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Friday, August 01, 2014         

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Finally, Ostrowski can say he's a starter

By Stephen Tsai

POSTED:

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM Hawaii's Miah Ostrowski, who hasn't started a football game since his senior year at Punahou, said the starting slotback job is his to lose.

The last time Miah Ostrowski was a starter in a football game, Taylor Hicks was the American Idol, Sarah Palin was elected governor of Alaska and iPhone had not yet been sold to the public.

It was November 2006, "a long, long time ago," said Ostrowski, who was a Punahou School senior at the time.

After a breakout spring — coupled with the departures of starters Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares — Ostrowski will enter next month's training camp as Hawaii's No. 1 right slotback.

"It's different expectations for me," Ostrowski said. "(The job is) mine to lose right now. ... I feel I'm ready physically — hands, quickness — it's just about not being nervous. We'll see when the time comes. I think I'll be fine. I used to get nervous before every basketball game. I guess that's natural."

Ostrowski signed a football letter of intent in February 2007, but redshirted that fall, attending as a part-time student. He joined the Warriors in January 2008, but redshirted that year. He was a backup in 2009 and 2010.

Last Christmas — the day after the Warriors' appearance in the 2010 Hawaii Bowl — Ostrowski joined the basketball team. During the postseason, he became the starting point guard.

"To me, basketball is pretty much second nature," Ostrowski said. "Football is getting there. Right now, basketball is more comfortable. But once I play more football, I'll be more comfortable."

Ostrowski said he has dual training methods. He is closely adhering to UH strength coach Tommy Heffernan's offseason conditioning program for football. That schedule includes weightlifting, distance running and sprints.

Still, old habits are hard to break.

"I still go into the basketball gym and work on things myself, just to keep up the quickness," he said. "Just working up for basketball — running up and down the court — is good, I think, for hand-eye coordination, change of speed, and change of direction. There are some things you can't get out of just running for cardio. I don't play five-on-five, but I work on hand-eye coordination."

Ostrowski said he weighed 167 pounds as a point guard. He would like to weigh no more than 175 during the football season.

He also said the weightlifting has not hindered his jump shot.

"I've been lifting for football for quite a while," Ostrowski said. "My body got used to it."

He said he's getting antsy waiting for the start of training camp. Every weekday, he runs pass routes.

"I've been putting in a lot of work," he said. "I can't wait."






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