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 Hawaii vs. Washington: Some memorable scraps
Rick Blangiardi appreciates sports reporters. As general manager of Hawaii News Now, he even employs them. But when it comes to trusting their ability to pick football outcomes … Story »
Whenever quarterback Ikaika Woolsey needs a break, he will put on his headphones, hit the iPhone play button and listen to Bay Area music. "It's a different type of sound," said Woolsey, who was raised in Rodeo, Calif.

Three years ago, Scott Harding couldn't even put on football pads correctly. Now, he might be Hawaii's most dependable player. Following the path of former Hawaii punter Alex Dunnachie, Harding gave up his career playing Australian football to try his hand with the American version.

An average-sized textbook probably weighs about 2 pounds, or 0.7 percent of the weight of an NCAA football offensive lineman. Now hold the book over your head, as if making the "A" sign in the "YMCA" dance -- for an hour, starting at 5 in the morning.

Some coaches shy away from allowing full-time starters to risk injury playing on special teams. Hawaii special teams coach Chris Demarest isn't one of them.

Ben Clarke is the University of Hawaii football's best offensive lineman. Heck, in 2012, he was named the Rainbow Warriors' best player on offense.

As 16 1/2-point underdog, the University of Hawaii football team faces a daunting challenge in Saturday's opener against 25th-ranked Washington. Before the start of Wednesday's practice, former UH safety Kent Kafentzis stood in the Rainbow Warriors' huddle, a living and defiant testament to battling long odds.

University of Hawaii football receiver Marcus Kemp is the sort who takes his work home. Kemp clutches a football in his house, while he's watching television, and when he cooks.

One of the fun parts for a coaching staff during fall camp is finding that diamond in the rough. Maybe it's a guy coming back from injury, or a walk-on who simply figured it out.

"The Freak Show" has left the stage. The collection of receivers -- diverse in heights, weights and personalities -- has been restructured and rebranded.

Two days after his high school graduation, Dee Maggitt's parents flew with him to Hawaii and dropped him off on campus. "I kind of felt lost," he said. "I was the last one (on the team) to get here and I really didn't want to come. I wasn't ready."

Wide receiver Quinton Pedroza was sorry. He was sorry for letting down University of Utah teammates and coaches, sorry for worrying his family, sorry for disappointing the image in the mirror.

In the calendar of his mind, one day was circled: Aug. 30, 2014. Since transferring to the University of Hawaii in July 2013, running back Willis Wilson looked forward to playing his former team, Washington, in the 2014 opener.

The University of Hawaii football team probably will wait until after Thursday's practice to cement the final starting position on defense.

Nearly six years and some 361 carries after his debut in Hawaii, Joey Iosefa remembers fondly his first opportunity to dig his cleats into Aloha Stadium's artifical turf. Iosefa had been selected to play in the Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl in December 2008.

Things are always looking up for Tevita Lataimua. Rather, he's always looking up. The 5-foot-10 Hawaii middle linebacker rarely enjoys a height advantage on the field. Lataimua laughed. "I'm proud of it," he said.

The shift to a 3-4 base defense under new defensive coordinator Kevin Clune (from a 4-3) has shifted greater responsibility to the linebackers, of which there are now four on most plays. There's a lot more creeping up for blitzes.

Getting Joey Iosefa back on the field boosted Hawaii's offensive production late last season. A challenge for the coaches in the spring and summer was keeping the burly senior corralled on the sideline.

After being named University of Hawaii football coach in December 2011, Norm Chow received a list of grayshirts from his predecessor, Greg McMackin. "I was determined to honor (the scholarship requests)," Chow said.

During football training camp, University of Hawaii safety Taz Stevenson earned a starting job. On Monday, he earned a football scholarship. "He's very deserving," coach Norm Chow said. "He'll start at safety for us."

It wasn't too long ago that Jordan Wynn viewed the chaos after the snap through a face mask. Now that he's farther from the fray, Wynn's task is to enhance the Hawaii quarterbacks' sense of perspective.

Defensive line coach Lewis Powell begins going over his starters up front, one by one. Before long, he's named nearly half of the 14 players he oversees in fall camp. Generally only three defensive linemen will see the field at a time as the Rainbow Warriors operate in a new 3-4 base scheme.

The fear gripped Kennedy Tulimasealii. So much hype, so much hope surrounded the prospect from Waianae High when he joined the Hawaii football team in 2013. In his mind, how could he live up to the expectation of being Norm Chow's biggest defensive recruit?

Ikaika Woolsey wears reminders of both his upbringing and heritage when he suits up in the locker room. On the back flap of his shoulder pads is a sticker of a California flag with "Norcal" printed within the bottom stripe.

Former USC quarterback Max Wittek has officially joined the University of Hawaii football team. What's more, wideout Ryan Pasoquen and cornerback Gaetano DeMattei have been awarded scholarships.

In a festive atmosphere — music, a comedian's performance and lunch wagons — the University of Hawaii football team put an official end to its 20-day training camp on Saturday. Practice concluded with a crisp offensive performance.

Hawaii special teams coordinator Chris Demarest likes what he's seen from Tyler Hadden in training camp, but more so what he's heard. "This is the first time I can actually hear the ball coming off his foot," Demarest said.

Taz Stevenson has seen football life from both sides. Stevenson was at Washington for four seasons before earning a bachelor's degree this past semester. He then transferred to the University of Hawaii, earning admission into graduate school.

This summer, University of Hawaii graduate assistant coach Brad Vonnahme was in a Washington state of mind. In preparation for the Rainbow Warriors' Aug. 30 football opener, Vonnahme inhaled every morsel and byte of information on Washington's offense.

Sophomore Jeff Lindquist will start at quarterback for Washington when the Huskies play Hawaii on Aug. 30 in the teams' season opener. Washington coach Chris Petersen made the announcement after the team's practice on Friday.

Diocemy Saint Juste takes a no-nonsense approach to returning kickoffs. It wasn't so long ago that he didn't take any approach. The Hawaii sophomore running back wasn't even a backup return man until he arrived at the University of Hawaii for the 2013 season.

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