Archive for November, 2011

True green

November 30th, 2011

UH assistant basketball coach Brandyn Akana earned his bachelor's degree at BYU-Hawaii, where he was a point guard, and his master's at UH.

But when it comes to Saturday's football game between UH and BYU, Akana wants there to be no doubts.

"I'll be cheering for the University of Hawaii," said Akana, whose brother (Jarinn) and wife (Joselyn) were former UH athletes.

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Linebacker Aaron Brown has a request: "We need seats in the seats."

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According to the schedule, this is a "travel" day for BYU.

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• Another lively practice. The players have been in a feisty mood all week.

• As part of his post-practice stretching routine, cornerback Mike Edwards plays catch with quarterback Cayman Shutter. Edwards really should be considered as a two-way player. He is sure-handed.


• Bryant Moniz attended practice, in a wheelchair. He was warmly greeted by coaches and players. His right ankle is in a cast. He joked that his availability was a game-day decision.


• Former UH coach Dennis McKnight also was at practice. Players and coaches love him. He's loud and aggressive, but just so entertaining. Even when he's discussing the price of dip in Edmonton, it's impossible not to be enthralled.

• Graduate assistants are hired on the calendar year, meaning their deals expire on New Year's Eve. Inoke Funaki, who works with the offense, is scheduled to earn his master's in public administration in May. He has a busy schedule. He works as a security guard from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; then helps coach the scout team, break down videos and prepare the scouting reports; then attends classes. He also is married.

• Equipment specialist Al Ginoza said no — NO!— on whether white helmets are an option for Saturday's game.

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Ashley Lelie:


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Vaughn Meatoga:


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Fond birthday wishes to Mrs. Sailor Blue and Mrs. BigHiloFan.


November 29th, 2011

For the final time this regular season, it is game-plan Tuesday. The Warriors met for an hour of video reviews and strategy sessions, then for a little more than an hour of practice.

Of note:

• Quarterback David Graves did practice. He's good to go. The unofficial diagnosis of his blurry vision on Saturday night: An electrolyte imbalance.

• With Scott Harding's right foot in a medical boot — "just a precaution," he said — a couple of players auditioned as punt returner. Harding said he will play.

• Billy Ray Stutzmann did not practice, but that's not a concern. Normal bumps and aches. He will be ready to go tomorrow.

• Austin Hansen confirmed he will not participate in Saturday's Senior Walk. It's a shame. Even though he did not play this season while serving an NCAA suspension, he was a key player in 2010. He probably would have been the Warriors' top o-line prospect if he had played this year. Hansen is brash, and his opinions do not come with a filter. But he is a refreshing voice, and he is a hard worker who cared about his craft. Best wishes to him.

• Back in town is Dennis McKnight:


Graves is still the 1

November 28th, 2011

• David Graves, who was replaced after being "dinged up" against Tulane, remains as the No. 1 quarterback and is expected to start against BYU on Saturday. Head coach Greg McMackin said Graves will not resume throwing until Wednesday. (Tomorrow's schedule involves an hour of video reviews and strategy meetings, and an hour of practice.)

• McMackin said cornerback Mike Edwards will start Saturday, although he will undergo shoulder surgery after the Warriors' last game. McMackin said he was assured Edwards will not incur further injury by playing.

• Scott Harding's availability is not certain. He has a sprained ankle.

• But slotback Miah Ostrowski and defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu are good to go.

• The Warriors will wear the combination of black/green jerseys and white pants for Saturday's game against BYU.

Blue period

November 27th, 2011

The kids don't get it.

Oh, sure, they've heard the stories and sorta-sorta understand why parents have that lost-in-the-past look whenever Garrett Gabriel's name is mentioned.


But it's hard to imagine the intensity of the passion — and frustration for UH for many, many years — whenever BYU came to town. "Beat BYU" signs were as common as "Live Aloha" bumper stickers. Former UH basketball player David Hallums famously described a hoops victory over the Cougars as being "better than statehood."

It is appropriate, for an older generation, that the Warriors' season depends on the outcome of this week's game against BYU. If the Warriors win, they advance to the Hawaii Bowl, a postseason game created after a UH victory over BYU.

Left tackle Brett Leonard said he had to Google stories to learn about the history between the schools. The past is now the Warriors' future.

Game day: Tulane

November 26th, 2011

No sense rehashing the obvious.

What's at stake has been stated many times.

It will be interesting to see how David Graves performs. It's always a little different when an opponent has a full week to prepare for a specific quarterback.