.46 seconds.

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Former UH lineman Ray Hisatake said he is ready for the revival of the Arena Football League, which begins play in February. Hisatake and Aaron Kia, another former Warriors, will play for the San Jose SaberCats. Hisatake will be used as an offensive guard. Kia, who was in the New York Jets' camp as an offensive tackle/guard, also will be used as a tight end. 

The SaberCats' first game is against the Spokane Shock. Histake's best friend, Francis Maka, a former Warrior defensive end, plays for the Shock.

Going in circles

December 30th, 2010
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The selection committee has been meeting to determine the next class of the UH Circle of Honor. As usual, there are nominees you've never seen play — heck, some committee members have never seen them play — and some you'll have to Google when they're inducted. 

A degree apparently is not a requirement. Neither is a spectacular playing career at UH. Actually, a playing career isn't a requirement, either. 

Think it's time these former UH student-athletes earn a berth: 

• Anthony Carter

• Yuval Katz

• Al Noga

• Falaniko Noga

• Brooke Wilkins

• Chris Gaines

• Rich Miano

• Allen Allen

• Timmy Chang

• Costas Theocharidis

• Ashley Lelie

• Garrett Gabriel

• Michael Carter

• Nani Cockett

Any others?

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Former UH wideout Rodney Bradley said he will decide on an agent tomorrow. His plans are to train in Long Beach, Calif., until UH's Pro Day in early April. 

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Happy birthday to Kazz.

kazz

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And belated birthday wishes to lakerj32/"lefty" .... 

lefty

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... and Kerry Borthwick. 

kerry

Green to all-star game, Letuli gets agent

December 29th, 2010
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alex

Former UH running back Alex Green has been told he will be invited to play in the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game in February. 

Green will sign with an agent today, and train at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. 

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pepapix

Former UH offensive tackle Laupepa Letuli has reached an agreement with agent Leo Goeas, a former Warrior lineman who played eight seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. 

Because Letuli is in California and Goeas in Hawaii, where he relocated recently from Colorado, the contract will be mailed today. 

Letuli will train with Chad Ikei in Arizona. 

By the way, it's Pepa's birthday today. 

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luke

Not all dreams are the same. 

Scott Enos, who concluded his UH kicking career with the Hawaii Bowl,  will not hire an agent nor leave school. His two-step goals are: 1) to get healthy, and 2) to earn a bachelor's degree. 

Enos played the entire season with an arthritic lower back, a condition that often made it painful to kick. But with no backups, he played the whole year without complaints. He is set to graduate next December. 

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Look for punter Alex Dunnachie to try to practice kickoffs during the offseason. 

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Former UH defensive backs Jeramy Bryant and Mana Silva are interviewing agents this week.

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Thinking aloud:

• Now that a ballpark figure for travel subsidies has been established, isn't this the part where the new governor or UH president says that the state, travel industry or university will pick up the tab? 

• Or, since the contracts have been signed, what if UH does not agree to pay the high travel fees? Contracts are signed. The membership can't be rescinded, right? 

• UH should sell two-year, season-ticket packages. That way it can: 1) project budgets a year in advance. 2) take advantage of the enthusiasm of joining the MWC. 

• There's going to be a ring ceremony. Make it a public event. Say, for $10, fans get to attend the ceremony where snacks and beverages will be served. They can cheer  each player receiving a ring, then take pictures and get autographs. Proceeds would go to Na Koa.

Salas gets agent; No surgery for Pilares; no boos party?

December 28th, 2010
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Greg Salas told the Warrior Beat he has signed with agent Kenny Zuckerman, who also represents Davone Bess, David Veikune, Ryan Mouton, Wayne Hunter, Isaako Sopoago,  and Brashton Satele. 

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Slotback Kealoha Pilares said he has been diagnosed with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee, an injury that will not require surgery. He suffered the injury while trying to return a punt in the first quarter of the Hawaii Bowl. 

Pilares has started a rehabilitation program at UH. He is awaiting word on whether he will be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February. 

This week, PIlares will meet with two agents.

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A couple of Tulsa players said that when they walked into the bowl banquet, they heard booing of their highlight video. 

But David Matlin, executive director of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, said he does "not remember" that incident occurring. He said he was emcee of the banquet, and if the incident  did happen, "Where was I?" He wondered if this was a story that grew to be a "mountain out of a molehill."

True or not, it did appear to serve as some sort of motivation for the Golden Hurricane. 

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From Ferd's excellent story today comes UH's acknowledgement that it will pay between $150,000 and $175,000 in travel subsidies for Mountain West football teams. Interesting paragraph: 

For MWC football teams, the numbers are set to approximate the cost of a charter flight for a travel party of up to 130 people. The roster limit for MWC football travel squads is 64 players, with the remainder made up of coaches, support staff, broadcasters and officials.

Charter flights?

UH will pay for charter flights for visiting teams, but not for its own team? 

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Dave Reardon also wrote a good column about those who have passed away in the past year. 

Add to that list:

• John Strickland, who holds HPU's single-season record for points and rebounds. Strickland died of a heart attack in October. 

• Rodney Toyoma, viewed as the ambassador for the UH basketball program for more than two decades. Toyama helped prepare food for the post-game spreads, and served as a guide on the ways of local etiquette to Mainland-raised coaches. 

• Chief Justice William Richardson, always known as "C.J.," who was a big UH basketball booster. He was the last of the old-time breed, who wore a coat to sporting events, but yet would participate in the wave. 

• "Florida Ted," our faithful blogger from the Sunshine State. Great fan. Great man. 

* Long Time UH Fan, also known as LTUHFan, another great and generous guy. 

• The Honolulu Advertiser.

 


'Shed a tear'

December 27th, 2010
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In the late 1980s, Riley Wallace, then the UH basketball coach, had his version of the gray-shirt program. At the start of training, each player was issued a plain gray shirt. The reward of good practices was to be awarded a "Hawaii" basketball jersey. Chris Gaines always was one of the first to earn a promotion.

Back then, one of the drills was a one-on-one, no-rules, full-court game. Joe Hudson, a transfer from Alabama, was a quite confident guard. He once brought a league championship ring to practice. He also requested going one-on-one against Gaines. According to former UH basketball player David Hallums, Hudson told teammates that he would "bring the wood." But Gaines, an accurate outside shooter who also was quite athletic, dunked on Hudson. 

And that was Gaines, who worked hard and hushed critics with deeds instead of words. 

He was a nice guy who didn't fade in the spotlight. During games, he always finished fastbreaks with lay-ins. After games, whether a victory or a tough loss, he would be the first to answer questions. 

Gaines died Christmas Day in Orlando.

When Hallums, now a police officer, learned of Gaines' death, he pulled his car to the side and "shed a tear."

He recalled "Goo," his former roommate who earned the nicknamed either because it rhymed with his hometown of Waterloo or from the Eddie Murphy skit "Goonie Goo Goo."

"He was a great friend," Hallums said. "He was one of the funniest guys. I shed a tear. That's how much he meant to me."

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The football season is over, but it's a busy time for now-former Warriors with pro aspirations. Slotback Greg Salas and his family met with three agents yesterday; they will select one this week.