POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 17, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 2:10 a.m. HST, Sep 17, 2010
LAS VEGAS » In 2004, a young quarterback got revenge in the state high school tournament against the team that beat his in the public school league championship game.
Bryant Moniz was a sophomore when he and upstart Leilehua toppled always-powerful Kahuku in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association semifinals.
"He cut us up," said B.J. Beatty, who was a linebacker/defensive end for the Red Raiders at the time.
"That was one of the proudest moments for me in high school sports," Moniz said yesterday. "That team was loaded."
Leilehua then fell to Kamehameha in the state final.
Moniz, now the starting quarterback at Hawaii, leads the Warriors against host Colorado tomorrow. That's where Beatty is an outside linebacker.
Another Buffaloes linebacker, Liloa Nobriga, is a second-year freshman who was an 'Iolani athlete before his family moved to the mainland. He finished up his high school career at Palo Verde High School -- which is where the Warriors practiced all week, just a few blocks from the team hotel in Summerlin.
Other Buffs with Hawaii ties are senior inside linebacker Michael Sipili (Damien) junior offensive lineman Sione Tau (Damien) and freshman offensive lineman Kaiwi Crabb (Punahou).
Sipili is tied for second on the team with 12 tackles and leads the Buffs with three stops for loss. Beatty has four tackles, including a sack for 9 yards.
Nobriga got playing time against Colorado State. Tau and Crabb have not played.
Retired UH basketball coach Riley Wallace attended the Warriors practice yesterday at Palo Verde. He is now a part-time Las Vegas resident who works for the Boyd Gaming Corporation, one of UH's bigger sponsors.
Wallace said he and other Boyd officials were scheduled to meet with UH athletic director Jim Donovan yesterday to discuss promoting and marketing the Western Athletic Conference volleyball and basketball tournaments that will be held at the Orleans Arena.
"The WAC coaches loved it here," Wallace said, referring to the 2009 women's volleyball tournament. "It's a central location fans want to come to and it takes away homecourt advantage."
Wallace said he's also working on the Orleans hosting the men's volleyball national championship.
At least one UH player is looking forward to the 5,360-foot altitude of CU's Folsom Field.
Punter Alex Dunnachie got additional height and distance on his punts all week during practices.
"I can already tell the difference here (at Las Vegas' 2,028-foot elevation)," the sophomore from Australia said. "I'm not really going for distance, but I'm getting about 4.8 to 5.0 on hang time. It's been 4.5 at sea level. A half a second can make a big difference. It lets the guys get a chance to get down there and limit the return yards."
Dunnachie averaged 42.9 yards per kick on seven punts in the first two games.