Archive for May, 2011

Helping hand

May 31st, 2011

Cornerback Mike Edwards, who is set to join the Warriors in mid-July , said he has received inspiration from inside receiver Davone Bess, a former Warrior now with the Miami Dolphins.

Edwards played eight games for Tennessee in 2009 before being dismissed after incurring legal troubles.

Edwards said he has chatted with Bess, who offered encouragement. Before joining the Warriors, Bess had spent time in a youth detention center for his role in a burglary.

"The first thing I told him was to take advantage of this opportunity, because he was very close to not having this chance," Bess said. "I told him to make the most of it. Then I got into my story, how I'm a living example of hope and making the most of a second chance. If I can do it, he can do it."

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If you overslept, you missed the 6:30 a.m. workout, the Warriors' official start to the offseason conditioning program.

But the Warriors have been practicing on their own for a while.

Quarterback Bryant Moniz said he has hosted weekly passing/receiving drills at his alma mater, Leilehua High, which installed synthetic turf last year.

"We work out at the home of the Mules — Camp Wahiawa," Moniz said.

He added: "The first week, it was just me and Royce (Pollard). And them me and Royce and Darius (Bright). Then me, Royce, Darius and some others. It's whoever can come out here and make the trips."

This week, the full unsupervised passing drills will be held on the Manoa campus.

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Today is the final day for Media Hawaii Federal Credit Union, which will be absorbed by a larger FCU. Warm aloha to Wendy, Pam and Keith.

Going the distance

May 30th, 2011

For this Father's Day celebration, Tommy Heffernan will present himself with a gift that will unwrap over 37.5 miles.

"I'm ready," Heffernan said of the June 18  Hilina‘i Walk. "I think I am."

The walk-a-thon is intended to help defray the tuition costs for his daughter, Hilina‘i, who suffers from hyptonia, a low-muscle-tone condition that can affect motor nerves and muscle strength. She attends Variety School of Hawaii, which has programs helpful for children with delayed development.

Heffernan, who is the Warriors' strength and conditioning coordinator, came up with the idea last year. He and his daughter often enjoy long walks in their Hauula neighborhood. The goal was to walk from Hauula to Variety's Diamond Head campus. To reach the destination at a reasonable time, Heffernan decided to start his trek at 12:10 a.m. About 30 others joined him at the start of last year's inaugural walk, with half lasting through the halfway point at Kaneohe District Park. Heffernan and a dozen others reached Diamond Head at about 3:30 p.m.

Heffernan said this year's walk, which will be held the day before this Father's Day, also will start a little after midnight.

Heffernan said the most difficult stretch is the 2,813 feet of Likelike Highway's Wilson Tunnel.

The walking lane is so narrow that they their backs were literally against the wall. "We were scraping the wall as the cars were going by," Heffernan said.

Heffernan said the school has been helpful.

"She's been 180 (degrees) from last year," Heffernan said. "Her speech is probably the most improved. She can communicate and get her thoughts and feelings out. She's more confident. She's doing a lot better."

Pledges may be deposited in the Friends of Hilina‘i Heffernan account at American Savings Bank. For details, go to

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It's always a shame when an omission is a declaration of a season's end. The UH baseball team had a nice run this year. It's unfortunate it won't go on.

* * * * * wastes little time:

Who will be the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2012 season

Urban Meyer                  3/2

Mark Stoops                  5/2

Jon Gruden 3/1

Bo Pelini 10/1

Mark Dantonio 12/1

Making adjustments

May 29th, 2011


Allen Sampson can take the heat.

"It's not bad over here," Sampson said after completing a 90-minute, mid-day workout in the Manoa heat. "Florida's weather is way hotter. It's humid. You sweat a lot. At halftime in high school, I had to put my jersey in the dryer because it was so wet. . . .  I like the wind here. It helps a lot."

Sampson, who was raised in Tampa Bay, is preparing for his second season at UH.

His first goal is to  increase his weight, which hasn't been easy during the sweat-inducing workouts.

"I'm eating a lot of rice," said Sampson, who now weighs 148 pounds. His goal is to reach 150 for the start of training camp in August. He weighed 141 when he first reported to UH last summer.

One thing that has helped is switching from a widely used protein drink.

"For some reason, my stomach couldn't take it," said Sampson, who believes he is lactose intolerant. "I actually lost weight from drinking it. I'm drinking different (protein drinks) now."

He also has found a suitable UnderArmour shoe. Last year, he had difficulty finding one that fit comfortably. He ended up wearing bright-green soccer shoes.

"The green ones were light, but these" — he  points to his new white shoes — "have better traction," he said.

That has been helpful in running routes at his new position. He was used as a slotback last season. But during spring training he worked out at left wideout. The intent was to give him more options, but now it appears the move might be permanent.

"I feel like a wideout now," Sampson said. "I feel I can spread the field a little bit more."

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UH baseball fans hope there's no symbolism in the NCAA tournament field being announced on Memorial Day.

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Raw ambition

May 28th, 2011


For backup quarterback David Graves, the reward for a day of two summer-session classes and two workouts, including one in the unforgiving heat, is his favorite meal: Brown rice and poke.

