Saturday, August 30, 2014         

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The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will open the 2014-15 season against The University of Washington Huskies. Here is how they match up.

Defending state champion and top-ranked Punahou started slowly, then erupted for 41 unanswered first-half points in a 55-7 win over No. 7 Saint Louis on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.

It helps to have Randy Neverson running the ball, catching passes, returning kicks and throwing touchdown strikes. Neverson put his all into the all-purpose tag, leading No. 8 Leilehua to a 46-27 pasting of No. 9 Waianae on Friday night in Waianae.

Farrington running back Ranan Mamiya ran for three touchdowns in the first half and the fifth-ranked Governors pulled away from Moanalua 47-27 on Friday night.

Kainoa Ferreira passed for 273 yards and four touchdowns, including a 24-yard, go-ahead strike to Sean Kinel in the fourth quarter, as Pac-Five rallied past St. Francis 26-21 in the ILH opener for both teams.

Pearl City had no problem finding the end zone in its 46-13 win over Kaimuki in an OIA Division II game on Friday. The host Chargers (3-0) scored on the game's first play, Dominic Maneafaiga returning the kickoff 81 yards for a score.

The opening-night jitters were to be expected. Especially for a team with just two returning starters, a new setter and no designated star. No official go-to player meant go to a committee, which is what No. 17 Hawaii did Friday night.

Like most blind dates, today's football game between host Hawaii and 25th-ranked Washington could be defined early. "The first 10 minutes will be interesting," UH defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said this week.

After getting torched on a late touchdown pass in the first half, the 'Iolani secondary made up for it in a big way.

The National Football League is not as much about making the cut as surviving it. Each year, the Washington Redskins brought in linebackers who were faster and stronger than Kurt Gouveia.

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 …

Every morning during football season, Norm Chow awakens at 3:30. There is no alarm clock, no early-rising rooster. "It's just a habit," Chow said. Chow has time to shower, gather his thoughts, and prepare for the 6:30 a.m. quarterbacks meeting.

Challenging starts have been a constant in Norm Chow's tenure as Hawaii's head coach. For the third straight year, the Rainbow Warriors will open the season against a nationally ranked opponent when they face Washington at Aloha Stadium.

In a word, dominating. That would be both the Hawaii volleyball teams of 1982 and '83 — a combined 67-3 with two NCAA titles — and the Rainbow Wahine's No. 11. More than 30 years have passed, but Deitre Collins-Parker's legacy remains.

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.

The Aloha Stadium Authority Thursday authorized spending $155,000 to continue the process of determining the future of the 50,000-seat facility. The funds will allow the planned eight-phase study to proceed through phase 6.

Will this be Dave Shoji’s final season coaching the Wahine and how far will this team go? Answers from Star-Advertiser's Cindy Luis, Ferd Lewis, Dave Reardon, and Hawaii News Now's Mike Cherry.

It was 10-on-10 madness in the Ohana Hotels and Resorts No Ka Oi, as both Hawaii and Northern Illinois had a player dismissed for receiving two yellow cards. In the end, the Rainbow Wahine scrapped for a 3-2 victory.

It's been nine months since Punahou played a real football game. The situation is quite a bit different for the Buffanblu's season-opening opponent Friday night at Aloha Stadium. They meet Saint Louis.

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.

For the first time in the 2014 soccer season, Hawaii gets to pick on someone its own size. Actually, the Northern Illinois Huskies of the Mid-American Conference have a height advantage on Hawaii.

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.

A little bit of quarterback. A little bit of linebacker. A little bit of center. It is no surprise that, with a family tree rooted in football, Tayler Higgins would become a setter.

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.

The Hawaii men's basketball team has made preparations to drop an upcoming 2014-15 game against Washington State in Seattle and join the eight-team Gulf Coast Showcase tournament in Southwest Florida.

Mixed martial arts is finally coming to Aloha Stadium. Longtime MMA promotion X-1, under new leadership, is hosting an event in the 50,000-seat complex on Sept. 26, headlined by Niko Vitale.

The final week of play not only kept Hawaii's quest for a 19th consecutive conference title -- outright or shared -- from sinking, it also floated the postseason boats of UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge.

Adapt and evolve. It's key to success in many jobs, but perhaps none more crucial than in coaching. When change is the only constant, with new players every season and the sport itself continually being tweaked, it becomes a matter of relate or become irreleva

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.

