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Faaumu's diligence pays off with start

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 10:12 p.m. HST, Sep 02, 2011

Read more in our 2011 UH Football Preview

There is an "or" next to Andrew Faaumu's name on the Hawaii football depth chart.

It signifies that Faaumu and Chauncy Winchester-Makainai, who has recovered from a stomach virus, are listed as the Warriors' No. 1 right guard.

Offensive line coach Gordy Shaw said Faaumu will be in the opening lineup for Saturday's game against Colorado, and that Winchester-Makainai will enter in UH's second or third offensive series.

"We started our game preparation early," Shaw said. "Monday and Tuesday were heavy rep days. Chauncy was ill. He came back and took reps and looked pretty good, but Andrew took the majority of the reps. … We'll see Andrew at the start of the game, and Chauncy after that. I'll rotate them early to see who does the best job."

For Faaumu, "either/or" is a significant improvement from "neither/nor." Faaumu did not play organized football until his freshman year at Lahainaluna High.

"I couldn't play Pop Warner," he said. "I was too heavy."

That was also the situation in 2008, when he was cut by the Warriors for being overweight. But after a lengthy meeting with head coach Greg McMackin, Faaumu was given the conditions needed for reinstatement.

"He lost a lot of weight," McMackin said. "I told him what he had to do, and he did it, and he's here."

McMackin said he was impressed with Faaumu's passion for the sport.

"Being on the field, being in the weight room, being in the film room — all of those things make my day," Faaumu said. "People say I should get an outside life. They always ask if I have a girlfriend. I tell them: ‘No. I'm married to football. Anything else comes after.'"

Faaumu also is used as the "personal protector," a position in which he blocks for punter Alex Dunnachie.

"He has a lot of pride, he works hard, he's a terrific young man," said Dick Tomey, who coordinates UH's special teams.

A few weeks ago, Faaumu, who already has earned a bachelor's degree, was awarded a UH football scholarship.

"It's always compelling to watch someone overcome struggles," Tomey said. "He has a great story."

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nanakuli32 wrote:
Great job faaumu. Keep up the good work, being an inspiration to your team and to us all.we all have battles to over come an you have shown me anythings possible. Take care god bless. Go warriors.
on September 2,2011 | 07:16AM
Pitbull wrote:
Nice! Like to see when someone still loves the sport. Wish you a healthy year GO Worriors
on September 2,2011 | 07:44AM
BigWave96744 wrote:
One of the funniest guys on the team... Always smiling and laughing it up with the guys...
on September 2,2011 | 07:59AM
OldDiver wrote:
Great up close and personal article.
on September 2,2011 | 08:33AM
jcole wrote:
Good article, but way too short!
on September 2,2011 | 02:29PM
jcole wrote:
Good article, but way too short!
on September 2,2011 | 02:29PM
MauiJam wrote:
Great job Andrew, all your former teachers at Lahainaluna HS are proud of you. We'll be watching you on Saturday.
on September 2,2011 | 04:15PM
krump1_aka_protector wrote:
He is the perfect illustration of hard work paying off. A great story of perseverance. Now let's see him run over a few Buffaloes. Go Warriors.
on September 2,2011 | 07:41PM
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