"Oh, yeah, I love poke," said Graves, who was raised in Northern California. "We had an introductory session in class, and I put that down as my favorite food. I love fresh fish, uncooked fish. We have a lot of good seafood in Northern California. I loved seafood before I got here. Poke is perfect. Poke is all muscle. It's lean and protein."

As a second-year freshman in 2010, Graves volunteered to serve as the blocking back on kickoff returns and as an emergency safety. This year, he will focus entirely on playing quarterback. Starter Bryant Moniz and Shane Austin are entering their senior seasons.

Graves will stay in Hawaii through the end of June, then train in California for about four weeks. In California, he will work with two coaches — Patrick Gallagher, who teaches speed training, and Troy Taylor, who was a four-year starter at California. Graves said  he also will continue to follow training guidelines set up by UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich and conditioning coach Tommy Heffernan.

Gallagher runs Pure Athletics.

"I'll be doing a lot of cone drills, a lot of work on starts and moving laterally," Graves said.

Taylor offers instruction on going through progressions, "just a whole bunch of situational stuff," Graves said. "Playing quarterback is more mental than physical. He helps me with the mental side of the game."

In Hawaii, Graves has been working on his passing and conditioning. For instance, after completing a long pass to a receiver, Graves will sprint down to the other end of the field, then run the ensuing play in the opposite direction. He will end up sprinting as many times as the receivers.

Graves also has spent a couple of hours each day studying football videos. He's gone through UH's 2006 and 2007 seasons —record-setting years for quarterback Colt Brennan — studied all of Moniz's throws, and now is watching Jeremiah Masoli's plays. Masoli, a Saint Louis School graduate, played for Rolovich at City College of San Francisco before going on to Oregon and then Mississippi.

"Masoli attacks the field," Graves said. "He's a good runner, he's quick, he's a playmaker. That's what I want to do. I want to learn how to buy time. I want to be a dual quarterback: Throw from the pocket or on the run. I want to improve in every aspect of my game."


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Happy birthday to Brie Adams, a recent Castle graduate and future Warrior athlete.

Enemy of the state

May 27th, 2011

Superman needs Lex Luther.

Batman needs the Joker.

Beverly Hills police need Lindsay Lohan.

The best rivalries need, well, rivals. Good, tough opponents. For the football Warriors, BYU and then Boise State served those roles.

And for three years in the 1990s, a bleach-haired guard with a swagger that matched his crossover dribble and straight-to-the-heart jumpers served as the UH basketball team's nemesis.

Chris Herren was the ringleader of the circus that was the Fresno State basketball team, which featured samurai-sword-wielding players and a towel-chomping head coach.  Herren endured years of alcohol and drug abuse, but is now clean, sober and author of "Basketball Junkie."

Here's an excerpt:

SMU was nothing compared to what happened every time we went to Hawaii, where I was the public enemy. I'd come through the tunnel and the whole arena would go nuts. People yelled, threw things, yelled some more. About point shaving. About rehab. "Fall River Nightmare." You name it, they yelled it. They hated me. And I'd blow kisses to them, which only made them crazier. As a sophomore, I had kicked in 35 against them, in a game that all but ruined their season. After we beat them by two in an NIT quarterfinal game one year, some guy dumped a beer on my head.

When I was there my last time as a senior, there was a big story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, as if I were a folk hero.

"Tell them to show up," I was quoted about the fans. "I want to see ten thousand like I'm used to. I want to see the people who have been screaming at me the past two years."

"He plays with the crowd," Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said. "Most kids don't do that. But he acknowledges them, and they feed off that. And he feeds off them. Might be better to give him the silent treatment."

They didn't.

But they threw leis on the court in appreciation, so in the end, my teammates and I went on the plane wearing leis.

I loved Hawaii.

Has there ever been a UH opponent like that? BYU pitcher Peter Kendrick baffled the Warriors, but that was more for his skill than theatrics. Jim McMahon? The left-footed, rollout punt was classic, but he was a symptom of the overall BYU mania. UCLA coach Al Scates could induce heckles from volleyball fans, but a coach can't make winning plays.


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Received this e-mail:

it's stephen florino - formerly of khnl sports (with jason tang aka "spock").

read your blog and got a story about chris herren.

i was covering that game for the ka leo at the sheriff against fresno during the ac/alika years. i don't remember the game, but i know it was a big one. i remember herren killed us. after the game, i went to get an interview with herren. i chased him down the hall as he was walking toward the bus. told him who i was and he put his arm around me as we walked. i forget what i asked, but i remember the last question was "how does it feel like to be the most hated man in hawaii?" his response -- "i love it man, i love it." he shook my hand and left.
despite his antics, he was the coolest dude. i read about his life and book on yahoo recently. hope the best for him.

please share if you like.


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And linebacker Brenden Daley is on the rock:


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For the first time in years, quarterback Bryant Moniz does not have a regular summer job. In his first two UH offseasons, Moniz famously delivered pizzas and, then last summer, worked as a Waikiki beach boy. He did not go on scholarship until last August. Moniz applied too late for a full-time position on the beach this year. Instead, he is training twice a day, studies football videos daily and nightly, and is attending summer session.

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At today's workout, Allen Sampson grabs a pass from David Graves:


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