Micah Hatchie was once too big to play football. Then he went to the University of Washington, where he was told he was too small to start on the offensive line.

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

By "pure coincidence," Hawaii's starting lineup could have heavy local roots when the No. 17 Rainbow Wahine open against Ohio at the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday.

The 2014 NCAA volleyball season kicks off this week with 56 Hawaii high school graduates suiting up for mainland Division I schools.

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.

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."

Despite the season-opening tournament, the Rainbow Wahine soccer team felt better Monday after its 2-1 defeat to Texas compared to the hollow feeling 24 hours prior, when it was routed by Arizona State.

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.

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.

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.

While Mia Heirakuji is busy digging volleyballs, others are digging her cuisine. The Kamehameha senior doubles as the starting libero for the defending state champions and a promising chef who hopes to open her own cafe one day.

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.

ASU freshman midfielder Aly Moon orbited effortlessly around the Rainbow Wahine's retooled defense for much of Sunday's Outrigger Resorts Shootout contest, notching a hat trick and an assist in the Devils' 5-2 rout.

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.

Just about a week after he'd considered dropping out of the Mayor's Cup, Matthew Ma closed the tournament by signing the winning scorecard. "I told myself I've never quit on myself yet," Ma said. He chose wisely.

Much like students going back to school at summer's end, crews participating in the long distance outrigger canoe paddling season are quickly reminded of the hard work and preparation needed to succeed.

Fourth-year coach Michele Nagamine's team overhauled defense and regrouping front line get difficult first tests in Sunday's 5 p.m. season opener against Arizona State in the Outrigger Resorts Shootout.

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.

The machine called Mililani returned home Saturday night to batter Kailua 49-7 in an OIA Blue football game. The second-ranked Trojans (3-0, 2-0 OIA) came out flying, taking a quick 21-0 lead and never looking back.

After two rough years in the OIA Red, Kaimuki is back in a division it can contend in. The Bulldogs got off to a good start in OIA Division II play on Saturday night, beating short-handed Anuenue 26-6 in their season opener at Kaiser Stadium.

On a play designed for him to give the ball up, Tommy Capllonch kept it for himself, instead. The result: game-winning touchdown. Capllonch, a junior quarterback, ran in from a yard out in the fourth quarter to help Kalaheo rally past Kalani 6-3.

Ranan Mamiya rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and added an 89-yard kick return to paydirt as No. 6 Farrington edged No. 9 Kapolei 28-26 on Saturday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

The "soft opening" for the Rainbow Wahine marked the end of double-day sessions. Monday not only is a return to school but a return to the single morning practice that kicks off the first game week of the season, coach Dave Shoji's 40th.

Statistics of players with Hawaii ties in professional baseball through Friday's games:

With two back-breaking drives early in the second half, No. 7 Campbell broke open a close game and soundly defeated Moanalua 34-6 in an OIA Blue Division football game Friday night in Ewa Beach.

The national defending champs came to Oahu filled with question marks after losing big numbers to graduation. St. John Bosco (Calif.) put an exclamation mark on Honolulu with a 63-14 runaway win over Saint Louis at Aloha Stadium.

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.

Radford finally got its chance to get onto the field and rallied late for a victory. After winning its league opener by forfeit, Radford used a fourth-quarter rally to beat host Roosevelt 28-20 in an OIA Division II game on Friday.

Judge Waianae by the two fourth quarters it has played and the Seariders look like a top-five team. Coach Daniel Matsumoto's top priority now is to get his team to play that way for four straight quarters.

Even after opening the season with a decisive win, Kahuku coach Lee Leslie found areas he wanted the Red Raiders to clean up. He didn't have much to pick on after win No. 2.

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.

In Hawaii's first two weeks of training camp, whenever an offensive lineman needed a breather, Kiha Sai would rush onto the field. The reserve player -- who would come to be known as "Sai of relief"-- would inevitably be told, "Thanks for the offer, but we need the next player in line." Or an R-rated version of that order.

Consider the odds of playing volleyball in college. How many of those on the 1,230 teams that competed at July's USAV Girls Junior National Championships will find their way onto a collegiate roster at any level?

Hawaii offensive linemen Sean Shigematsu and Dave Lefotu learned college football is a bottom-line business. At the start of training camp three weeks ago, both fifth-year seniors were at the bottom of the depth chart.

