By Stephen Tsai
Candidates at four key special-team positions have an advantage when the Warriors' spring training resumes this Tuesday. They are all relatively healthy.
The Warriors are seeking successors to long-snapper Luke Ingram, punter Alex Dunnachie and kickoff returner Mike Edwards.
Three long-snappers — including Brian Hittner who delayed his enrollment a year while adding transferrable credits — will be joining this summer. Defensive end Beau Yap was used as the long-snapper until he suffered a fracture in his right foot during the second spring practice. Kody Afusia, who has recovered from a surfing injury, is expected to handle the long-snapping this spring.
The Warriors signed a punter and slotback Scott Harding was used at that position last year. But for this spring, Mark Monteiro, a walk-on from Buckley, Wash., has been doing the majority of punting.
"I'm getting a lot of reps," Monteiro said. "It's pretty nice. The first day I had a little jitters. Now I'm getting much better."
Monteiro said he has no previous isle ties but "I grew up watching the team (on television). I always the Warriors — the way they fought, the way they played. It was inspiring."
Wide receiver Chris Gant, who was the offset returner last year, is being used as the deep returner.
Also, with kicker Tyler Hadden recovering from double-hernia surgery, Ceejay Santos is handling the place-kicking. Santos is a Baldwin High graduate and Weber State transfer.