POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 29, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 2:11 a.m. HST, Oct 29, 2010
When the Hawaii offense takes the field tomorrow, Nolan Tokuda will have a rooting interest on both sides of the ball.
The Leilehua High School head coach plans to attend the game between Hawaii and Idaho, with former Mules among the featured performers in UH quarterback Bryant Moniz and Idaho linebacker Robert Siavii.
"I'm just going to root for both guys to do well," said Tokuda, who has a big game of his own tonight when the Mules face top-ranked Kahuku in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red conference semifinals.
The Western Athletic Conference matchup will be the second on-field meeting for Moniz and Siavii.
Siavii claimed bragging rights last year when the Vandals became bowl eligible with a 35-23 win over the Warriors in Moscow, Idaho. The Warriors (6-2, 4-0 WAC) have a shot at bowl eligibility when the teams meet again at Aloha Stadium.
Moniz passed for 360 yards and a touchdown against Idaho last year and enters UH's homecoming game as the nation's passing and total offense leader.
Siavii, who has started all seven games at weak-side linebacker, leads the Vandals (4-3, 1-1) with 45 tackles, including nine for losses. He has 2 1/2 sacks, forced three fumbles and was credited with six quarterback hurries.
Both earned WAC player of the week honors earlier this season.
"It's just good to see guys from our school playing at Division I colleges, and it's fun to play against him," Moniz said. "Just like playing against him in practice."
Moniz graduated from Leilehua in 2007, a year ahead of Siavii, and both left the Wahiawa campus with OIA and All-State honors before embarking on college careers.
Tokuda said the current Mules consider the program's alums as "big brothers" and having two on the field tomorrow offers a prime teaching opportunity.
"I think it's role modeling," Tokuda said. "I could tell they had the talent and focus to make it and it was just a matter of them getting an opportunity."
Kamehameha graduate Conrad Scheidt is Siavii's backup at WILL linebacker.
UH special teams coordinator Chris Tormey said the decision on a punt returner to replace Ryan Henry, out for the season with a knee injury, could come down to pregame tomorrow.
Slotback Kealoha Pilares fielded punts at the end of yesterday's practice and was later joined by safety Richard Torres.
Pilares has two punt returns in his UH career, both coming against Idaho two years ago.
"If it comes to me, I'll be more than glad to do it," said Pilares, a starting slotback. "It's just about going out and making plays. I've always dreamed about taking a punt back, so we'll see."
So far, Pilares' special teams duties have focused on stopping returners as a gunner on the coverage unit.
"It's basically like playing receiver and getting jammed (at the line of scrimmage)," he said. "It's just making moves, getting through and getting to the ballcarrier."
Said Tormey: "His job is to redirect and slow them down for the rest of the guys. He's definitely a pro prospect and his work on special teams is only going to help him."
Linebackers Corey and Parker Paredes returned to practice yesterday. Corey Paredes, the WAC's leading tackler, had a sore ankle and shoulder following last week's win over Utah State.
Parker Paredes, who plays on special teams, had a separated AC joint in his shoulder on Wednesday but suited up yesterday and said he'll be available for the game.