The University of Hawaii football team created scout teams in preparation for the Aug. 30 opener against Washington. The scouts, also known as service players, will simulate the Huskies' offense and defenses in practices.

The sigh of relief was practically audible from Florida. Power forward Sammis Reyes, a signed recruit of the Hawaii men's basketball team, was finally cleared by the NCAA on Thursday for the 2014-15 season.

Benetton Fonua has a special outlet. The Hawaii junior linebacker out of Kahuku High, a former state defensive player of the year, hasn't seen the Aloha Stadium field much with the Rainbow Warriors. On defense, anyway.

Cal Lee was in Las Vegas a few years ago, speaking with a couple of coaches from a California high school football team at a players' clinic. "They told me they were coming out to play a team in Hawaii in a few years," said Lee.

The Kapolei Hurricanes travel to meet the Farrington Governors at Roosevelt on Saturday in an OIA Blue Division opener for both teams, the first time in OIA history that schools are not aligned by geographical divisions.

"At first I thought I was just going to have some fun, but now I'm looking at this IKF belt and realizing how IKF is pretty legit," Martin Day said. "It's not that I didn't take it seriously at first but I realize now what an opportunity this is."

Gaetano DeMattei felt out of place as a college freshman. But his angst had little to do with relocating from northern California to Hawaii. A product of the storied De La Salle program in high school, DeMattei wasn't thinking about pursuing college football when he first enrolled at the University of Hawaii.

Thelma Chow, the mother of University of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow, died on Sunday in Boise, Idaho. She was 97. "She was a very special woman who supported her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren," Norm Chow said. "She was very special."

It's been a life in and on the water, riding waves of success in surfing, paddling and kayaking. That Anona Naone Napoleon recovered from a paralyzing diving accident at Waimea Falls to win the Makaha International Surfing Championships a year later surprised only her doctors.

Hawaiian Telcom is offering a pay-per-view package on Oahu containing eight of the University of Hawaii's 13 football games, the cable provider announced Tuesday.

For Wednesday's practice at Aloha Stadium, the University of Hawaii football team seemingly planned for every scenario. There were drills for the proper way to run from the locker room to the sideline, substitutions for injured players, and the correct positioning of the water coolers.

The rise of quarterback Ikaika Woolsey began with a fall. During Tuesday's full-pads scrimmage, Tuesday, Woolsey darted into the open field, exceeded the first-down marker and ... slid?

Football is one of four teams at the University of Hawaii to have an Academic Progress Rate that is above both the national and conference averages in its sport.

Tuesday was moving day. Except for three days spent in the dormitories because of the threat of Hurricane Iselle, the Rainbow Warriors lived in two dance studios for 13 days during fall camp.

Two of the top high school baseball players in the state have decided to stay home for college. 'Iolani's Pikai Winchester and Kamehameha's Kekai Rios have given oral commitments to play for the Rainbow Warriors starting in 2016.

A drop of blood clung to Tevita Lataimua's jaw line. Flecks of black rubber from the T.C. Ching Complex's FieldTurf dotted the senior linebacker's practice jersey and pads.

The University of Hawaii Bookstore is willing to let the athletic department's H-Zone take over athletic merchandise sales at the football team's road sites, an official said.

In an election with 100 percent voter turnout, the University of Hawaii football team selected eight captains for the 2014 season. "We're going to make them realize every single day that they're captains," coach Norm Chow said.

Piling up catches and yards is usually high on the list of things to do for a wide receiver, and Punahou senior Kanawai Noa does it with an uncommon flair and humility. The third-year starting wideout for the Buffanblu has a chance to make history this season.

Simon Poti, a transfer from Fullerton Community College, and Malachi Mageo, a 2014 Serra High graduate, are in the rotation at inside linebacker in the Warriors’ new 3-4 scheme.

Playing teams like Washington and Oregon State was something Jeremy Castro always expected he'd do as a four-star recruit from Murrieta, Calif. Everything else he's endured since signing with UCLA two years ago has not gone to plan.

With last year's top scorer out for the season after recent foot surgery, Michele Nagamine has been looking for new sources of offense in advance of Sunday's season opener against Arizona State in the Outrigger Resorts Shootout.

Kirby Yates concedes that when the Tampa Bay Rays called him up from the minors in June, he was running on adrenaline. But after 22 appearances over the past couple of months, the Lihue native has grown accustomed to life in the majors.

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